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Join leaders in the field for intensive seminars on a range of relevant and valuable topics. Each seminar will provide innovative teaching strategies and detailed approaches. Enrollment is limited to 35 per seminar. Participants will receive a certificate at the end of any seminar they attend.

LOCATION:  The New School for Music Study, located in historic Kingston, NJ, was founded in 1960 by Frances Clark and Louise Goss. Throughout its 60-year history as a community music school and center for teacher training, it has been at the forefront of piano education and remains deeply committed to the advancement of piano teaching and learning.

COST:  $375 per seminar or $275 for students.
BUNDLES:  Save up to $50 per seminar if registering for more than one.
SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNT:  Piano Magazine subscribers save an additional 10% on seminar registration

TRAVEL INFO:


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Complete Schedule (click each seminar to learn more)

PikePam  July 9-11    Facilitating Adult Music Learning with Dr. Pamela Pike

Thursday, July 9: Creating Partnerships with Adult Students
12:30 – 1:00 Registration
1:00 – 1:15 Welcome
1:15 – 2:25 Andragogy 101
  • In this session we will explore the differences between andragogy and pedagogy, basic assumptions of andragogy, the teacher as facilitator, framing goals and the impact that adults’ prior experiences (both musical and non-musical) can have on their musical learning. We will discover how transformative learning, embodied learning, informal learning and formal learning work in synergy with many adult students.
2:30 – 3:15 Interviewing Adults and Creating Learning Plans
  • We’ll gather in small groups to discuss creating policies and learning plans for adults and explore meaningful interview questions/activities to engage students in co-constructing their personal musical goals. We’ll regroup to share ideas at the end of the session. Participants are encouraged to bring their interview materials and adult studio policies to share during the group discussion.
3:20 – 4:00 Lifespan Development Stages
  • We’ll explore an updated five-stage psycho-social theory of development of adulthood and discover specific needs, concerns and advantages associated with each stage. We’ll begin to discuss accommodations that learners make at various stages in the piano studio.
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 4:45 Break-out Sessions on Lifespan Accommodations in the Piano Studio
  • Each group will be presented with a scenario of a typical adult at a specific lifespan stage and sample repertoire that the student is working on. The groups will brainstorm about accommodations that can be made in the studio, for each particular stage.
4:50 – 5:30 Teaching Demonstration Videos
  • We’ll watch video clips of teachers working with adult students (of different ages and musical levels) and hear brief reflections from the teachers and students about what makes their partnership work.
5:30 – 6:00 Facilitated Reflection & Small Group Discussion
  • We’ll break into small groups and reflect upon the teaching demonstrations and the student and teacher reflections. Each group will create a “top Five” list of take-aways from the teaching demo and discussion. We’ll share our top five lists at the end of the day.
6:00 - 7:30 Dinner
7:30 – 8:30 Repertoire Showcase

Friday, July 10: Engaging Adults Through Musical Experience
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 11:00 Working with Adults in the Studio (Private and Group Learning)
  • Today we will learn about high-quality materials, teaching tools, and learning situations that can engage adults in the music-making process, regardless of their level of playing. We’ll begin the day by exploring the philosophy of process versus product, then look at what engagement with meaningful musical experiences may look like for different students. We’ll explore components of successful private and group lessons and look at attributes of successful adult facilitators.
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:00 Ensembles: Engaging the Group in Musical Learning and Expression
  • We will explore the power of group learning, specifically through piano ensembles. We’ll share tips for effective group engagement, for leading effective ensemble rehearsals, and get ideas for choosing appropriate repertoire for your specific group of adults.
12:00 – 1:15 Group A: Small Group Piano Ensemble Rehearsals, Group B: Lunch
1:15 – 2:30 Group A: Lunch, Group B: Small Group Piano Ensemble Rehearsals
2:30 – 4:00 Materials That Work with Beginning & Intermediate Adult Students
  • After a brief introduction, we’ll break into small groups and dive into materials that can be used effectively with beginning and intermediate adult students. Groups will create short summaries of each resource that will be posted for all participants to view during free time.
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 6:00 Andragogy in Action: Final rehearsal of ensembles and group performance!
6:00 Pizza Party

Saturday, July 11: Adult-centered Studios in the 21-century
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:20 Understanding Adult Motivation
  • In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into the complex issue of adult motivation to study (and continue playing) music. We will look at three well-respected theories of adult motiviation by Wdoloski, Houle, and Knowles and apply these to the piano studio. We’ll frame motivation and how it intersects with self-directed learning and technology for our adult students, which will provide fodder for our remaining discussions throughout the day.
10:20 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:15 Technology 101: Useful Tools for the Adult Piano Teacher
  • We’ll look at how technology can be a tool in the piano studio. Specifically, we’ll see how online technology can help us to work with students at a distance and how music software programs can help us create our own arrangements of familiar repertoire or of ensembles for our students.
11:15 – 11:45 To Perform or Not?
  • After a brief introduction to the pros and cons of adult “parties,” which adults recognize as code for “recital,” we’ll break into small groups and share ideas for facilitating performances for some adults in our studios.
11:45 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 Cultural Context and Access to Music Making
  • This interactive session will engage participants in exploring the context of musical engagement within our culture. We’ll consider implicit biases in our teaching and cultural barriers to piano study for many adults who wish to pursue it. We’ll look to one another to identify innovative and creative ways to create studios that engage more adult learners, from more walks of life.
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:00 Transformative Learning … Our Next Steps
  • As we learned on Day 1, transformative learning is an important theory in adult education and it is particularly relevant to music teachers who work with adult students. We’ll take some time to reflect on what we have each learned in three short days and on what steps we will choose to take as we go out into the world and back into our respective communities and studios.
4:00 Closing Remarks

AndreaMcalister  July 12-14    The Language of Inspired Teaching with Dr. Andrea McAlister

Sunday, July 12: The Language of Pedagogy
1:00 – 1:15 Welcome
1:15-2:25 Defining our Profession: The Roles, Requirements, and Responsibilities of a Teacher
  • What does it mean “to teach”? How do we define our “students”? This introductory session will explore the language behind our profession and shine a light on the power and importance of our words.
2:25-3:15 Tone, Touch, and Gesture
  • Our most powerful form of communication isn’t always in the words we say, it is often how we say – or don’t say – what we mean. In this session, we’ll explore non-verbal communication, vocal inflection, and their impact on our students.
3:15-3:30 Break
3:30-4:15 Learning Across the Lifespan
  • Music lessons are for all ages, backgrounds, and motivations. Tailoring our language to the students’ needs is an important step in establishing an appropriate environment and rapport. Learning theories and lessons from cognitive psychology will help us understand how to motivate and engage our students of all ages.
4:15-5:00 Small Group Discussions: Lesson Planning for Motivation and Attention
  • Small group discussions will focus on six learning strategies and their impacts on attention and motivation. Participants will brainstorm about ways each strategy can be used in the lesson and assigned for home practice.
5:00-5:30 Teaching Demonstration Videos
  • In this large-group activity, we will view several teaching videos, considering language, tone, non-verbal gestures, and attention.
5:30-6:00 Small Group Discussion and Facilitated Reflections
  • Participants will continue discussion about the teaching videos and create a master list of how each video successfully incorporates learning strategies, tone, non-verbal communication, and age-appropriate language.
6:00-7:30 Dinner
7:30 Recital


Monday, July 13: The Language of Communication
9:00-10:00 The Language of Praise
  • Praising a student’s accomplishments and successes is a powerful tool for motivation and learning. In this session, we will discuss what praise is, what it is not, and build a toolbox of words to praise that apply to standard repertoire and technical skills.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:00 The Language of Feedback
  • Feedback provides us with opportunities to connect with, not just correct, our students. We will continue to build our toolbox of language that will lead our students to discover their own musical language and voice.
11:00-12:00 Small Group Discussion: Language of Praise and Feedback
  • The language of praise and feedback will be further explored in small groups. Participants will create lists of descriptions for various artistic and technical skills that are often used in teaching and adjudication.
12:00-1:15 Lunch
1:15-2:15 Recital: Lesser-Known Intermediate Gems
  • Bring your favorite, lesser-known intermediate repertoire to share and perform.
2:15-3:00 Small Group Discussion
  • Discussion will continue of the intermediate pieces heard in the recital as we apply our morning work to new literature.
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-4:00 To Question or Not to Question: That is the Question
  • Asking the right question at the right time requires a clear sense of purpose, presentation, and awareness. In this session, we’ll build our questioning techniques, taking into consideration musical and cognitive development, technical skill, and attention.
4:00-4:45 Small Group Discussion and Guided Reflection
  • Participants will apply the language of praise, feedback, and questions as we build complete teaching guides for standard intermediate-level solos.
4:45-5:00 Break
5:00-5:45 Putting it all Together
  • Participants will end the day by sharing their teaching guides for their intermediate-level solos to include stylistic and technical expectations and language around praise, feedback, and closed/open questions.
Pizza Party Dinner

Tuesday, July 14: The Language of our Students
9:00-10:15 Screenagers: How to Talk to Tweens and Teens
  • How do you teach students in today’s fast-paced society? In this session, we’ll discuss the very busy lives of tweens and teens, the unique connection we share with them, and how we can help them cope with stress and anxiety.
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:45 Talking to Ourselves: Choosing Kindness Over Criticism
  • The words we speak to ourselves are, by far, the most powerful, so why do we often choose words that criticize and condemn? When our own inner voices speak with mindfulness, calmness, and compassion, we can help our students choose kindness over criticism in their own lives.
11:45-1:15 Lunch
1:15-2:00 Embracing Technology: A New Language for Learning
  • Our digital- native students are well-versed in the language of technology and educational technologies are creating opportunities for engaged, interactive learning. We’ll discuss how to incorporate technology in our curriculum to enhance our students’ learning in meaningful ways.
2:00-3:00 Small Group Interactive Technology Session
  • Small groups will have an opportunity to play with the latest educational apps. Participants are invited to share their own favorite technologies.
3:00-3:30 Final Reflections and Q&A

