Oregon Music Teachers Association in partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation and the Nellie Tholen Fund present statewide teacher enrichment workshops. These valuable and varying presentations are free and open to all music educators, members and non-members alike.

Upcoming Events

Playing Perfectly: What It Takes to Practice and Perform Completely Without Mistakes (or Fear of Mistakes)–Yes, It’s Possible!

Date/Time: Friday, April 9, 2021, 10:45 am to 12:15 pm
Local Contact: For more information please contact Janet Smith.
Location: Zoom, for access please contact Susan Todd.
Presenting District: Central Oregon
Presenter: Jennifer Wright Read Presenter Bio

Jennifer Wright, M.M., B.M., is a keyed-instruments performer, composer, educator, graphic artist, event producer and culture-maker. She is passionate about creating beautiful, thought-provoking cultural realities and memorable, multi-sensory performance experiences. Her work melds diverse artistic disciplines and expressions to create adventurous contexts that reshape the landscape of performative experience in order to engage, inspire, move, and change both the giver and the receiver for the better. Jennifer performs regularly as a solo and collaborative artist and has presented numerous concerts, master classes, and workshops in the U.S.A., the U.K., Europe, and Cuba.

Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and studied for two years at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and Universität Stuttgart in Germany. She was awarded several Distinctions for her Masters Degree achievements in performance and musicological research at the Trinity College of Music in London, England in the Historically Informed Piano Performance degree program.

Jennifer mischievously mixes experimental, visceral, and utterly listenable elements in an ever-evolving mix of her wide-ranging obsessions and curious whims, including repurposing pianos and other instruments, video art, found sound, alternative keyed instruments, sound sculptures, theatricality, trash instruments, the natural world, movement/dance, science, silliness, electronics, fashion, and live art-making. Much of her work focuses around her one-of-a-kind “Skeleton Piano,” an upright piano that she stripped of its exterior, altered mightily, and plays from the inside out with wild extended techniques and electronic modification.

Her compositions have been performed at the 29th and 31st Annual Festival de La Habana de Música Contemporánea in Cuba, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The Astoria Music Festival, Portland International Piano Festival, Portland’s March Music Moderne festivals, Crazy Jane Composers and Cascadia Composers concerts, on KBOO, XRAY and KTCB radio, on KGW TV and Cuban National TV, by Portland’s Resonance Ensemble, the Free Marz String Trio, the Delgani Quartet, and in recitals in the U.S., England, and Finland.

More info available at jenniferwrightpianostudio.com and skeletonpiano.com.

Program Description: Have you heard a “kind” instructor say that making mistakes is normal,Read More
human, even a valuable part of the learning process? Or that striving for musical perfection is akin to being a lifeless robot and even creatively dangerous? Perhaps you heard a “tough love” teacher remark that you’re only as good as your last performance and that if you’re not perfect, you’re not even in the game?

Which perspective is the right one? Surprise: they all are – to a point! The secret is in the mix. This workshop shows how to reconcile these viewpoints into a joyous lifelong practice approach and gives you the tools and practice techniques to eliminate mistakes (and the terrible fear of mistakes) entirely from your playing. Let’s waste no time in giving this gift to ourselves and to our students!

In this workshop we’ll cover:
• Why do we make mistakes?
• What are you actually doing wrong? (Hint: it’s usually not what you think.)
• Practice techniques: the good, the bad, and the useless
• How to fix ingrained mistakes and habits
• The power of habits and human nature: you can fight them, or you can make them work for you…it’s your choice
• Tapping into your innate learning instincts for powerful progress
• Once you get it, it’s all fun and games!

Bring your “That’s impossible” stories, your “I’ve tried and I can’t” tales, your burning questions, and your overwhelming challenges with you – so we can knock them down one by one!

Acquiring Aural Skills: Listening Deeply

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Local Contact: For more information please contact Rosanne Smith.
Location: Zoom, for access please contact Susan Todd.
Presenting District: Linn-Benton
Presenter: American pianist Johnandrew Slominski Read Presenter Bio

enjoys a distinguished reputation as a performer and pedagogue. He has been hailed as “a remarkable, brilliant, and gifted pianist” (Chautauquan Daily), commended for performing with “a great deal of intellect” (89.9 KBPS Portland), and recognized for his communicative performance: “I was profoundly moved by his performance… He has a musicianship that transcends his youthfulness.” (Eye on Sun Valley). His 2016 San Francisco concert debut, presented by the New Piano Collective, earned praise as “awe-inspiring” and “ear-opening” from Stephen Smoliar of the San Francisco Examiner. Slominski seamlessly navigates the landscape of a varied and thriving career as a soloist, chamber musician, music theorist, author, pedagogue, and speaker. Highlights of his current season include a solo CD released on the Centaur Records label, an all-Schubert disc with soprano Kayleen Sánchez released on the Soundset Recordings label, performances of concerti by Mozart and Schumann, and more than a dozen speaking and teaching engagements in the United States and Asia.

Slominski earned three degrees from the Eastman School of Music by age 21, and was unanimously nominated for the Jerald R. Graue Musicology Fellowship and the Eastman Performer’s Certificate; his first professorship followed at age 23. He has held faculty positions as a pianist and music theorist at the Eastman School of Music, the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the founding director of Classical Music on the Spot (an institute for eighteenth-century improvisation), a co-founder of the San Francisco International Piano Festival, a founding faculty member of the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival at the University of South Florida, and an Assistant Professor of Music at Linfield College. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. Slominski is a New Piano Collective artist.

