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#2250007 - 03/21/14 03:01 PM MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Toronto, Ontario
Are some of the PW fraternity attending? I will be there. Please say hi if you see me. Last year I met John v.d. Brook and Jennifer Eklund.

MTNA = Music Teachers National Assn (an American organization of some 20,000 teachers, most of them self-employed piano teachers)

mtna.org
https://members.mtna.org/conference2014/index.html

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 03/21/14 03:02 PM.
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#2258136 - 04/07/14 12:51 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Toronto, Ontario
I have been meaning to write a short wrap-up...

There were about 1100 teachers registered - a good turnout - plus another 600 people who were exhibitors at the trade show, kids in competitions, etc. The teachers tend to be nearly all piano teachers, with a split of maybe 60/40 (?) between private studio teachers and those connected to a college or university. Most everyone is American, or based in the US.

The array of offerings on paper is exciting and bewildering, and there are always several sessions scheduled at any one hour, so that a registrant must pick and choose, and constantly feel frustrated by missing something more enlivening. It's impolite to walk out during a session, so usually I stuck out each session I attended, even if the session proved tedious. And many are tedious.

I met a young piano teacher - a grad student in piano pedagogy from Ohio - on my first day: she was seated next to me at one session, and I introduced myself. She said she was here for the first time. I didn't want to disappoint her too much, so I said: "Carol, enjoy yourself here at your first MTNA conference. Each subsequent year you attend it will get less interesting, believe me." She looked crestfallen; maybe I shouldn't have said it.

A few highlights...

* Bruce Berr gave a session called "Teaching the Emotional Aspects of Form" that was interesting. It was geared to helping young performers understand and project large-scale form through expression of musical themes. Berr is an inquisitive, gentle fellow, and not dogmatic. He is clearly excited about his discoveries. If you have a chance to engage him to speak to your local teacher organization, you would not be disappointed.

* Paul Sheftel sat at the piano for an hour and played through snatches of many Haydn piano sonatas, along with his witty banter about them. Of those sixty or so sonatas, most of us teachers are familiar with at most a handful of them.

* Jason Sifford and Alan Huckleberry gave a rousing talk about their insanely ambitious goal to record for YouTube some 9000 graded piano teaching pieces - pieces that most of us might encounter at some point or other in our teaching career. Clementi, Kabalevsky, Bach little preludes, William Gillock and Lynn Olson repertoire, etc. These two fellows were most affable, and most amusing, yet extremely committed to their cause, the so-called University of Iowa Piano Pedagogy Project. (Jason is the PW moderator known as Kreisler.)

* The Recreational Music Making (RMM) folks were there, extolling their lowest-common-denominator group approach to adult beginners and early intermediates. If you want to make more money teaching piano, this might be something for you to explore, in partnership with a piano store.

Far and away the best thing I did in Chicago was to attend a concert of the Chicago Symphony. For only $52, I was seated in the fourth row, a few feet away from conductor Riccardo Muti, as he led the Schubert Unfinished Symphony, and CSO principal cellist John Sharp, who played the Elgar Cello Concerto movingly. It was an after-work concert, with just two repertoire selections and no intermission. This world-standard orchestra, even on a ho-hum night, plays to a standard that is stupefying.





Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 04/07/14 01:58 PM.
#2258396 - 04/07/14 09:22 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,350
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,350
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Thanks for your report. I understand the point you made to the young teacher. A couple years ago I stopped going to presentations that were related to working with kids with autism, because there wasn't enough new information to make it worthwhile. At the ASHA speech and hearing convention there are always a few presentations about music as a treatment tool and music and the brain--so I always try to hit those!


I am quite a big fan of the UI Piano Pedagogy Project!


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

#2258416 - 04/07/14 10:06 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Toronto, Ontario
I forgot to mention the amusing fact that the conference that took over the Marriott after we music teachers departed was "Anxiety Disorders."

#2258424 - 04/07/14 10:21 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,109
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,109
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
I forgot to mention the amusing fact that the conference that took over the Marriott after we music teachers departed was "Anxiety Disorders."
Did you stay for that one too? smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2258630 - 04/08/14 11:25 AM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,012
Toronto, Ontario
I figured it was probably equally dull. But the catered food looked better.

#2258742 - 04/08/14 04:07 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Peter, thanks for the fine wrap up. Like you, I find attending these MTNA conferences not worth doing so on an annual basis. The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy is held every other year. Personally, the only conference I really got excited about was the World Piano Pedagogy Conference. Presenters were primarily from conservatories around the world, it was varied enough to suit many different styles of teaching and interests, but the sinking US economy took its toll and the Conference is no more.


"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
#2260818 - 04/12/14 07:24 PM Re: MTNA congress in Chicago, IL - March 22-26 [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Stanny  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Thanks for the report! The last one I attended was in NYC, so I think next year I'll try to attend in Vegas.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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