Friday, February 21, 2020

Highlights From the First MTAC Santa Clara Branch Piano Pedagogy Seminar!

Happy 2020! Here are the highlights of my delightful experience of teaching the first Pedagogy Smeniar for the Music Teachers' Associations of California, Santa Clara Branch from Sept to Nov. 2019. As mentioned in the previous blog, we had a group of ten dedicated teachers and six weeks of inspiring sessions! The seminar covered essential topics from Beginner to Elementary levels.
  1. Fundamental techniques: they are the root of our students' future technical development. In addition to a list of my essential go-to techniques, I also introduced how I use Hanon in various ways! If you are creative, this book can help students to achieve effective results!
  2. Musicality: students shall learn how to listen to the melody and understand the phrasing from the very beginning. We have discussed developing musicality through dynamic shading, rhythm, and pedaling. I also introduced some highlights from Peter Mack's inspiring "The Art of The Phrase" workshop.
  3. Musicianship: sight-reading, rhythmic counting, ear training, and theory. Shouldn't our students have all these techniques instructed in their lessons? However, with the time restraint of each lesson, teachers will surely need organizing and creative strategies. We had vivid discussions from using the computer lab and apps to making the theory books more appealing by using color arts!
  4. Students learning patterns and behavior: This helps teachers to better identify students' learning processes and design a more effective teaching approach! I have talked about the visual/aural/kinesthetic learning styles as well as the Four Temperament by Dr. K. Golay. It is beneficial and educational to see how we can apply these theories to teaching.
  5. Method books and repertoires survey: when assigned appropriately, they can significantly inspire and motivate students' learning. We have covered both mainstream teaching methods as well as rote teaching and innovative approaches. Best of all, some teachers performed their favorite recital repertoires!! 
In addition to these topics, we shared conversations on various teaching subjects and concerns including ideas on teaching preschoolers and improvisations. I learned so much from this group of brilliant teachers, who reminded me how much I love teaching music!

I look forward to our next seminar, which will focus on the Intermediate level in Sept 2020. The content of the Intermediate level will be posted in May. I will also offer this same session again to accommodate teachers who didn't get to attend this time.

Thanks to Music Exchange and its Manager Gordy Martin who provided us their spacious recital hall for the seminar.

A lovely "thank you" bouquet from the branch and the teachers!! Thank you so much for your participation and friendship!!