ScottPrice  July 15-17    Inclusive Teaching: Possibilities for ALL Students with Dr. Scott Price

Wednesday, July 15: Getting Grounded
12:30-1:00 Registration
1:00-1:15 Welcome (Jennifer Snow)
1:15-2:00 Keynote Address: Music for Everyone, No Questions Asked.
  • Diversity and Inclusion have never been more important than in current society. Scott Price will reflect on his experiences with students from the past two decades and how those students continue to influence, nourish, and transform the field of piano teaching.
2:00-3:15 Autism and Piano Study I: A Basic Teaching Vocabulary
  • Delve into the fascinating world and learning processes of students with autism. This intensive introductory session features video of real students in real lessons and will demonstrate specific and detailed routines useful and necessary for fostering learning and performance success.
3:15-4:00 Communication 101
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say—if only it was that simple. Attendees will explore the multi-faceted process of crafting appropriate communication in teaching students who are special learners. Individual elements of communication will be explored including voice tone, facial expression, body language, and vocabulary.
4:00-4:15 Break
4:15-4:45 Behavior Management
  • Students who present with special needs often display unique and sometimes puzzling behaviors. Find out what these behaviors are, what may cause them, what they may mean in a larger context of communication, and how to mitigate them as appropriate.
4:45-5:30 Townhall Q&A
  • Bring your lists of questions and have them answered live in a townhall-style event. The only question that is incorrect or silly is the question that does not get asked. Get what you want from this session.
5:30-6:00 Reflections and Experiments
  • Participants will have an opportunity to reflect and share observations on the day’s work. They will also be presented with some exercises for further reflection to put the day’s ideas into action.
6:00-7:30 Dinner
7:30-8:30 Performance Event

Thursday, July 16: Take-off with Teaching
8:30-9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00-10:00 Autism and Piano Study II: Inside the Lesson
  • This session will demonstrate teaching techniques used in piano lessons with students with special needs. This "sneak peek" at real students at work will highlight how these techniques may be adapted for learners of all types. Video excerpts will be shown to chronicle students on their musical journey as they learn repertoire and creative skills. See the dynamics of real students in real situations as the lesson unfolded.
10:00-10:30 What IS this MESS in front of Me???: Breaking the Music Score Code
  • Of course, everyone knows what the music score is—or do they? This short informative session will break down and “de-code” what the printed music score means for students who are special learners. Procedures for helping our students navigate the printed page and translate it into sound will be explored.
10:30-11:00 Battle Lines Drawn: Note Reading vs. Music Reading
  • Theory book vs. music book—that is the question. This session will explore facets of the score-reading experience and how teachers can help their special learners navigate the jumble of symbols. Special emphasis will be placed on sequenced and progressive learning strategies for both the teacher and the student and how to assist our students in becoming more self-sufficient leaners.
11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-11:45 There’s a Math Quiz???: Adventures in Counting
  • Time, math, fingers, order, counting, and money all involve numbers. Is it any wonder that our students get confused when learning to count in music? In this session, we will explore the labyrinth of numbers and how our students can learn to be successful, self-sufficient, and rhythmic performers.
11:45-1:00 Lunch
1:00-1:30 Technique and Artistry 101: Expressive Engineering
  • Traditional artistry is often taught using analogies, metaphors, and other extra-musical associations, and our students may sometimes be left to their own devices to understand what encompasses “artistry.” But what happens when your student doesn’t understand or process analogies, metaphors, or does not possess the shared extra-musical culture that traditional students might possess? Students who are special learners can be wonderfully expressive at the piano with the right vocabulary and process, and attendees will gain helpful insight into the expressive language needed to help these students explore the world of music artistry.
1:30-3:00 Individual Mentoring Sessions and Group Work
  • Attendees will have an opportunity to sign up for individual appointments for one-to-one mentoring. They will also have opportunities to share their best teaching tools or “teach-niques” with other attendees through short group sessions.
3:00-3:15 Break
3:30-4:00 Reflections and Experiments
  • Participants will have an opportunity to reflect and share observations on the day’s work. They will also be presented with some exercises for further reflection to put the day’s ideas into action.
4:00-5:00 Repertoire GPS: The Forest AND the Trees
  • Learn how to navigate the perplexing world of repertoire leveling and selection for students who are special learners. Processes of teaching, practice, and performing will be discussed.
5:00-6:00 Detail10: Creating the Lesson Plan
  • Learn how to create macro- and micro-learning routines for students. Special emphasis will be placed on creating a lesson plan and environment that fosters success. Attendees will have the opportunity to create teaching plans for short repertoire pieces based on concepts presented throughout the previous sessions.
6:00-9:00 Dinner, movie, and a discussion panel. Movie: Temple Grandin 

