Highlights from the 2011 KMTA Conference

Our annual state music teachers conference has come and gone. I attended my first state conference 10 years ago on a whim with a couple of friends and have been every year since. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to know music teachers from across the state, hear excellent guest artists, pick up new teaching ideas, and just have fun! If you have a conference in your state, I encourage you to check it out.

In spite of some technical glitches, the two sessions I presented went well. I don’t have any pictures of those, but I did capture some other highlights from the occasion that I thought I would share with you!


Melody Bober was the guest clinician this year. The weekend commenced with her wonderful presentation on ways to energize our studios.


We had a small group, but it made for a great environment with lots of opportunity to visit, re-connect with old friends, and make new ones!


Virginia Houser shared “Off the Beaten Path Teaching Treasures.”


At our Friday luncheon, two teachers were recognized for special awards. Jennifer Fink, of the fabulous Jen’s Piano Studio blog, was the recipient of the KMTA Outstanding Teacher Award!


Julie Watson was the recipient of the KMTA Outstanding Service award!


A lovely evening concert was given by Dr. Jane Solose.


Spending time with colleagues/friends is always a favorite! Jen, Julie, Lisa, and I grabbed a treat at Braum’s and stayed up way too late visiting together.


A fun duet recital Saturday morning with Martin Cuellar and Melody Bober performing some of her duet works. My favorite was the Southwest Landscapes suite. I bought a copy and one of my students and I started playing it this week!


Sylvia Coats gave a highly practical and energetic teaching demonstration on “Encouraging Creative Interpretations.”


Our South Central Kansas MTA delegation. :-)

There were a number of other great workshops, too, but I was so absorbed I guess I forgot to take pictures. Oops!


A lovely spot I captured with my camera on my way out of town at the conclusion of the conference. It was a gorgeous evening for a drive home through the Flint Hills! And now my mind is spinning with lots of ideas and things to sift through as I continue with summer lessons and prepare for a new year in the fall…

Thoughts to Ponder…

Things have been a bit scattered around here lately, so sorry for the intermittent posting. Summer tends to be that way anyway, but I also had a huge convention last weekend and am in the throes of preparing for my sessions at the KMTA Conference this weekend. I came across a couple quotes that I found quite thought-provoking, so I thought I’d share them with you:

“I believe that a lack of drive is not the main reason a person fails to live up to his potential. Rather, it is a combination of two things:
1) an inability to discern what his path to success looks like, and
2) a belief that he does not have what it takes to succeed.”

~Dr. Jeff Myers

and this one:

“We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure—all your life.”

~John W. Gardner

The latter came from this page of quotes on failure. Any thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with these sentiments?

KMTA Conference is in 2 Weeks!

Well, I meant to post about this a long time ago, but I kept forgetting. Our annual state conference is just two weeks away for anyone who wants to attend. This year’s conference will be held in Emporia and will be featuring Melody Bober and Jane Solose. I’m also scheduled to present a couple of workshops and I’m really looking forward to it! Here are the workshop descriptions:

Creative Collaboration – Making Every Lesson Come Alive!
Whether you’re teaching an individual student or working with a group, you can make every lesson a rich and rewarding musical experience. In this fast-paced session Natalie Wickham, NCTM will walk you through the process of cultivating, implementing, and infusing creativity. Then, she’ll load you up with ideas to use in all sorts of scenarios: Fun with One, Friendly Duos, Family Favorites, and Groups Galore!

Technology Treasure Trove!
With millions of places to travel on the web today, it can be overwhelming to navigate to the destinations that will prove the most beneficial for your studio. In this enlightening workshop, Natalie Wickham, NCTM, will help you discover some of the most exciting possibilities that are available at little or no cost. Whether you want to utilize technology to teach long-distance lessons, make CDs of your students’ playing, create your own YouTube channel, learn to upload video clips on the fly, or live stream studio recitals so that friends and relatives around the world can tune in, you will leave inspired and equipped to make these dreams a reality!

NOTE: If you have an association or other music educator’s group that would be interested in having me present a workshop, just send me an e-mail and I will send you a list of workshop topics!