From the 2017 WMTA Conference

This year's conference is in Madison! It's always great to connect with my WMTA friends, but I always get some great ideas as well.

Yoga with Dr. Paola Savvidou - this was a great morning session with a bit of stretching. Getting our students to be more aware of their bodies is only going to make them play better. Paola has a new book out, so definitely worth checking out. Piano and Yoga

Next session I attended was by Professor Kautsky from Lawrence University. I always leave Catherine's presentations inspired to read more. She is such an intelligent person, her speaking is so descriptive and colorful.

After lunch we got to hear Jennifer Linn. She showed us a number of pieces to help prepare students to play French works, that is a blog post I would love to do in the future. She has composed a number of really great pieces, definitely worth putting on a student's repertoire list. Also had some ideas like students making videos to go with their pieces I also really liked her slide showing three different paintings of the same church with different colors. Great way to show a visual for the color we try to show in piano playing.

Next was a presentation by Aeron Ogden. Extremely well thought processes on communicating practice expectations with parents and students. I loved the reiteration that we always need to remember piano playing is a skill. We are not born with it, it is about how we practice it and how we teach our students to practice and assess themselves. That is what makes them life long musicians, giving them the skills and tools to learn, not just teaching them pieces of music. His All Star program is all about developing intrinsic motivation in students through very clearly laid out, constant and positive reflection. Here is a link to the program, definitely worth looking at. All Star Program I agree wholeheartedly that we need to think about our practicing much more like training for a sport.

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