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#2045849 - 03/10/13 10:26 AM MTNA Convention  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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So far, so good. Ahn trio performed last night. Absolutely delightful. Played nothing composed before 1985! Many selections composed in 2000s.



"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
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#2046000 - 03/10/13 03:31 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
I rounded a corner this morning at the Disney convention centre, and there he was in the flesh, PW's senior statesman piano teacher, with his wife! John's wise posts were what inspired me to join this board in the first place. The two of us, or the three of us, will make time to get together at some point over the next couple of days here in Neverland. Trade notes, and get better acquainted.

Maybe I'll even get John to go up to Jennifer Eklund's booth with me, and we can flash the PW gang hand signals.

I find that making one or two connections with fine people is usually worth more in content than the official MTNA sessions themselves.


Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 03/10/13 03:34 PM.
#2046122 - 03/10/13 07:20 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Hope to hear from other attendees. Peter, thanks for reminding me about Jennifer.

Alfred's showcase was unbelievable. Anderson and Roe performed several duets and Greg introduced some of his new duet transcriptions, which they played. And then autographed copies for my students (rather advanced, but that's fine).

For those of you who've never heard or attended a Peter Mack masterclass, a shame. He is one wow of a teacher and we're most fortunate to have him in the Seattle area.

Looking for one hand material for that student who engages in sports, in spite of your specific instructions to stay away from hand sports, and now only has use of one hand? Melody Bober has put together a fabulous set of graded one-hand works which are actually quite suitable for recital repertoire. She has 6 levels, late elementary through early advance, and four selections for each hand. She's also put together some trios, 6 hands, one piano.

Attended a rather boring presentation on Bach works for advancing students, but the team of three presenters actually managed to present a number of real gems of ideas for working with students. I'll have to rethink my teaching order in some cases. FWIW, my teacher (when I was in grade 7 - 9), had me learn all 15 Inventions. In retrospect, that was actually a good thing, though at the time, I was bored out of my gourd.

More later.

PS Nancy Bacchus' (sorry if I've misspelled this) presentation on technique had a number of jewels of ideas. You never walk out of a presentation without learning at least one valuable idea.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2046204 - 03/10/13 10:04 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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malkin Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
...one wow of a teacher ...

*sticking this phrase in my pocket for future use*

Need to see pictures of you guys or else I might believe you do not exist.
Wishing you weather nice enough to enjoy southern California, but not so nice that you regret spending entire days indoors at the convention.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2046342 - 03/11/13 04:29 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
I met Jennifer Eklund in her trade show booth today. She's a lovely young Orange County indy piano teacher, clearly positioning her teaching as both fun and recreational, versus the young overachiever model we keep reading about.

She has published her own several volumes of graded materials, all using folk songs and arranged classical selections. She had never attended a trade show before, but is quite successful selling her materials via the Internet. Brava!


#2046349 - 03/11/13 05:00 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Nikolas Offline
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Nikolas  Offline
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UK
Wish I was there... frown

[/Jealous Nikolas]

#2046406 - 03/11/13 09:51 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Jennifer Eklund Offline
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SoCal
It was great chatting with you Peter I'm glad that you stopped by! Stay in touch! (...and hey I wish you would have flashed some PW hand signals -- that would have really thrown me off!)

Last edited by Jennifer Eklund; 03/11/13 09:52 AM.

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#2046460 - 03/11/13 12:36 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
Full disclosure: I bought a bunch of books from Jennifer, and took one of her freebie retractable pens. At present she doesn't offer fridge magnets.

John and I are having lunch today!

#2046519 - 03/11/13 03:06 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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LadyChen Offline
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Canada
Oh Peter.. you and your freebies wink.

Originally Posted by Nikolas
Wish I was there...

[/Jealous Nikolas]


Ditto!

#2046611 - 03/11/13 06:24 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Okay, I've been having a devil of a time trying to upload photos to piano world, so going back to flickr. Here's a shot of Peter at lunch today.

[Linked Image]


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2046620 - 03/11/13 06:32 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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[Linked Image]
Peter & myself after lunch


[Linked Image]
Jennifer Ecklund at her booth.


[Linked Image]
Carlos and dad at this booth.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2046648 - 03/11/13 07:30 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Stanny Offline
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Great pictures! I'm wishing I could have been there!


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
#2046671 - 03/11/13 08:40 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Iowa City, IA
So jealous! Great to see everyone having a good time, though!


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2046675 - 03/11/13 09:14 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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malkin Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Splendid! Thank you for the pictures.
Seeing is believing.
smile


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2046699 - 03/11/13 09:57 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: malkin]  
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Barb860 Offline
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northern California
Great photos! thanks for sharing!


Piano Teacher
#2046731 - 03/11/13 10:52 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
John just blew my cover with these photos. Actually his wife did. But meeting them was worth it. I don't know if we were mostly talking shop, or just getting acquainted, but today's lunch lasted more than 2 hours, sans alcohol.

Yea, Piano World!

#2046773 - 03/12/13 12:59 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Olympia, Washington, USA
I just realized I don't have any piano pictures. Will see what I can get tomorrow.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2046781 - 03/12/13 01:17 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Nikolas Offline
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UK
John you look great! ^_^ just that! smile

#2046785 - 03/12/13 01:22 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
Joined: Jan 2013
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Moosic Studio Offline
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Moosic Studio  Offline
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John it was a pleasure meeting you!

Thanks for stopping by and breaking in your new camera with a great picture of me and my dad.


Best,
Carlos Fontiveros
Twitter: @MoosicStudio

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#2047263 - 03/12/13 09:27 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Moosic Studio]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Olympia, Washington, USA
Carlos, my new camera is altogether too complicated. Too many bells and whistles. Thankfully, you and Jennifer came out okay.

Update - this morning Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe gained new appreciation for the difficult job of teaching. How so, you ask? They did a master class with three different duos. The first duo was a pair of 10 year olds. Played technically correctly, but with no feeling or emotion (Spanish Dance). How you get 10 yr olds to respond is completely different than 12 yr olds which is completely different than 16 yr olds. Like myself, many teachers in the audience were visibly and audibly upset. Had they called on some teachers from the audience, told them what they wanted to accomplish with the young students, their eyes would have popped with amazement at what we can do and achieve with that age group.

Now, in fairness to A&R, they were wonderfully spot on with their advice, and when the students began to get what they were wanting, their musicality did improve immensely. And if I had to guess, this was their baptism by fire. I'd wager they've never worked with the very young. They had two other duos who were both older and more in-tune with the images which A&R were presenting. With these two duos, the results were simply amazing.

My point, before anyone begins to dump, is that working with the young and very young is quite different and needs different approaches. Thank goodness for forums like this where we can openly discuss these problems.

Attended a workshop on contemporary music, eg, music from 1970 to present. Phyllis Lehrer from Westminster College was the presenter. Loved the new music she presented. I believe she has a listing of same on a website, but don't have time at the moment to search it out.

Final presentation was cancelled. Weather/travel/illness conspired to keep the presenter from reaching Anaheim. Did manage to attend a second Alfred workshop, with Dennis Alexander, Robert D. Vandall, Catherin Rollin and Dan Coates. Many new and useful study pieces and four hand selections which should inspire students who need a bit extra motivation.

Tonight, Anderson and Roe are presenting a major concert. One of the numbers is the same as the masterclass, a Mozart Sonata for four hands. Greg openly admitted that playing Mozart well was far and away more difficult than virtually any other composer.

Tomorrow or Thursday, I'll give a highly personal wrap up, and I certainly hope the other attendees will chime in with their own personal observations.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2047432 - 03/13/13 02:28 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Peter K. Mose  Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
I'll chime in to state the obvious: unfortunately we still grant well-known performers the opportunity to present master classes for which they may not be equipped as teachers, and at the expense of young students. It is quite possible that duo-pianists Anderson & Roe have zero experience as teachers. It is also likely that dozens of convention piano teachers attending this morning's master class could have done a better job helping those young people. I daresay John could have!


#2047672 - 03/13/13 01:27 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Jennifer Eklund Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
I'll chime in to state the obvious: unfortunately we still grant well-known performers the opportunity to present master classes for which they may not be equipped as teachers, and at the expense of young students. It is quite possible that duo-pianists Anderson & Roe have zero experience as teachers. It is also likely that dozens of convention piano teachers attending this morning's master class could have done a better job helping those young people. I daresay John could have!



I heard the exact same critique of that master class from *many* of my teacher friends!


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#2047728 - 03/13/13 03:32 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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LadyChen Offline
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That's too bad, especially considering what a master pedagogue could have accomplished with the young musicians -- and ironic considering it was at a teaching convention. I hope all the attendees will mention it on the post-conference surveys so the organizers can make improvements to the next conference. It seems to be an unfortunate fad to have 'celebrity' performers give master classes frown. I see a lot of this in the singing field as well.

#2047751 - 03/13/13 04:17 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: LadyChen]  
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The Monkeys Offline
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I think it is OK to have 'celebrity' performers give master classes.

As long as the topic is about the technique of how to get famous smile

#2047764 - 03/13/13 05:00 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Can somebody who was there describe what happened exactly with that "bad" master class?


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2047786 - 03/13/13 05:45 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Minniemay Offline
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Not everyone is a Marvin Blickenstaff. Too bad for those kids.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#2047806 - 03/13/13 06:30 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Nikolas Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Can somebody who was there describe what happened exactly with that "bad" master class?
I'd also be curious to know...

#2047842 - 03/13/13 07:37 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: Nikolas]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Guys, it wasn't a Bad masterclass. If you reread my original post carefully, you'll see that they had a difficult time relating to 10 year old students. Their brains are attuned to working with grad musicians at a top conservatory. This doesn't necessarily work well with 10 yr olds. The other two duos went very well.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2048589 - 03/15/13 06:54 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Guys, it wasn't a Bad masterclass. If you reread my original post carefully, you'll see that they had a difficult time relating to 10 year old students. Their brains are attuned to working with grad musicians at a top conservatory. This doesn't necessarily work well with 10 yr olds. The other two duos went very well.

Well, in my experience, the problem with master classes that include such young students is there's not much you can do to/with them in such a short amount of time. I've observed a few master classes led by extremely experienced teachers, who did a stunningly wonderful job facilitating the master class, yet the kids just sat there confused and not much was accomplished.

In one class, it was revealed that the kids can't start the music from bar 32 because they memorized the whole thing from the beginning and are poor sight readers. In another class, it was revealed that the kids have such poor language skills, no amount of concrete imagery or descriptive instruction from the master teacher ever got through to the kids. In another class it was rather obvious the kids were so frightened by the entire audience staring at them, that they ended up playing poorly.

Experiences like these made me question the value of master classes for such young kids.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2048614 - 03/15/13 08:00 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: AZNpiano]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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That's a good point. We don't know the language skills of the students. But FWIW, one of the two had quite the twinkle in her eye and I believe she was beginning to grasp what Greg and Elizabeth were telling her. A better approach for A&R would have been to have had a short conversation with the two before beginning the "lesson." They might have asked about how they liked Disneyland, had they gone on any rides? etc. From there, they could have asked which was more fun, just riding around on a flat train ride or riding on the roller coaster. That could have been the spring board for why composers use fermatas, have slower and faster sections, why performers take liberties with tempi, in the right places, and use dynamics in performance. Anyway, if there were difficulties with language, starting out with a conversation would have clued A&R into the fact, and they could have modified their approach.

One other point - there is nothing in the book which says the masterclass teacher cannot include the student's teacher in the conversation. And why not? Who is more familiar with the student's learning process than their regular teacher? That was one thing WPPC did, which I thought made a lot of sense. The teacher was often on the stage right along with the student.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2048761 - 03/15/13 03:23 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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luv2teach Offline
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Maybe A & R need to observe Ingrid Clarfield give a master class with young students. She also was there in Anaheim and as usual, did a great job communicating with those younger performers.

#2048820 - 03/15/13 06:06 PM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: luv2teach]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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I really wanted to watch Ingrid's class, but I have yet learned how to clone myself and be in two places at once.

There was an interesting presentation on teaching Bach, from the easiest levels to the WTC and Goldberg Variations. Most interesting. One thing which surprised me was that they placed the French Suites after the Sinfonias (3 pt inventions), and omitted the English Suites completely. I usually teach at least one of the French Suites before allowing the student to move into the Sinfonias. Just one teacher's opinion, however!


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2048947 - 03/16/13 12:38 AM Re: MTNA Convention [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Minniemay Offline
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I do the same, John! Great minds think alike, I guess. smile


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
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