Sunday, July 28, 2013

Last Post Regarding National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy

Fourth Day of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy

We started our day with a session by Randy Faber and Piano Adventures.  He was so gracious to have a picture taken with us.  He was an awesome presenter and very inspiring.  We learned how to engage our students and about pattern recognition.

At 9:00, Julie attended the PEDx3 recital and sessions while Cindy went .... shopping!  Julie really enjoyed Jarrod Radnich's presentation. Check out YouTube recording of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The afternoon held more workshops for both of us.  Cindy attended Melody Bober's 12 Strategies for Successful Recitals and a Publisher's Showcase by Novus Via Music Group - Christopher Norton's music, and then had Pizza Hut for dinner.  

Julie tried to get more signatures on her program and ended up four short.  In the evening she attended the honorary dinner for Marvin Blickenstaff and the evening concert with Hando Nahkur.

The last day of the conference Julie attended the Alfred Music showcase while Cindy packed the car with her stuff.  We both attended the Keynote Address: Piano study for the next generation.  Generation Z is going to be an interesting one to teach piano to!

After the teaching demonstration Cindy attended Wendy Stevens workshop on Stress-free business practices (excellent) while Julie shopped and packed her stuff in the car.

We decided to skip the afternoon sessions and start home as the last session wasn’t going to be over until 3:30 and we didn’t want to get home at 2a.m. 

We arrived home around 10:30p.m. tired but excited about what we had learned and ready to share with all our piano teaching friends.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

3rd Day on the Road

Thursday started at 8a.m. with Publisher Showcases.  Julie attended Yellow Cat Music Publishing.  The presenter lives in Saudi Arabia and gave out colorful bookmarks.  The presentation was about incentives for practicing.  She uses color-coded notes which she feels helps with reading problems. You can see more at her website:  and Cindy attended Hal Leonard's presentation regarding their newest publications.

After an interesting keynote address by Alan Walker regarding Listz, the Man as Ambassador, we attended workshops.

Cindy attended The Dynamics of Group Teaching and learned how to interact with students during a group lesson.  Julie attended The Top 40 Intermediate Pieces with Jane Magrath.  She said it was wonderful and she will present to APT.

Julie visited the exhibits in the morning and had a long conversation with Keith Snell and Gayle Kowalchyk.  She got some autographs from Keith and Christos Tsitsaros as well as getting her program signed by 18 out of 33 exhibitors.  She's hoping to win a prize of a basket full of piano teaching goodies.

Cindy visited the exhibits after lunch and then fell on the bed exhausted after all that shopping; however, she is not deterred from shopping some more tomorrow. Cindy has not gotten any signatures and needs to get on the ball!

In the afternoon, Julie attended a workshop on students with disabilities and Cindy got to watch a live streaming event as it was being set up and asked a lot of questions.  She now has the ability to live stream our recitals!  After a teaching demonstration by Cathy Lysinger, which was very informative, we attended another publishers' showcase.

Julie went to FJH with Keith Olson and Cindy attended The Royal Conservatory Music presentation on how to prepare for assessments.

We then searched for a restaurant  and ended up at Scarletti's, an excellent Italian restaurant in Downer's Grove.  The excitement of the evening was the seven trains that went by us and blew their very loud horns.

Pre-Conference Day at NCKP

So we made it to our conference hotel, the Westin, in Lombard around noon.  We checked-in and got our program for the week; which Cindy eagerly poured over to see just what sessions she wanted to attend while Julie walked across the parking lot to get some things at Target.

The sessions started at 2p.m. and went until 9:30.  Needlesstosay, we were both tired by the end of the day.  Cindy attended the technology seminars, of course!  Julie attended some piano teaching seminars.

TGIF was our choice for dinner.  lol.  I caught Julie with her mouth open!  The food was delicious and they got it out to us very quickly so we made it back to the hotel for our 8p.m. sessions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Candlewood Suite in Illinois

National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy
July 24 - 28, 2013


Julie and I left at 8a.m. this morning from Jamestown and arrived in Aurora, IL around 7p.m.  After checking into the Candlewood Suites, we had dinner at Panara Bread and are now relaxing and warming up in our nice suite.

We had a few traffic issues before and after Chicago but nothing that isn't to be expected in a big city.  I drove the first 3 hours and then Julie took over.  She is a great driver.

The Candlewood Suites is a very nice place even if it is in the middle of a soy bean field!

We are both excited about our learning this week and looking forward to sharing with you each day.  Stay tuned here for more updates.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The 3 B's of Practice

Boring, Beneficial, Better

In helping a student today, we came up with the 3 "Bs" of practice.  Because practice is repetition, it can be boring.   Each repetition should have a different focus such as:  correct notes one time, correct rhythm one time, dynamics, pedaling, keeping a steady beat, etc.  By focusing on one thing in short sections the repetitions maybe not so boring.  For children using 10 M&Ms or pennies helps focus on how many times have been accomplished.  If they play it correctly, they can eat the M&M; if not, they have to do an extra time. If we use repetition correctly by focusing on a different part of what we are working on it will be beneficial because playing of that short section will get progressively better.

So the three "Bs" of are that practice doesn't have to be boring, but repetition is beneficial in that it helps playing get better.

Do I need to repeat this post 10 times? lol