Handouts for the Pop/Jazz Track at MTNA 2013

photo (5) 2 Hello Jazz/Pop Track attendees and those who couldn’t attend but are still interested,

First, a huge thank you! We (Bradley Sowash, Chair and all those involved) were so pleased with the number of those who participated and the enthusiasm and energy felt throughout the day.

Here’s bios and descriptions of each session and as promised, handouts from those who offered them.

Panel Discussion: Can you think of Pop 10 Reasons for Integrating Jazz/Pop styles into your Lessons?

Panel’s HANDOUT: None, but stay tuned for the top 10 list of each panelist in a future blog.

Bradley Sowash, Scott Houston, Barbara Kreader, Lauren Thompson, Kristin Yost, Marti Dudgeon, Leila Viss, Deborah How

Dialogue between and panelists and attendees discussing the pros and cons of integrating jazz/pop styles into music lessons. Attendees will be encouraged to make a list of the POP 10 reasons why to consider adding jazz/pop into daily lessons.

Tuning into the YouTube Generation: How Have Students Changed over the Years? 

photo (1) 2Barbara’s HANDOUT: None, but look for Barbara Kreader’s timely articles in Clavier Companion about teaching the 21st-century student.

Barbara Kreader has taught in her independent studio in Evanston, IL. Since 1974.  One of the coauthors of The Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, she has given workshops in more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia.  Formerly the editor of Clavier magazine, she received her M.M. degree from Northwestern University where she studied piano with Laurence Davis and pedagogy with Frances Larimer.

This session explored the way teaching and music have changed from the days of 1950’s television’s Ding Dong School  to today’s You-Tube tutorials.   It examined the learning pace and patterns of today’s students as well as their musical tastes.  Tracing these changes through a look at the history of educational television and piano method books, session suggests ways we teachers can better reach the 21st-century student.

Everyone Can Create (But Can It Be Taught?)

Forrest’s HANDOUT: None, but make sure to check out Forrest Kinney’s Pattern Play and Chord Play books.

Forest Kinney, NCTM, is a pianist who has taught music for over 30 years. He has written 15 books on improvisation, arranging, and creativity, and published two collections of original art songs.  He has performed at Bill Gates’ home 20 times. Forrest just received a US Patent for inventing a computer keyboard that lets us type all the letters of a word at once.

Bach, Bartok, and Basie—improvisation was the heart of their art.  It’s not just for geniuses, but for us all. But can this possibly be taught? How can anyone be led beyond their fears into this profound and endless art?

Two Typical Teachers Gone Jazz

Marti’s HANDOUT: Two Typical Teachers Gone Jazz

Marti Mortensen Dudgeon, a graduate of Westminster Choir College, is an educator and collaborative artist.  In addition to performing she has held leadership positions with arts organizations and maintains a private studio in Austin, Texas.

Learn how to put the pieces of the puzzle together as classically trained musicians. Come for a ‘hands on’ session that includes participant involvement.  

Is Your Box Holding You Back? Build a Bridge and Get Over It.

Leila’s HANDOUT: Viss MTNA Handout.

Leila Viss, MA from University of Denver, uses tech-savvy tools and innovative lesson plans to develop lifetime pianists. Besides owning an independent piano studio in Centennial, CO, she holds a full-time church organist/pianist position, has presented at local, state and national conferences and adjudicates state and national piano and composition competitions. Her blog posts can be found at www.musicteachershelper.com, www.ComposeCreate.com, www.keystoimagination.com and her own blog 88pianokeys.me –it’s not all black and white.

Is your box holding you back? Build a bridge and get over it. Discover four simple steps for you and your students to get over and beyond the printed page.  Climb out of your box, get your groove on and crossover from your Classical roots to 21st century styles with helpful teaching tips and tech-savvy tools.

Cracking The Code-Teaching Adults Pop/Jazz Styles And Skills

HANDOUT: None, but check out Scott’s website for a countless helpful books, apps, etc.

Scott Houston is the 5 time Emmy Award winning host of The Piano Guy public television series. With more than 25 years in the educational music business, he has with laser focus concentrated his efforts on simply bringing the joy and fun of recreational music making on a piano to absolute beginners. He has authored and published over 30 books and videos about teaching pop/jazz piano styles to adult students. He studied jazz piano and percussion at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. With 14 Seasons and 186 episodes of The Piano Guy completed, Scott and his team are now in production on a new television series titled “Music Makers” focusing on the fun and joy that music has brought to famous musicians, celebrities and others of note.

Learn how to “crack the code” to the secret of having fun and success with adult beginners. This very pragmatic “boots on the ground” how-to session will be light on theory and heavy on actionable ideas, demonstrated by Scott, that you can put to use immediate use.

