Friday, July 31, 2009

Jose Antonio Bowen NCKP Keynote

Jose Bowen's keynote address encouraged the audience to think about technology and how it is affecting piano teaching. How can we create a presence locally and globally, and do we need to have a global presence? We need to think about what we do well and focus on that, whether in our own town or around the world. He is a dynamic speaker and I'm sure the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University must be thrilled to have him as their Dean. At the end of his address, he demonstrated making the music relevant to people from different cultures by playing Autumn Leaves in different styles. Check out the video below.

Research Posters at NCKP

Research poster sessions at NCKP offer researchers the opportunity to showcase their projects and results. This year there were many sight-reading studies done, emphasizing this essential skill and the constant struggle to help students become better.

Louis Nagel recital at NCKP

Louis Nagel gave a wonderful noontime recital at NCKP. Here are clips from Bach's French Suite in E-flat, BWV 815, and Haydn's Piano Sonata in F Major, Hob. XVI/23.

Brian Chung at NCKP

Brian's keynote address was "Life Shaper or Artist Maker". Another great speaker, engaging, and thought-provoking. Are you as a piano teacher focused on making an artist, or shaping a life? There needs to be both, but perhaps we as a profession focus too much on the artist makers and neglect the life shapers. If you get the chance to hear Brian Chung speak, take it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Robert Duke at NCKP

My evening ended with sessions presented by Bob Duke. He is a very engaging speaker, and whether I agree with all he says or not, I always leave his sessions with new ideas and different teaching strategies to try. This is a really good way to prepare for the new teaching year - inspired.

Pedagogy, Wellness, Technology, and Success

The NCKP pre-conference sessions offered something for everyone. The technology sessions offered the option to build a website, which would be complete by the end of the day. There were also sessions on wellness, student assessment, and how to be successful as an independent piano teacher. See the photos for the various sessions that were offered. A full and thought-provoking day for all!

Marvin Blickenstaff, "From the other side of the coin" at NCKP

Marvin Blickenstaff gave great feedback to pedagogy teachers on how to prepare students for internships or job interviews. He is also a dynamic speaker, as well as a great piano teacher.

NCKP has begun!

Here we are at the Keynote address for the 30th National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. We are looking forward to a great day of learning. The keynote speaker this year, appropriately, is Sam Holland. There are over 700 of us from around the world, with many countries represented. Sam is such an articulate and interesting speaker - he has the room in the palm of his hand.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Teaching Perfect Pitch

Tomoko Kanamaru, pianist and assistant professor of music at The College of New Jersey, will give a presentation titled "Can Perfect Pitch be Taught? Introduction to the Eguchi Method". The Washington Post published a wonderful article about the method, which also gives a good preview of the session. The Eguchi Method is used by more than 800 teachers around Japan to teach perfect pitch to very young children, claiming a success rate of almost 100 percent for those who start before they are 4 years old. At the end of the training, which starts by matching chords with colored flags, a teacher will play random notes on the piano and the child, without looking, can identify them. Check out the article at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Create Your Studio Website at the Conference

One option available to NCKP attendees is an ongoing workshop to create a studio website. During the conference, participants will create and upload their studio website based on 4 different templates. The sample you can browse at is just one example of what participants may build during the workshop.

A great opportunity for some teachers to increase their online presence! Thanks, Alejandro.

Creating Blogs, Wikis, and Forums

Susan Capestro's NCKP session will show you how to create your own news and editorial webpage, your own mini-wikipedia, and initiate a public square online to discuss important issues. See how easy it is to use interactive features - many free - for Internet teaching, communicating with students, and networking with colleagues.

Susan said, "I can't wait to show you some great benefits for students, plus some ways my adult students have enjoyed collaborating. Online tools helped make them a much stronger group. At this point, it's hard to even imagine teaching teenagers without the Internet! It serves as a strong cultural connector, particularly if your teaching blends jazz and pop with traditional piano repertoire."

For more information on Susan and her studio, here are some links:, the Integral Approach to Piano and Keyboard Learning, Susan Capestro's YouTube Channel, Susan Capestro's website

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NCKP Program

The complete program for the upcoming NCKP conference has now been posted on the Frances Clark website. Check it out at

If you need information on ground transportation, follow this link:

See you all there!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Carol Leone and the 7/8 keyboard

Carol Leone from SMU will present a session at the NCKP pre-conference wellness session on July 29th from 4:30-6:00, " Increasing Performance Potential." This session will present innovative means for improving technical efficiency and enhancing performance.

During her portion of the session she will present and demonstrate the 7/8 keyboard action. Here are two links of her performing on a Steinway piano using the 7/8 keyboard. Performances were at the 2007 NCKP conference:

These videos can also be found on you tube at these links: