Piano World Home Page

NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27

Posted By: Peter K. Mose

NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 07/29/19 06:35 AM

It's not easy to describe this biannual conference, held in suburban Chicago. I'd say it's one of those all-you-can-eat piano teacher smorgasbords, where there were so many sessions that one could not attend even 20% of them.

So you pick and choose. I attended two sessions that each honored major figures in the US pantheon of children's teaching, Elvina Truman Pearce and James and Jane Bastien. Naively, I figured each session would be well attended. Wrong. These three are now pedagogues of the past, and the many 20-something US grad students and junior professors in attendance are likely more interested in the future.

Elderly, august British/Canadian musicologist Alan Walker presented a lovely, inspired talk about the majesty of Chopin, interspersing performance clips from some of his favored artists: his pantheon of Chopin players includes Arthur Rubinstein, Dinu Lipatti, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, and Murray Perahia.

More observations to follow, if they come to me.

http://www.keyboardpedagogy.org/national-conference-info2/conference-schedule



Peter
Posted By: malkin

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 07/29/19 12:02 PM

Thanks for the report.
I love the insight into the mysterious shadowy world of piano teachers.
Posted By: Peter K. Mose

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 07/29/19 04:10 PM

Thanks, malkin. The US has turned beginner-level teaching of children into a cottage industry over the past 50 years, and various universities do their part in turning out technocrats. Northwestern U, U of Illinois, U of Oklahoma, and Southern Methodist U are four schools that come to mind as having been major players in this little field.

There were 800 attendees at this congress, more than they have ever had. Nevertheless, my guess is that this piano pedagogy field is waning in N. America, with the decline of the piano. But it may be moving to Asia.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 07/31/19 11:38 AM

Thank you so much for the report. It is always interesting to read/learn the insights of such conferences. I would have loved to listen to Alan Walker's talk.
Posted By: keystring

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 07/31/19 03:56 PM

Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
The US has turned beginner-level teaching of children into a cottage industry over the past 50 years, and various universities do their part in turning out technocrats. Northwestern U, U of Illinois, U of Oklahoma, and Southern Methodist U are four schools that come to mind as having been major players in this little field..

I ran the three parts of this interesting sentence through my head a couple of times and found I couldn't quite get a handle on them, and so need to ask, in order to understand more. smile

- beginner level teaching turning into cottage industry - I'd always thought that this was a main thing that it has always been. Like, the teacher in the little house who makes a living starting kids at the piano in her living room, or at a rural home. So I thought that is what it has always been. But you may be meaning something different; more trained? more specialized? or?

- in terms of piano teaching, what is a technocrat

(I guess the major players are for turning out technocrats? Unless cottage industry teaching being pictured here is not self-styled self-developed teaching but gets trained or turned out in a few central locations).
Posted By: Peter K. Mose

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 08/01/19 05:14 AM

Oh-oh, someone who actually reads my posts and expects them to be coherent. Keystring, I'll try to decipher my text.

Anybody can teach piano in our part of the world. You just get yourself a student or two, and start charging money. Et voila, you have become a piano teacher.

But if you actually want to study how to teach piano, it's trickier. You could arrange a private apprenticeship with a successful piano teacher in your area. This is rarely done, but it could be very effective.

In Canada, one could pursue a piano teaching diploma via the Royal Conservatory system, pursued at one's own pace of self-study.The U of Toronto offers a master's program, and perhaps a couple other Cdn. schools do as well. But in the US, there are literally dozens of music schools, colleges, and universities offering certificates, diplomas, and degrees in piano teaching. (There used to be even more, 30 or 40 years ago.) These are the cottage industry I meant. To me it's hard to judge what would constitute a worthy program of study to become a piano teacher, but several US universities mentioned in my OP have made their mark nonetheless. They generally have created community music schools - mostly after-school and Saturday programs for young people - under the umbrella of their music departments, as a sort of piano lab for their would-be piano teachers.

I used the word technocrat as a catch-all to embrace piano teacher-trainers, the professors running these programs. They aren't well known to the public, but there are lots of 'em in the US.
Posted By: Peter K. Mose

Re: NCKP Pedagogy Conference: July 24-27 - 08/01/19 05:25 AM

I forgot to mention one of the most impressive sessions of the conference: it was a public 30-minute piano lesson of an older adolescent boy severely compromised intellectually on the autism spectrum. He loves the piano, and demonstrated a remarkable ear, but teaching him is a major challenge of communication.

He had flown in from South Carolina, to get onstage for a lesson in front of several hundred piano teachers, with his regular weekly teacher, a special-needs piano professor named Scott Price (U of South Carolina). The two of them were miked, and video-ed live on large screens for us, and somehow they managed to have an intimate rapport and successful piano lesson in spite of all. Very special teaching.

https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/music/faculty-staff/Price.php
© 2019 Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums