Today is the first official full day of the conference, but it seems like I have already learned so much already! I’m looking forward to two more days packed full of exciting sessions. Here’s a quick summary of what I attended today, I still plan to pay some more detailed session reports later. 

First I attend the FJH Showcase presented by Helen Marlais and Kevin Olson. Dr. Marlais discussed her all-in-one Succeeding at the Piano method. I love the sounds of the pieces in these books but I have not used them much with my students. This all-in-one approach was appealing to me, so I may have to give it a try. She also mentioned that they are updating the “core method” (meaning the Succeeding at the Piano books that aren’t all in one). The second edition of the core method will have a slower progression than the first edition. 

One session that stood out to me today was “The World at Your Fingertips: Exploring Multicultural Styles through Beginning Composition and Improvisation at the Piano” presented by the collegiate chapter of the University of South Carolina. The members presented some really neat ideas for facilitating  pre-reading composition in multi-cultural styles with your students. I’m looking forward to trying some of these ideas with my students and also doing a more detailed write-up later to share these ideas with those of you who missed the session today. 

I also enjoyed hearing the premier of the chamber music pieces commissioned by MTNA this year. Both pieces were written for piano, violin, and viola, and meant to be accessible to intermediate students. The compositions were Three Characters by Randall Faber, and Trio Capriccioso by Tom Gerou.  I love that MTNA is actively commissioning new pieces for students, and both of the pieces were fabulous.  

I also had a great time exploring the exhibit hall and meeting new friends at the dinner coordinated by Wendy Stevens over at Looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

Author: Spring

Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.