2020 Pedagogy/Performance Path

Fred Karpoff

Little Hands: Establishing Great Technique From the Beginning

One of the greatest challenges piano teachers face is instilling a great technical foundation with child beginners. Most youngsters lack adequate muscle definition in addition to coordination. How can teachers best establish good habits from the first lesson, and reinforce them going forward? Fred’s mission is to help teachers become confident in addressing any technical problem you may encounter. He’ll share his latest research on incorporating whole-body, three-dimensional technique, specifically for the young beginner. Video with students will amplify demonstrations on sitting position, arm weight, portato, the sound point, tone production, the basic vibrato motion, shaping, two-note slurs and more, including recommended repertoire.

Initially mentored by Yoheved Kaplinsky to rethink his approach to piano playing after a career threatening injury, Fred Karpoff has continued to develop his multi-dimensional approach to piano teaching and technique. Combining elements of Tai chi, the Alexander Technique, and the Feldenkrais Method® with the work of many piano pedagogues, he now guides teachers and students toward more efficient, healthful, and expressive piano playing. Professor of Piano at Syracuse University, former USIA Artistic Ambassador to six countries, and Steinway Artist who has performed extensively on four continents, Fred received MTNA’s Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award as the artistic producer of 3-D Piano: The Three-Dimensional Pianist and its online successor, Entrada Piano Technique.

Bradley Sowash

Preparing Pianists for Jazz Band

How does a pianist move from practicing alone to playing in a jazz band? This PDF explains the skills needed to play in the rhythm section of a larger jazz ensemble including how to voice chords, what scales to play when improvising, and stock accompaniments and grooves for the main jazz styles.

Bradley Sowash is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator known for his innovative online group jazz piano classes, widely-acclaimed keyboard improvisation books, and as the co-founder of 88 Creative Keys workshops and webinars for music teachers.

Carol Matz
Carol Matz

For Teachers Who Want to Compose

Have you ever wanted to write pieces for your students, or even try to self-publish your own compositions? Learn tips and strategies from composer Carol Matz, with an eye on understanding how to learn composition in order to more effectively teach composition. Carol will help tap into your creativity and give you insight into creating pedagogically sound piano pieces.

Carol Matz has composed, authored, and arranged over 400 published titles for piano students. An experienced piano teacher herself, Carol has presented numerous piano-teaching workshops throughout the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Australia. She is well known for her Famous & Fun series (published by Alfred Music). Carol studied composition, arranging, and orchestration at the University of Miami, and has written for a variety of ensembles including orchestra, jazz big band, brass quintet, and string quartet.

Dr. Christopher Madden

Baby Boomers: An Increasing Segment of Your Studio

With 75,820,000 baby boomers entering retirement, America is witnessing an enormous population that has more free time than at any point in history. Increasingly, baby boomers are seeking out activities such as piano lessons in order to stay mentally and physically active. This workshop presents strategies for teaching adults successfully and explores why adult teaching will become increasingly important in the coming decades.

Christopher Madden, DMA, is currently Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he teaches piano pedagogy, keyboard skills, and applied piano. He has performed in festivals and master classes throughout the United States, Italy, and Canada. He has published articles in Clavier Companion and American Music Teacher, and presented research at NCKP, Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium, and MTNA.   He is interested in andragogy, both as a teacher and a researcher. Dr. Madden has his DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, University of Oklahoma; MM in Piano Pedagogy, Florida State University; MA in Music Theory/History, and BM in Piano Performance, Pennsylvania State University.

Thomas Lanners
Thomas Lanners

The Benefits of Demonstrating in Lessons: Finding Imaginative Ways to Illustrate Any Concept

Demonstrating musical and technical concepts in lessons, whether through playing passages for students or by other more imaginative means, can bring to life concepts that had previously only been described verbally. Because the elusive, almost indescribable aspects of music are what make it so uniquely moving and appealing, an effective demonstration can substitute for a great deal of potentially confusing verbiage. Singing, conducting, and movement combined with visual, aural and tactile imagery and a host of other approaches, may efficiently resolve a wide range of difficulties.

Thomas Lanners, Professor of Piano at Oklahoma State University, is active as a solo and collaborative pianist, recording artist, author, teacher and clinician throughout the U.S. and abroad. His performances have been broadcast nationally and internationally. Lanners has presented sessions at numerous MTNA and MusicEdConnect.com conferences, among many others. He served on the festival faculties and presented master classes in Sicily, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing. American Music Teacher and Clavier have published his feature articles. Thomas holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

George Litterst
George Litterst
Stella Sick

The Lives and Times of MORE Women Who Dared to Compose

Watch Session Trailer They went by many names: Cecilia, Helénè, Fanny, Marianne, Maria, and Amy. Although sometimes praised for their musical talent during their youth, they typically discovered that the life of a composer was reserved for a man. Nonetheless, they composed anyway. Some of these works have been lost to the winds of time, and others have been covered by the dust of obscurity. However, the stories of these remarkable women deserve to be told. Join Stella Sick and George Litterst for an intimate visit to the homes, music rooms, and salons of these composers!New session for 2020 with MORE composers!

Dr. Stella Sick holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Minnesota. A pioneer in the field of long distance instruction, Dr. Sick teaches piano locally and nationwide. She has been a Managing Director of the International Piano-e-Competition in Minnesota since 2004. A member of the Royal Conservatory College of Examiners and an active performer, Stella is an adjunct assistant instructor at Hamline University. George Litterst is a well known music educator in the United States. A frequent clinician at national music educator conferences (such as MTNA and NCKP), he is an author, performer, and music software developer. A classically-trained pianist, he presents multimedia performances on technology-equipped acoustic pianos. For many years, he has been an associate editor for Clavier Companion and co-author of the Random Access column for American Music Teacher. As a music software developer, he is co-author of the intelligent music display app, SuperScore, and other software products from TimeWarp Technologies.  

George Litterst
George Litterst
Arthur Houle
Arthur Houle

The Unknown Clementi Sonatinas

In 1797, Muzio Clementi published his famous “Six Progressive Sonatinas for the Piano Forte, Op. 36,” works that are widely known and studied. Interestingly, these works were published at least 8 times by Clementi’s publishing company. Over the course of time, errors and corrections were introduced. Then, in about 1815, Clementi published a so-called “5th Edition” with “considerable improvements by the author.” These fascinating and sometimes radical “improvements” are rarely seen in contemporary publications. They were inspired in large part by the increase in range of the pianoforte from 5 to 5 ½ octaves. This lively session will cover the music, Clementi’s musical innovations, and his amazing role in the history of music as performer, educator, composer, publisher, and piano manufacturer.

Arthur Houle, DMA, is a professor of music at Colorado Mesa University where he teaches applied piano, piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, piano ensemble and accompanying techniques. He is founder and director of the Festival for Creative Pianists, a unique competition for young pianists that promotes classical and jazz improvisation, versatility, composition, individuality and repertory excellence in all styles. The festival’s website contains a treasure trove of educational information on how to incorporate more spontaneity and creativity into piano teaching and performing.  

George Litterst is a well known music educator in the United States. A frequent clinician at national music educator conferences (such as MTNA and NCKP), he is an author, performer, and music software developer. A classically-trained pianist, he presents multimedia performances on technology-equipped acoustic pianos. For many years, he has been an associate editor for Clavier Companion and co-author of the Random Access column for American Music Teacher. As a music software developer, he is co-author of the intelligent music display app, SuperScore, and other software products from TimeWarp Technologies.

Dr. Lynn Worcester

Repertoire Swaps: Advocating for Women Composers through Intermediate to Early Advanced Romantic and Impressionist Solo Piano Repertoire

Are you tired of assigning the same teaching repertoire year after year? Do you find that the repertoire you assign was composed mostly by men? In this session, we will look at how we can advocate for women composers through repertoire swaps—substituting standard piano repertoire composed by men with similar (and often more interesting!) repertoire by women. A range of intermediate to early advanced Romantic and Impressionist repertoire by six women will be discussed.

Dr. Lynn Worcester Jones serves as Assistant Professor, Keyboard Area Coordinator at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she teaches applied piano, piano repertoire, piano pedagogy, piano ensemble, and musicianship lab. Active as a performer, researcher and teacher she presents workshops at state, regional and national conferences, gives masterclasses, and adjudicates competitions and festivals. She has published articles in American Music Teacher, Piano Pedagogy Forum, and Clavier Companion. She holds degrees from The University of Oklahoma (DMA), Baylor University (MM), and California State University, Fullerton (BM, MM).