Friday, July 17: Reach for the Stars
8:30-9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00-10:30 Undercover Geniuses: Special Learners and Creative Music Making
  • Students with special needs can be wonderfully creative in their music making with the right adaptations in the applied pedagogy. This session features an inside look at students improvising in the lesson, and in recital performances. Attendees will have opportunities to learn and experience strategies for helping their own students learn to be creative music makers.
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:20 Letting Stars Shine: Recital and Performance Events for Special Learners
  • Learn how to create and facilitate adjudicated events for students who are special learners, and how to approach, advocate, and aid organizations in serving this population of students. Guidelines for obtaining informed consent, preparation of students, participation and administrative guidelines, and adjudicator training will be presented, as well as video demonstrations of students who were involved in the adjudicated event. Attendees will leave better able to serve their own communities and local organizations
11:30-12:15 Difficult Subjects: What Books and the Media Don’t Teach You
  • This reflective round-table presentation will delve into the do’s and don'ts of working with students who are special learners, and the possibly uncomfortable issues surrounding working with parents, siblings, and other caregivers. Subjects will also include appropriate communication, child development, and how to broach difficult subjects with students and parents.
12:15-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Masterclass: Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk
  • Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a masterclass where they will experience all of the previous days’ information in action. Come and perform you favorite teaching piece, and experience how the student with special needs receives instruction.
3:00-3:30 Closing Remarks and Reflections

Dr. Scott Price currently serves as Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and Coordinator of Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina School of Music. In addition, he served three terms as President of the Board of Trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and Bowling Green State University (OH), his recent engagements have included performances and clinics at the national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP), and solo recitals and presentations throughout the United States. Dr. Price is creator and editor-in-chief of the on-line piano pedagogy journal “Piano Pedagogy Forum.” “Piano Pedagogy Forum” has published more than 25 issues with participation from more than 100 writers from 84 different colleges/universities, over 28 different states and three foreign countries. MTNA named “Piano Pedagogy Forum” as the recipient of the 2008 Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award. Dr. Price has recorded 39 compact discs of educational piano music for Alfred Publishing Company and has published educational compositions with Alfred Publishing Company and the FJH Music Company. He is a member of the Committee on Special Needs Students for NCKP. Special teaching interests of Scott Price include teaching students with disabilities, very young children, and teaching keyboard improvisation to piano students ranging from beginning to advanced levels. His work with students with special needs has been featured on WISTV (SC) and WLTX (SC), and in Clavier Companion. One of Dr. Price’s students with autism was featured on Dateline NBC, and CNN. Scott Price has been awarded the "Best of BGSU Outstanding Graduate" alumnus award from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 2002. Other engagements include performances and masterclasses in Canada, Thailand, Singapore, and in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, and in South Korea. Dr. Price has given repeated presentations at NCKP, the MTNA national conference, and the Royal Conservatory of Music teacher education summits. Dr. Price is the founder of the Carolina LifeSong Initiative that is dedicated to providing piano lesson and music experiences for students with special needs, and in fostering best practices in teaching and teacher training. Dr. Price was named a Foundation Fellow by MTNA in 2009 and is the 2012 recipient of the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award for the University of South Carolina. He is a 2019 recipient of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Outstanding Service Recognition Award.

SaraErnst  July 27-29    Nurturing the Young Pianist with Dr. Sara Ernst

In this hands-on seminar, attendees will explore how to structure and pace comprehensive studies from the elementary level through the transition to early-intermediate repertoire. Every aspect of the curriculum—artistry, technique, reading, rhythm, theory and ear training, creativity, practice, and performance—will be examined. Knowledge and skill can spiral, and if excellence is achieved at each step, students will grow into motivated and independent learners.

Day 1: Monday, July 27, 2020
1:30 – 2:00 Registration
2:00 – 2:15 Welcome
2:15 – 4:15 Establishing Foundations in the Beginning Years
  • Explore the big-picture view of the elementary years and how the musical foundations established contribute to success of the intermediate pianist. Dr. Ernst will guide attendees in discussion and application of how musicianship skills spiral in complexity, to more deeply understand the next steps in piano study.

  • 3:30 – 4:00 Discussion Group Analysis Activity with Moderators
    4:00 – 4:15 Large Group Synthesis
4:15 – 4:30 Break
4:30– 5:45 “My First Repertoire Book”—Discovering the Literature
  • With musicianship skills securely learned, students can feel confident and excited to explore the new sounds found in the standard early-intermediate literature. Nonetheless, there is much more to learn! In this presentation, activity, and discussion, expand your awareness of the new techniques and challenges young pianists face in intermediate repertoire.

  • 5:00 – 5:20 Small Group Application Activity with Moderators
    5:20 – 5:45 Large Group Synthesis
5:45 - 7:30 Dinner
7:30 – 8:30 Attendee Recital: Great Repertoire for Progressive Growth
  • Participants will have an opportunity to share their favorite teaching pieces and learn new ideas for repertoire. Bring one elementary or intermediate piece to perform in this recital. We will share the pedagogical objectives of each piece, focusing on the new challenges and pleasures such repertoire brings.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:00 “I can play, know, and hear it too!”—Purposeful Growth through Technique
  • Explore how regular keyboard warm-ups help students master intermediate technique, solidify theoretical knowledge, and expand listening skills. A progressive list will be provided for each technical category: five-finger patterns, triads, scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions.
10:00 – 12:00 “I can create music”—A Hands-on Tour through Student Creativity
  • In this interactive, fast-paced time block, attendees will experiment with a progressive curriculum of improvisation and composition activities for students. Participants will receive ready-made ideas for use at the late-elementary through intermediate levels.

  • 10:00 – 10:40 Two Small Group Rotations
    10:40 – 11:00 Break
    11:00 – 11:40 Two More Small Group Rotations
    11:40 – 12:00 Large Group Summary
12:00 – 12:30 Creativity in Lesson Planning: Teaching Repertoire
  • Attendees will work in small cohorts to design a lesson plan for a given early-intermediate repertoire piece. Pedagogical principles and time-use strategies will be provided as a guide for productive planning. After lunch, lesson plans will be shared with the large group.
12:30 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 Teaching Demonstration of Lesson Plans
3:00 – 4:00 “My practice helps me get better”—Teaching Practice Skills
  • The power of deliberate practice cannot be underestimated. In this session, attendees will discuss specific practice strategies and consider how this can be introduced progressively throughout piano study, focusing specifically on the learner’s transition into intermediate studies.

  • 3:00 – 3:20 Large Group Brainstorm
    3:20 – 3:40 Discussion Group Analysis with Moderators
    3:40 – 4:00 Large Group Synthesis
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:15 Teaching Demonstration: How to Teach Practice with Children
  • Delve into the topic of practice by seeing young students in real-life lessons. A combination of live teaching and video will be used to demonstrate how to expand a pianist’s practice strategies.
5:15 – 5:45 Pedagogical Reflections
5:45 Pizza Party

Day 3: Wednesday, July 29, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:45 “I want to play piano”—The Secrets of Motivation
  • There are many reasons young children take piano lessons, from the encouragement of a guardian to a deep, personal desire. Furthermore, young pianists are constantly growing and changing. This lecture includes an analysis of motivation and the stages of development in order to consider how guardians and teachers can adapt as the child matures and contribute to positive growth. Time will be devoted to questions, discussion, and collective application of ideas.

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Discussion Group Analysis with Moderators
    10:30 – 10:45 Large Group Synthesis
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 “I am frustrated!”—Strategies for the Bumps and Lags in Learning
  • Development does not occur on a linear path, and students will be prone to learning plateaus, skill regression, and other bumps along the way. Learn how to address these phenomena, such as widening the repertoire, broadening the curriculum, changing use of lesson time, discovering new topics, restructuring of practice assignments, and more.

  • 11:30 – 11:45 Small Group Sharing Activity
    11:45 – 12:00 Large Group Synthesis
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:15 “This is my music”—Cultivating Personal Expression and Artistry
  • Discover the multiple ways teachers can nurture the musical artist within each child. Pedagogical strategies will be illustrated, including the use of language, analysis, modeling, technology, student research, sensory experiences, and interdisciplinary connections.
2:15 – 2:45 Open Forum: Your Questions Answered
  • Bring your questions and get answers in this interactive discussion, without restrictions! Be bold and ask: if you have a question, someone else is probably wondering it too. Everyone can benefit from the multiple perspectives.
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:00 Teaching Demonstration: Masterclass with Children
  • Experience artistic exploration in action with students from the New School for Music Study. Pianists at the late-elementary and early-intermediate level will perform repertoire in this masterclass with Sara Ernst.
4:00 – 4:30 Pedagogical Reflections
4:30 Closing Remarks, Ice Cream Social


About the Clinician
Sara M. Ernst, PhD, is an active piano pedagogue and pianist, and serves as Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. She is currently the President of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association, and she was recently the course leader for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy’s first online piano pedagogy course on the topic of teaching beginner pianists. For the Royal Conservatory of Music, she is an active examiner in the U.S. and Canada, and has contributed to their publications as a reviewer of 2015 Celebration Series and Piano Syllabus, and as an author of pedagogical texts.

