Workshops

Dr. Magdalena Adamek

Willing to do presentations via Zoom

Teaching Students Piano Technique and Musicianship Through the Eyes of Women Composers: Maria Szymanowska’s “Twenty Exercises and Preludes” and Clara Schumann’s “:Preludes, Exercises and Fugues.”

The widely accessible piano exercises by well-known composers (Czerny, Clementi, Hanon  Liszt, to name a few) are valuable resources to explore in the classroom and in the practice room. These exercises address many aspects of piano technique that are necessary to develop  finger dexterity,  hand flexibility, and a nuanced touch. Many of these exercises often offer repetitive formulas, which may appeal to students who seek a certain routine in their practice schedules. For those students who need that ‘extra motivation’ to grow as musicians, such exercises may not always  come across as completely fulfilling.

“Twenty Exercises and Preludes” by Polish composer and virtuoso and Clara Schumann’s “Preludes, Exercises and Fugues” provide a great array of technical elements that are beautifully crafted into character pieces featuring rich textures and alluring melodies. In these pieces, piano technique becomes integrated into the artistic concept, which can bring gratifying results for students and their teachers.

Building Blocks of Interpretation: Strategies to help Students Become Creative and Independent Learners and Interpreters of Music

In this session, we will identify the main principles of building a convincing interpretation. By using a variety of repertoire from the early intermediate to an advanced level, we will discuss how to choose effective voicings, line shapes, dynamics, rubatos, to help our students make good musical decisions early. In addition, we will try to answer the question whether allowing students musical freedom can become ‘too much’ at times, and what’s really at stake when it comes to shaping our students into competent interpreters.

Essentials of the Singing Tone

Piano is often considered a percussive instrument, however, this instrument possesses capability of singing, talking, and whispering due to its intricate mechanism, which seems to respond to variety of human emotions. Its range is powerful: from the softest pianissimos to resounding fortissimos.

Beautiful tone production remains a secret of every pianist. It makes each player stand out. It also stems from imagination combined with a conscious effort to use physical means to obtain it.

In this session, I will address the concept of a singing tone as it evolved historically. I will also discuss techniques and means to obtain it by demonstrating excerpts from a variety of the piano repertoire.

Chopin and his Dance Genres

While Chopin’s piano works reveal the composer’s connection with Europe’s musical traditions and influence of great masters of the past (such as Bach and Mozart), they also inspired by Polish culture and spirit. His interest in Polish popular music of that time, e.g., creative output of people of town and country, has led to masterful stylizations of Polish dances, such as the mazurka and the polonaise. Moreover, Chopin left his personal stamp on the widely popular genre of a waltz, where he combined features of this traditional dance with elements of mazurka, creating a “dance-hybrid.”

In this workshop I will attempt to answer the question what makes Chopin’s s mazurkas, polonaises, and even waltzes uniquely Polish and how to understand their peculiar rhythm and pacing. Furthermore, she will also address the artistic inspiration and influence of a Polish composer and virtuoso, Maria Szymanowska, who is the author of many salons piano pieces in the dance form.

Two Clicks Away: Piano Music of Our Time

Unveils a curated collection of 200 on-line performances of modern music by composers with diverse ethnic and national backgrounds and widely varying styles. Discover how easily teachers and students can explore this new world of sound.

Life after Lessons

What happens when lessons are over? Keyboard facility fades fast unless accompanied by sight-reading expertise plus the mental and physical ability to translate a page of notes into music. When should teachers think about this? And what should we do? An exploration of effective, easy-to-manage systems for training students in the sightreading and mapping skills they need to become life-long, active musicians—whatever their choice of profession may be.

Go Home & Practice!

It’s not enough to say, Go Home & Practice! How can we make practicing stimulating and enjoyable? What will motivate our students to take responsibility for practicing effectively? Examples at the piano of down-to-earth tips—what works best, how, when and why—from Breth publications and videos on practicing.

Technique without Tears

We need technique, we want technique, but we hate to practice technique…Unless we find a technique regimen that piques our interest, that motivates us, that even makes practicing technique enjoyable. Presenting a curriculum of studies and exercises for all levels is adaptable to any teacher’s philosophy, along with strategies that make it easier to teach and learn everything from scale fingerings to chromatic double thirds.

Sight-Reading for Life

No other skill matters more to the future musical life of our students. But sight-reading is rarely No. 1 on a teacher’s list of Must-Cover lesson topics. My solution, and the topic of this presentation: a studio sight-reading system that requires minimal administration and yields maximum results.

Mapping Music: the road to understanding

Map every new piece that you plan to study seriously. Some mapping tasks are simple and take only a few minutes, others take longer. But if you set aside 30 or 40 minutes to map a new piece the knowledge you gain from that will streamline your practicing, shorten the time it takes to learn the piece, and even lay the groundwork for memorization.

Memorizing Music: how to do it, why to do it, whether to do it

Memorizing music is second nature for some people and torture for others. We cannot make it easy for students who struggle with it, but we can fill them with strategies that lead to higher efficiency and better results. Meanwhile, we explore this question: should we continue to insist that pianists always perform from memory?

Inside the Inventions

An appreciation of the genius and beauty of Bach’s two-part Inventions, with tips on:

  • How to analyze an Invention and what this information reveals about choices of tempo, dynamics, articulation and fingering.
  • How to plan individual assignments that ease the way for a student while building his understanding of the structure.
  • What to do about ornamentation: when to use it, how to do it, how to increase facility.
  • What practice tips work best on common trouble spots.
  • How to build memorization skills tailored to contrapuntal music.

New World Symphony

Harmony, discord, conflict, resolution and joy in the life of a transfer student and his teacher. A walk through the all-important first year as The New Teacher: making the interview count, setting up for success, creating a safe environment, forging partnerships, getting down to business, managing surprises, building trust, celebrating success.

Two on a Bench: Duets from Primary Level to the Concert Stage

Duets double the music and triple the fun. But they also require special skills from teacher and student alike. This joint lecture-demonstration by Dr. Lisa Campi Walters and Nancy O’Neill Breth offers advice on team formation, lesson plans, repertoire, solo and team practice techniques and creative modes of instruction.

What I Wish I'd Known

Years of successes and failures give one perspective on what really matters—what is essential, what to let go; what works best pedagogically, personally and financially, and what makes our work matter to the world. Topics include technique, practicing, repertoire, business practices, personal relationships with students and colleagues, and possibilities for personal growth along the way.

Dr. Lise Keiter

Workshops

  • The Piano Music of Charles Griffes: “An American Impressionist”
  • The Piano Music of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, and which of her compositions are suited for intermediate-level pianists?
  • Memorization Techniques
  • Piano or Chamber Music Master Class
  • Contact for other topics.

Bonnie Kellert, NCTM

Willing to do presentations via Zoom

Analyze and Memorize – Effective Hints for Successful Memorizing

With varied approaches toward the memorizing process, ideas encompass fundamental analysis in addition to more complicated ideas. Basic concepts can be used at any level. Multiple examples with Handouts include: Silent finger practice, Map Making with shorthand, Intervallic Inspection, Developing and Concentrating on Hints, Chord Cluster Groupings, Awareness of Phrase Direction and Shape, Choreography, Inventing Storylines, Color Coding, Leaning on Theoretical Knowledge. What to think about – that matters! “Analyze and Memorize” I tell my students. The benefits have been reaped in the results!

10 technical Issues Facing Pianists and Suggested Solutions

This lecture is not about exercises but rather features repertoire demonstrating various aspects of technical challenges including: Producing a wide palette of sounds and colors/ Controlling/ Staccato Touches/ Balancing Voices/ Developing Speed and Accuracy/ Playing octaves with ease/ Dealing with large leaps, and Redistributing Notes to accommodate small hands. Miss Kellert explores approaches and makes suggestions to solve these issues. The repertoire is mostly advanced but also includes teaching materials from the Advanced Beginner and Intermediate levels. Demonstrated concepts can be applied to all levels.

Composers represented include: Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, J.S. Bach, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

Approaching Technical Problems in Piano Literature – Suggested Solutions Show Description...

The following will be demonstrated and discussed in detail: Posture, Tone Production and Control, Choreography, Finger Strength and Independence, Wide Dynamic Palette, Endurance, Facility and Finger Power and Endurance. Suggested reading materials for teachers and varied exercises for beginning students to the more advanced. Detailed demonstrations of both exercises and piano repertoire, including specific suggestions for solving technical issues while avoiding injury.

Uncovering the Secrets of Pedaling

This presentation explores how pedaling directly affects Coloring, Sound Production and Mood. Miss Kellert demonstrates piano repertoire representing various composers and styles, from J.S. Bach to Beethoven, from Chopin to Debussy, and several Russian composers including Prokofiev, Scriabin, Kabalevsky and Rachmaninoff. Varied pedaling suggestions are offered so that the audience can make their own determination.

This lecture-recital supports the premise espoused by her teacher, Leon Fleisher: The pedal is the soul of the piano.

Falling in Love with Mendelssohn / The Beauty of the Songs Without Words

Miss Kellert performs and discusses examples that demonstrate Mendelssohn’s dramatic devices for expression, including: Sudden Dynamic Changes/ Fortzandos/ Surprise Harmonies. Other examples explore: Pedaling/Coloring / Vocal melodic influences/ Counterpoint/ Rhythmic Complexities, and Technical Demands, such as playing both the melody and accompaniment in the same hand. Suggestions for teaching and analyzing these works are discussed in addition to interpretative ideas. Redistribution and other ideas used for accommodating smaller hands.

How Can I Get My Students to Play Like THAT! Attaining Greater Performance in Young Musicians

Each student requires special attention regarding their individual needs and challenges. This lecture-demonstration encourages cultivation of their strengths by promoting proper practice habits, laying a strong foundation in all aspects of music making and adjusting for special needs when selecting repertoire. Miss Kellert demonstrates how to build a strong foundation, including posture, technique, tone production and musicianship. She explores goals and repertoire for individual students of diverse abilities. Teachers are encouraged to demonstrate for students, focusing on musicianship and stylistic interpretations, phrasing, listening skills, pedaling, tone control and a special attention to markings in the score. Miss Kellert explores ideas for tension free playing, and utilizing theoretical analysis to help with learning, memorizing and performing. Miss Kellert encourages students to develop facility, ease of playing and confidence, enhanced by musicianship and comprehension of style.

Attaining Greater Performance in Young Musicians (Achieving an Expressive Performance)

Each student requires special attention to individual needs and challenges. This lecture-demonstration encourages cultivation of their strengths by promoting proper practice habits, laying a strong foundation in all aspects of music and keeping special needs in mind when selecting repertoire. Suggestions include: Demonstrate for your students and share listening time with them/ Focus on musicianship, including interpretation, phrasing, listening skills, pedaling, tone control, stylistic differences/ Help students build a solid technical foundation geared toward proper posture, appropriate hand and finger position and relaxed arms. These are just the basics, but help develop sound production, facility, ease of playing and so forth. All levels are explored with specific suggestions for attaining goals for individual students of diverse abilities.

Chopin and Panache

This presentation offers performances of Chopin’s music demonstrating varied approaches to different aspects of his pianistic style. Ideas include: Pedaling/ Voicing/ Coloring/ Editions/ Technical Issues/ Practicing/ Multiple Suggestions for Interpretation of the same musical passages / Teaching Suggestions.

All levels of repertoire are represented, including the Posthumous Waltz in A minor and the easier Preludes. Featured works include: Selected Etudes, Waltzes, Mazurkas, Ballade # 4, Fantasie in F minor, and the C minor and B flat minor Nocturnes.

Inspiring Your Students and Yourself

All of us want our students to love and enjoy music as well as their piano lessons. How can we maintain their interests, motivate and encourage them, keep them practicing? How can we inspire ourselves? Miss Kellert’s suggestions include re-evaluating your studio, introducing new practice schemes, employing imagery, rewarding students, plus creative and fun research assignments. She offers fresh ideas to motivate the teacher and provides successful proposals for workshops that REALLY work! How can you light a fire under your students—and yourself? Kellert, with characteristic enthusiasm, offers more than two dozen proven examples from her studio. Come watch her light a fire under you, too!

Exploring Piano Repertoire: A new &revised Survey of Music for Elementary & Intermediate Students

Need new and fresh repertoire ideas for the coming year? This demonstration-presentation offers a unique opportunity to explore new repertoire ideas for your students and encompasses Easy to Intermediate level classical works from J.S. Bach to Bartok, Haydn and Turk to Alexandre Tansman and Kabalevsky, plus other Russian composers including Kabalevsky, Shostakovich and Khachaturian. American contemporary composers include Norman Dello Joio, William Gillock, Jon George, David Kraehenbuehl, Vincent Persichetti and John Robert Poe. Includes pedagogical issues, demonstrations, discussion of editions. Unusual selections and titles will delight: Jungle River Flowing, Lament, Seascape, Reflections and contemporary collections such as Splash of Color, A Day in the Park, Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style.

The extremely detailed handout provides titles, publishers, composers and comments by Kellert. Editions will be available for perusal.

Effective and Successful Practicing Ideas: Innovative Suggestions

Students often sit down to practice, start playing but have no purpose of thought or plan. Practicing is equivalent to Study and Problem Solving. As teachers, our responsibility is to demonstrate and teach effective practice techniques that can be applied by the student at home. Teachers should listen to their students practice as part of the lesson, making corrections and suggestions. In this way, students learn how to practice, what to listen for, and how to correct problems when on their own. Guide students to achieve maximum results with effective, purposeful and focused practicing. “Practice makes permanent!” Don’t let them waste time! Incorrect practicing needs constant correction, which necessitates unlearning what is unacceptable and relearning it. Motivate students and help them focus! Included are suggestions for solving specific problems, responsibilities of teachers, suggested ideas at the lessons, strategies for students and suggestions for parents.

Technical Challenges Facing Young Pianists: How to address them at the lesson and make them stick

This lecture offers strategies for teachers to show students how to practice technical challenges and to retain these concepts. Of foremost importance is detecting, distinguishing and determining a technical challenge before approaching and discovering solutions. Demonstration of basic technique includes posture, finger strength, sound production, articulation, evenly played scales & accuracy. Discussion embraces effective goals & clear solutions for motivating students to accomplish challenges, to select appropriate and individualized goals for each student so that established objectives can be accomplished. Suggestions: Watch students practice, Videotape teaching sessions. Good practice habits on a regular basis, developing LTM (Long Term Memory) and learning to listen, along with employing reliable concepts, are vital to success and will help preserve and retain dependable results.

Rediscovering Haydn: Listening, Analyzing and Performing His Music

Haydn’s music does not find itself programmed in a regular fashion: Is there a particular reason? This presentation will investigate varying interpretations and explore means of introducing Haydn to young piano students. Aspects of Performance Interpretation will include: Tempo and variations in the established tempo; Treatment of humorous qualities; Producing Tone colors; Crafting Character; Dealing with Fermatas; Creating Surprise Harmonies; Structuring Sequences; Articulating clear Ornaments and Sparkling Trills; Imparting an Improvisatory Feeling in slow movements. The Pedagogical approaches will encompass how to: Impart Haydn’s characteristics to our students; Deal with Tone Control; Secure dependable Trills; Depict a Sense of Humor; Create long, Melodic lines; Inject a sense of Improvisation in slow passages.

Some pianists’ interpretations include: Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, Alfred Brendel, Nikita Magaloff, Lief Ove Andsnes, Ivo Pogorelich, and Bonnie Kellert.

Fleisher and Schnabel

No description available.

Nancy Longmyer

Workshops

  • The Independent Music Teacher: A Guide to Financial Security.
  • The Independent Music Teacher: Setting Up a Music Studio and Maintaining It.
  • Setting Up an Independent Studio: Suggestions for Development, Successful Maintenance and Financial Security
    (This is a combination of the first two topics).
  • Teaching Student to Hear and Listen.
  • Teaching Students to Hear and Listen with Emphases on the Ear Testing Requirements of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the National Music Certificate Program.
  • Developing Sight Reading Skills.
  • Composer Collections for the Elementary and Early Intermediate Student.
  • The Skills Connection: Integrating Music Theory, Sightreading, Eartraining, and Keyboard Skills.

Dr. Eric Ruple

Franz Liszt, Harry Potter, and Musical Wizardry

The music of Liszt would seem to have nothing in common with the film scores for Harry Potter by John Williams, but whether preparing a solo program of Liszt’s music, or playing one of the keyboard parts with a professional orchestra, the challenges are can be of the highest order for both genres (while dealing with remarkably similar technical issues). This workshop explores examples from both, and includes discussion about the pianist playing in a large professional ensemble as a career option.

Scale Fingerings: The Great Taboo?

What could be more straight-forward, uncontroversial and boring than a discussion of scale fingerings? Well, just see what happens when you try to change them! And use logic to support the argument! This workshop will indeed question the traditional fingerings handed down from generations, and at the same time attempt to construct a foundation for fingering decisions in all piano repertoire.

Big School/Small School: Which College is Right for Me?

David Berry (Eastern Mennonite University) and Eric Ruple (James Madison University), will present the benefits of both options for the aspiring college musician. One size does not fit all.

Clara Wieck Schumann's Life and Piano Music for Your Students & You

Clara Wieck Schumann had a very interesting life and unusual 19th century life for a woman. She ignored many of the norms of her time, but her actions were tolerated due to her amazing playing, teaching and composing. In this workshop, I cover her pieces which work well for students and for you.

Why Piano Teachers Should Practice

In this workshop, I cover all the positive reasons why the private piano teacher needs to continue to practice. Each reason is discussed in terms of how it impacts on teaching and influences students. Then I present several suggestions on how to implement practice while balancing studio, family, and volunteer responsibilities. These suggestions have proven successful for me and for other teachers. Participants receive copies of the workshop outline, a bibliography, and an example of a practice chart.

The Nuts and Bolts of Accompanying

This workshop helps the private teacher sort out accompanying and chamber music partnerships for their own playing and how to teach the differences to their students. Included are suggestions on organizing ensembles in the private studio, how to coach rehearsals, and repertoire lists. Participants receive copies of the workshop outline and a bibliography.

How to Deal with the ADHD and LD Student in the Private Studio

In this workshop, I discuss the symptoms of ADHD and the treatment options. I also discuss input, integration, memory, and output disabilities. The last section of the workshop lists several suggestions for dealing successfully with these students in private music lessons. All of the suggestions have been used by me as a parent and a piano teacher. Many of these students are very dilligent and can gain a great deal of self-esteem by learning to play an instrument. It is my goal to better equip private teachers for them. Participants receive copies of the workshop outline, a current bibliography, and a list of suggested pedagogical piano repertoire and computer programs.

Clementi for You and Your Advanced Students

All piano teachers know the six sonatinas, op. 36. Until very recently, these were virtually the only Clementi pieces readily available to the general public. Many of his advanced piano sonatas deserve to be played. Putting these sonatas in historical perspective can provide an important glimpse into the development of the pianoforte and how it affected the compositional styles of the time. This workshop reviews Clementi’s vast influence as a pianist, teacher, composer, piano manufacturer, and music publisher. In addition to presenting Clementi’s biography, I also discuss the form of the following sonatas and play excerpts from them:

  • Sonata in G Minor, Op. 7, No. 3
  • Sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 24, No. 2
  • Sonata in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
  • Sonata in G Minor, Op. 34, No. 2
  • Sonata in A Major, Op. 50, No. 1

Piano Music by Women Composers for You and Your Students

In this workshop, I look at the piano repertoire by women composers of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Eras as well as the 20th and 21st Centuries. Participants receive copies of suggested repertoire from Intermediate through advanced levels and a suggested bibliography. Several musical examples will be played.

Rene Johnson, NCTM, CAGO

Newly Discovered Intermediate Level Repertoire by Albert Rozin (1907-1987)

Happenstance, curiosity, small miracles, grit, and the power of human connection were all mainstays to rediscovering the life and works of talented composer, Albert Rozin (1907-1987). The journey to discover more about Albert Rozin and his music unearthed articles written by the composer, historical documents, a harrowing emigration story, and, most importantly, over a hundred unpublished works which will be available to session participants.

The workshop aims to shine a light on the life and works of Albert Rozin, a prolific composer of beginner and intermediate level teaching music and to introduce his unpublished repertoire into the teaching pool so that beginner and intermediate students can once again enjoy these charming pieces. The session will include an interactive component, “Name that Tune,” (a set of pieces composed by Rozin with the purpose of inspiring curiosity and imagination) as well as an activity to see if participants can identify the titles of the pieces based on the compositional techniques employed by the composer. Teachers will be able to immerse themselves in these pieces and be prepared to share them with their students.

This presentation works well on Zoom. 

Participants: Please download the free app “Kahoot” for use during the presentation.