Maximize your Value; The Power of Popular Music

Kristin’s HANDOUT: Click here.

Kristin Yost is the Executive Director of the Centre for Musical Minds, where pop music is central to the learning process. photo 2Yost is a published author and regular presenter in business sessions for local, state and national conferences across the US.  In 2011 Yost made her professional European speaking debut when she was invited to Hungary to speak on the importance of popular music as core repertoire in piano lessons.  You can find out more about Ms. Yost by connecting with her on LinkedIn or visiting the following websites: CentreforMusicalMinds.org and KristinYost.com

Learn how to retain your entire student base year after year!  Ready for a recital format change?  Kristin Yost gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create an annual studio event that will be everyone’s favorite, including yours.

Scalin’ the Chords

photo (3) 2Bradley’s HANDOUT Sowash MTNA Handout

Bradley Sowash is a jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, author/educator and composer/arranger.  His broadcast credits include seven seasons of appearances on the PBS-TV series, The Piano Guy, and National Public Radio has aired selections from his nine CDs.  As an educator specializing in improvisation, he teaches master classes nationwide and the Neil A. Kjos Music Company and Augsburg Fortress Press publishes his piano books. He also composes for ballet, big band, choir, film, orchestra, and string quartet.

Tips from a jazz musician on making chords and scales more fun to practice and more relevant to your students’ repertory.

II III II III II III II

In case you’re interested in my thoughts about the day….Saturday was a significant in many ways:

1) Personally, a long-term project initiated over a year ago was completed. Feels good to have that checked off the list, but it was exceptionally fun and fulfilling to plan such an event that featured such outstanding artists/educators in the music industry.

2) Since there were five tracks from which to choose, I wondered about the attendance and braced myself for low numbers. To my surprise, I, as project manager, I had to “order” chairs TWO times and all sessions were SRO–standing room only.

3) From the astonishing attendance, it became apparent that teaching creativity, musicality and the true art of music making is relevant…in fact, this experience showcased the evidence, the proof, the “magic” that the EYE/EAR Revolution has been set in motion. Get ready to jump on the band wagon!

Perhaps a little TMI? 

Thoroughly enjoyed a power lunch with Bradley Sowash, Scott Houston and Forrest Kinney. Although it was a particular privilege to chat with them over a salad, I kept wondering if there was spinach stuck in my teeth. Anyone else have that issue with spinach?:-)

Get the Scoop on MTNA at these blogs:

It’s been a busy couple of days and I’m finding it hard to blog about things as I feel too overwhelmed, over stimulated to make sense of it all and reflect clearly. So, make sure to check the Music Matters Blog as Natalie is pumping out blog after blog–close to live streaming from Disney!  I’ve also run into Jennifer Foxx and I’ve seen her taking notes furiously so make sure to check her blog as well.

Here’s an insightful post by Elisa Milne (who I met Saturday!) expressing her impressions about the state of music teaching. How amazing that she travelled all the way from Australia to attend. Some day, I hope to make it to a conference in Australia!

In the mean time, gotta get packing for an early flight tomorrow and then off to the Anderson and Roe Concert.

Questions? please make a comment or email me at lviss@me.com.

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Leila Viss

Creative Pianist, Piano Teacher, Organist, Blogger and Author of The iPad Piano Studio

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Leila! Thanks for sharing this. I could not make it to the MTNA conference this year. In fact I’ve only been once before when it was in Atlanta. At that time there were no workshops like this one! Everything was geared toward traditional methods and classical music. I especially enjoyed your handout and the part where you shared your experience of being educated with so many important pieces missing. It is so refreshing to know that there are other teachers out there who believe in music education for the real world. In my humble opinion, today’s students desire lessons that not only integrate jazz and pop but lessons that may actually be centered around jazz and pop. So thank you for this workshop and for sharing such helpful information!

  • Reblogged this on Kids & Keys and commented:
    EVERY DAY in lessons my students show me that the music they are most interested in is Pop and Jazz. As teachers we have to listen when students tell us what they want to learn and find ways to use what we know to help them get to where they want to go. Awesome article by Leila Viss of 88pianokeys.com. Check it out!

  • So glad there are other people out there that think the way I do. It is so nice to have my ideas validated and not feel out of place because I feel Jazz and Pop are important in traditional piano education. Lynda Irvine Australia thanks again.

    • All of you are expressing what I’ve been feeling for years and yes, it was SO refreshing and invigorating to be part of this dynamic group. Some day, I’ll have to blog about my box–I wonder if yours is similar. Also, look for more guest bloggers in months to come. You will not want to miss them1

    • Hi Jennifer, I corrected my link to your blog. Thanks for the heads up.
      Will be fun to read your blogs about the conference…thanks for sharing and good to meet you as well!