Through her research in piano pedagogy, Dr. Ernst investigates teaching effectiveness, the use of language in instruction, sequencing in intermediate repertoire, and successful parent-teacher interactions. Her presentations have been featured at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, conferences of the Music Teachers National Association and College Music Society, and many state and local conferences. Her articles and reviews have been featured in The Piano Magazine: Clavier Companion and the American Music Teacher.

Prior to her position at UofSC, she worked at the New School for Music Study in New Jersey as the Administrative Director and an instructor of piano lessons and group classes. Dr. Ernst has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received a PhD in music education with an emphasis in piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied with Dr. Jane Magrath and Dr. Barbara Fast. Her other degrees are from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

MarvinBlickenstaff  July 30-Aug 1    Practical Piano Pedagogy with Mr. Marvin Blickenstaff

Thursday, July 30, 2020
12:30 – 1:00 Registration
1:00 – 1:05 Welcome: Marvin Blickenstaff
1:05 – 1:30 Opening Remarks
1:30 – 2:25 Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence: Pedagogical Truths and Consequences… from the Teachings of Frances Clark (Craig Sale)
  • This session presents fifteen essential truths about good teaching and the rewarding consequences that result. Discover or re-discover those philosophies which inspire and guide us to the best teaching. The philosophies presented are applicable to teachers of any method. They are essential guides for any teacher who wants to make playing the piano a successful reality with every student.
2:30 – 3:10 Reflection Discussion: Pedagogical Truths and Consequences
  • A selection of pedagogical truths from the lecture will be discussed in small groups. Participants will reflect on their own experiences and consider how these truths impact their teaching.
3:15 – 4:15 TERRAC in Action… The Essentials of a Good Lesson (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • An effective lesson touches on numerous elements such as technique, reading, and rhythm preparation. This session outlines these basic elements and demonstrates how they can be incorporated into a 30- or 45-minute lesson.
4:15 – 4:30 Break
4:30 – 5:15 Teaching Demonstration (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Legendary teacher Marvin Blickenstaff will work with an elementary student, demonstrating “TERRAC in action.”
5:15 – 5:45 Reflection Discussion: Teaching
  • Small groups will discuss the Teaching Demonstration and share ideas for successful, effective teaching.
5:45 – 7:15 Dinner
7:15 – 8:15 Recital of Teaching Repertoire: Focus on Women Composers
  • The New School for Music Study faculty will share effective and attractive pedagogical repertoire composed by women, representing a variety of levels and styles.
Friday, July 31, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 9:55 Celebrating Beethoven: Repertoire for the Advancing Pianist (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • A sequential exploration of standard and lesser-known repertoire by Beethoven and his contemporaries. This session will include in-depth demonstrations of teaching strategies.
10:00 – 11:00 Untangling the Hands: Innovative Ideas for Fingering (Dr. Charl Louw)
  • Discover new ideas for fingering that will facilitate effective hands-together scale coordination. Learn how innovations in fingering principles can solve technical problems from beginning to advanced repertoire levels. Specific examples from standard teaching repertoire will be explored.
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:45 Wellness (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Teaching is an act of giving. We expend energy, time, and emotion in the education of our piano students. At the end of a long teaching week or term we may feel that our resources are exhausted. Members of helping professions often ask, "and who will care for the caregiver?" This presentation will address wellness for the piano teacher and suggest ways to stay fresh and avoid professional burn-out.
11:45 - 12:10 Reflection Discussion: Wellness
12:15 – 1:55 Pedagogy Mentorship Sessions and Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 Choose Those Words Carefully - Honing Your Teaching Language (Dr. Sara Ernst)
  • Question, Statement, Assessment: skillful use of these three powerful modes of communication is a cornerstone of great teaching. Each is examined through analysis of common lesson scenarios and best practices. Discover how to immediately improve the delivery and clarity of your own instruction.
3:00 – 3:45 Small Group Activity: Honing Your Teaching Language
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 Participant Recital:
  • Participants will perform selections from the rich canon of Beethoven’s teaching repertoire.
5:15 - 7:15 Pizza Party and Ice Cream Social
  • Join the New School for Music Study faculty for pizza and conversation. This is a chance to mingle, reflect, and pose questions.
Saturday, August 1, 2020:
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:15 Guiding Students to Successful Performance (Craig Sale)
  • With musical understanding of the repertoire and thorough practice preparation, all students are capable of successful performance. This session explores how teachers can help their students achieve this goal by addressing guiding artistry in preparation and practice, maintenance and memorization, and performance anxiety.
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 Masterclass of Seminar Participants (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Conference participants will perform in a masterclass of advanced repertoire with master teacher Marvin Blickenstaff.
12:00 – 1:00 Town Hall: Reflection Discussion