Program Description: The composer and pianist Robert Schumann wrote in 1848 that,Read More
“You must get to the point that you can hear music from the page. … A perfect musician should be able to picture a piece, at first hearing…as though he had the score in front of him.” This workshop, facilitated by Dr. Slominski (former theory and aural skills faculty at the Eastman School of Music), opens a conversation about teaching and learning through a nuanced aural curriculum. Skills discussed include sight-singing, solfege and solmization, dictation, playing by ear, improvisation, and more.

Integrative Alexander Technique Master Class

Date/Time: Saturday, April 24, 2021, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 660 Frances Ln, Ashland, OR 97520 (attendance limited to 30 people); also online, for access please contact Susan Todd.
Local Contact: For more information please contact Margie Daly.
Presenting District: Rogue Valley
Presenter: Dr. Matt GoodrichRead Presenter Bio

Dr. Matt Goodrich is a native of Syracuse, NY, and a graduate of Oberlin College
Conservatory, where he studied with Julian Martin. He earned his DMA from the University of Washington under the direction of Robin McCabe. His dissertation, entitled Ricardo Viñes and Les Apaches, explored the life and talents of one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic performers. He continues to perform Viñes-related solo- and duo-piano repertoire.
Goodrich was national finalist in the Music Teachers National Association (Young Artists Division) and Young Keyboard Artist Association competitions. He has performed extensively on the West Coast, including a headline recital for the Seattle Spring Contemporary Music Festival and a Washington State debut tour, and has appeared as soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, University of Washington Symphony, UW Wind Ensemble, Victoria Festival Orchestra, Willamette Valley Symphony, and Seattle Thalia Symphony.
An active chamber music and theatrical performer, Goodrich was featured in the inaugural concert of the Auburn Symphony Chamber Series and performs frequently with diverse performing groups such as Expanse Ensemble, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Harrington-Goodrich Duo, Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, and Northwest Boychoir. He spent 2016 on the road with the Broadway national tour of If/Then and has been an Oregon Shakespeare Festival company member for six seasons. He has earned Alexander Technique International Teaching Certification and is currently Instructor of Piano at Southern Oregon University. He resides in Ashland, OR.
Program Description: Dr. Goodrich will work with the performersRead More
using the basic principles of the Alexander Technique, a unique and practical learning process. The student and observers will be given tools to analyze and think constructively about whole-self coordination as well as the efficient sequence of thought and movement needed to play an instrument or sing.

Non-verbal Teaching: Identifying and Utilizing Learning Styles

Date/Time: Friday, May 7, 2021, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Local Contact: For more information please contact Mary Morganti.
Location: Zoom, for access please contact Susan Todd.
Presenting District: Lincoln County
Presenter: Dr. Crystal Zimmerman Read Presenter Bio

Crystal Zimmerman grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where she earned a dual Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Wichita State University. At the University of Oregon, she earned a dual Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Piano Performance and a supporting area of Musicology.
Crystal is professor of piano at Willamette University where she teaches class piano, individual piano lessons, as well as courses in music technology. At Willamette, she is also staff accompanist and coordinator of the accompanying program. She frequently performs in collaborative, chamber music, and solo recitals as well as being pianist in the Salem Chamber Orchestra. Zimmerman is in demand as a lecturer and clinician, and her articles have been featured in American Music Teacher magazine. She is currently working with FJH music company on the series, Succeeding with Sonatinas.
Program Description: This lecture will explore how to connect with students on a non-verbal basis.Read More
We will explore a variety of learning style models, with the most focus primarily being on the NLP (Handler-Grinder model). The subconscious mind is a powerful tool – this is where deep learning can be experienced, and as teachers, is often a tool we overlook. Though we utilize all our senses when playing music, we each have a preferred sensory mode. Identifying and teaching to your students’ preferred sensory mode, will not only enhance your non-verbal communication and overall rapport, but it will also help you identify what sensory modes might need further development. We will explore how to identify which sensory mode is favored, and how to strengthen those modes that may not be a highly engaged.

Workshop Videos

(The following videos are available to OMTA members and are password protected. Members may find the password in their members handbook. It is the same as for other password protected areas of this site.)

Pilates For Musicians

Presented by Barbara Chapman NCTM

Nurturing Potential Into Passion

Presented by Leila Viss, 88PianoKeys.me

Starter Steps for Playing Eighteenth-Century Repertoire on the Modern Piano

Presented by Donna Gunn, M.M., NCTM

Teaching the Special Learner: Wisdom and Strategies for the Independent Music Teacher

Presented by Emily Ross, M.A., M.T. – B.C.

Tips For Preparing For Syllabus Exams

Presented by Heidi Evans NCTM

Succeeding With Sonatinas

Presented by Dr. Crystal Zimmerman NCTM, Professor of Piano, Willamette University

Music and the Brain – How We Hear And Understand Melody and Rhythm

Presented by Dr. Crystal Zimmerman NCTM, Professor of Piano, Willamette University

Authentic Baroque Dance

Presented by Daniel Stephens, M.F.A. and Judith Kennedy, M.A.