MusicTree  August 3-4    Understanding The Music Tree

Monday, August 3
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 9:45 Welcome/History/Pedagogical processes
  • Learn about the rich background of authors Frances Clark and Louise Goss as well as the pedagogical influences that have shaped this groundbreaking library of innovative teaching materials.
9:45 – 10:45 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part I
  • An in-depth exploration of Time to Begin including performance of repertoire and teaching strategies, along with an overview of how each element of complete musicianship is included from the very first lesson.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part II
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on-site
1:00 – 2:00 The Tree Grows I: The Development of Reading
  • Explore how reading is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
2:00 – 3:00 The Tree Grows II: The Development of Rhythm
  • Explore how rhythm is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 3:45 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree: Rehearsal Time
  • Small groups will rehearse repertoire, including teacher/student duets.
3:45 – 4:30 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree: Masterclass
  • This masterclass will feature performances of solos and duets from The Music Tree with coaching on ensemble procedure and musical expression.
4:30 – 5:30 Supplementing the Music Tree
  • A selection of materials which can effectively supplement The Music Tree will be shared and discussed.
5:30 – 7:40 Pizza Party, Introduction of New Repertoire and Breakout Sessions
  • The art of an effective introduction of new repertoire will be explored, followed by practice-teaching in small groups.
Tuesday, August 4
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:00 The Tree Grows III: The Development of Technique
  • Explore how technique is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
10:00 – 10:45 The Tree Grows IV: The Development of Musicianship
  • Explore how theory/musicianship skills are developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:45 The Tree Grows V: The Development of Creativity
  • Explore how creativity is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B
11:45 – 12:30 The Tree Grows VI: The Development of Ear Training and Sight Reading
  • Explore how ear training and sight-reading skills are developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:45 Preparation Activities: When and What
  • A suggested timeline for preparation of new concepts will be followed by favorite preparation activities.
2:45 – 3:15 Lesson Planning—Making It All Happen
  • Effective lesson planning allows for engaging, efficient teaching. Explore creative strategies for maximizing lesson time and confidently approaching each lesson.
3:15 – 4:00 Breakout Session: Lesson Planning
  • Small groups will develop and share sample lesson plans.
4:00-4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:00 Beyond the Elementary Level: A Look at Music Tree 3 and Music Tree 4
  • The Music Tree extends to the early-intermediate level with the several books that make up the Music Tree 3 and Music Tree 4 collections. This session will guide participants through this comprehensive curriculum.
5:00 – 5:30 Reflection Discussion and Closing Remarks

Wednesday, August 5
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 9:45 Welcome/History/Pedagogical processes
  • Learn about the rich background of authors Frances Clark and Louise Goss as well as the pedagogical influences that have shaped this groundbreaking library of innovative teaching materials.
9:45 – 10:45 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part I
  • An in-depth exploration of Time to Begin including performance of repertoire and teaching strategies, along with an overview of how each element of complete musicianship is included from the very first lesson.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part II
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on-site
1:00 – 2:00 The Tree Grows I: The Development of Reading
  • Explore how reading is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
2:00 – 3:00 The Tree Grows II: The Development of Rhythm
  • Explore how rhythm is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 3:45 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree: Rehearsal Time
  • Small groups will rehearse repertoire, including teacher/student duets.
3:45 – 4:30 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree: Masterclass
  • This masterclass will feature performances of solos and duets from The Music Tree with coaching on ensemble procedure and musical expression.
4:30 – 5:30 Supplementing the Music Tree
  • A selection of materials which can effectively supplement The Music Tree will be shared and discussed.
5:30 – 7:40 Pizza Party, Introduction of New Repertoire and Breakout Sessions
  • The art of an effective introduction of new repertoire will be explored, followed by practice-teaching in small groups.
Tuesday, August 4
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:00 The Tree Grows III: The Development of Technique
  • Explore how technique is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
10:00 – 10:45 The Tree Grows IV: The Development of Musicianship
  • Explore how theory/musicianship skills are developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:45 The Tree Grows V: The Development of Creativity
  • Explore how creativity is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B
11:45 – 12:30 The Tree Grows VI: The Development of Ear Training and Sight Reading
  • Explore how ear training and sight-reading skills are developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:45 Preparation Activities: When and What
  • A suggested timeline for preparation of new concepts will be followed by favorite preparation activities.
2:45 – 3:15 Lesson Planning—Making It All Happen
  • Effective lesson planning allows for engaging, efficient teaching. Explore creative strategies for maximizing lesson time and confidently approaching each lesson.
3:15 – 4:00 Breakout Session: Lesson Planning
  • Small groups will develop and share sample lesson plans.
4:00-4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:00 Beyond the Elementary Level: A Look at Music Tree 3 and Music Tree 4
  • The Music Tree extends to the early-intermediate level with the several books that make up the Music Tree 3 and Music Tree 4 collections. This session will guide participants through this comprehensive curriculum.
5:00 – 5:30 Reflection Discussion and Closing Remarks

MarvinBlickenstaff  August 5-7    Practical Piano Pedagogy in Mandarin

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome: Dr. Jennifer Snow, Executive Director, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy
10:05 – 10:10 Opening Remarks: Mr. Marvin Blickenstaff
10:15 – 11:30 Off to a Great Start: Promoting Success in the New Teaching Year (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • This session discusses ways to plan for the new teaching year with thoughts on curriculum, practice, and lesson structure. In September, we can plan for the success of the new teaching year for each student. Without careful planning, student progress may be haphazard, filled with false starts, and lack focus and direction.
11:35 – 12:50 Movement and the Elementary Pianist (Amy Glennon)
  • Whole-body movement is a core component to elementary piano study in the development of pulse, musical expression, technique, and listening skills. Additionally, movement activities provide an opportunity to get off the bench during private and group lessons and refocus attention. Participants will explore a variety of movement activities described by the instructor.
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch at the New School for Music Study
2:00 - 3:30 The Essentials of a Good Lesson (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • An effective lesson touches on numerous elements such as technique, reading, and rhythm preparation. This session outlines these basic elements and demonstrates how they can be incorporated into a 30- or 45-minute lesson.
3:30 – 3:45 Break 3:45 – 4:30 Teaching Demonstration (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Legendary teacher Marvin Blickenstaff will work with an intermediate student, demonstrating the teaching essentials of a good lesson.
4:30 – 5:00 Reflection Discussion: The Essentials of a Good Lesson

Thursday, August 6, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:30 Foundational Pedagogy: The Teaching/Learning Process (Amy Glennon)
  • This session focuses on the development of a clear educational philosophy which provides the framework for working with beginners at the piano. Specific topics include physiology, cognition, effective use of language, communication, and ways in which a carefully crafted first lesson can set the stage for successful and joyous piano study.
10:30 – 11:10 Reflection Discussion: The Teaching/Learning Process
11:15 – 12:30 Untangling the Hands: Innovative Ideas for Fingering (Dr. Charl Louw)
  • Discover new ideas for fingering that will facilitate effective hands-together scale coordination. Learn how innovations in fingering principles can solve technical problems from beginning to advanced repertoire levels. Specific examples from standard teaching repertoire will be explored.
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:40 Celebrating Beethoven: Repertoire for the Advancing Pianist (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • A sequential exploration of standard and lesser-known repertoire by Beethoven and his contemporaries. This session will include in-depth demonstrations of teaching strategies
2:45– 3:45 Creativity and the Development Pianist
  • Explore composition projects for beginning and intermediate pianists which are designed to unlock the creative potential in even the most reluctant composers. This session will include a packet of composition “starters” and videotaped examples of student compositions.
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:15 Masterclass: Focus on Beethoven (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Seminar participants will perform selections from Beethoven’s teaching repertoire, under the guidance of Marvin Blickenstaff.
Friday, August 7, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:15 Teaching Little Ears to Hear (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Elementary piano instruction focuses primarily on teaching little fingers to play and teaching little eyes to read. What is often missing in the curriculum is aural development. This session explores ways in which teachers can stimulate and guide listening skills—from the very first lesson.
10:20 – 10:50 Questions and Answers with Marvin Blickenstaff
  • Participants are invited to ask Marvin Blickenstaff any questions about the content of this summer intensive and applications to teaching.
11:00 – 12:15 Beethoven Recital (Conference Participants)
  • Conference participants will perform selections from the rich canon of Beethoven’s teaching repertoire.
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch

MusicTree  August 7-8    Understanding the Music Tree in Mandarin

Friday, August 7, 2020
1:30 – 2:45 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part I
  • An in-depth exploration of Time to Begin including performance of repertoire and teaching strategies, along with an overview of how each element of complete musicianship is included from the very first lesson.
2:45- 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:15 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part II
4:15 – 4:30 Break
4:30 – 5:45 The Tree Grows: The Development of Reading
  • Explore how reading is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B
Saturday, August 8, 2020
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments
9:00 – 10:15 TheTree Grows: The Development of Rhythm
  • Explore how rhythm is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B
10:15 – 10:55 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree Rehearsal Time
11:00 – 12:00 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree Masterclass
  • This masterclass will feature performances of solos and duets from The Music Tree with coaching on ensemble procedure and musical expression.
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 1:55 The Tree Grows: The Development of Creativity
  • Explore how creativity if developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B
2:00 – 3:00 The Tree Grows: The Development of Ear Training and Sight Reading
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:30 Preparation Activities: What and When
  • A suggested timeline for preparation of new concepts will be followed by favorite preparation activities.
4:30 – 5:45 Introduction of New Repertoire and Breakout Sessions
  • The art of an effective introduction of new repertoire will be explored, followed by practice-teaching in small groups.
5:45 – 6:00 Closing Remarks

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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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