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.

Workshop Videos

(The following videos are available to OMTA members and are password protected. Members may find the password on page 2 of their OMTA Printed Directory. It is the same as for other password protected areas of this site.)

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.

Upcoming Events

Beyond Legato: The Expressive Elements of Baroque Performance Practice

Deborah Cleaver, M.M.
Saturday, February 11, 2017, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Groth Recital Hall | Loso Hall (Room 126) | Campus of Eastern Oregon University | La Grande, OR 97850
Host District: Blue Mountain
Local Contact: Erin Stauffer

Presentation Description

In this workshop, Ms. Cleaver will discuss many elements of Baroque performance practice, and their relationship to expression, including the concepts of metric hierarchy, rhetoric, speech, articulation, ornamentation and rhythmic freedom.

Presenter Bio

Deborah Ingram Cleaver holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Boston University where she studied with the renowned pianist and pedagogue Leonard Shure. After finishing her degree, she worked closely with Shure as his teaching assistant at New England Conservatory.

Ms. Cleaver has also spent many years studying the performance practice of the Baroque and Classic periods with such luminaries as Sandra Rosenblum, Edward Parmentier, and Elisabeth Wright. Her broad interests have resulted in lectures for universities and music teachers’ organizations, ranging from the expressive aspects of Baroque performance practice to the correlation between Romantic literature and music.

Ms. Cleaver teaches at Lewis and Clark College and Reed College as well as in her private studio. She also organizes seminars three times each year for the Portland/Golandsky Institute community, and is the immediate past president of OMTA Portland District. She has been a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute since 2005, and teaches at their summer institute at Princeton University every summer. Previous teaching positions have been at Willamette University, St. Andrews College and the South Shore Conservatory in Boston.

An avid performer, Ms. Cleaver has appeared with the Fear No Music Ensemble, the DeRosa Chamber Players, Cascadia Composers, Friends of Rain and the Makrokosmos Project I and II. She has had performances aired on the classical music programs PLAYED IN OREGON and ALL CLASSICAL PORTLAND. In addition, she has given lectures, workshops, and recitals at Portland State University, Eastern Washington University and for Oregon and Washington music teachers’ associations. She is a frequent adjudicator throughout the Northwest.

Nurturing Potential Into Passion

Leila Viss
Saturday, February 11, 2017, 9:00 AM -11:00 AM
Classic Pianos | 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave | Portland, OR 97202
Host District: Tualatin Valley
Local Contact: Sherry Poole Todd

Presentation Description

Interactive lecture focusing on the stages of motivation, and tips and tricks to keep students practicing, progressing and staying on the bench for a lifetime.

Presenter Bio

Leila Viss uses an innovative, tech-savvy approach to develop lifetime pianists at her independent, creative-based piano studio. She holds a church organist position, blogs at 88pianokeys.me, writes a regular column for Clavier Companion called “Teaching With Apps” and authored The iPad Piano Studio, now distributed by Alfred Music. With Bradley Sowash, she is co-founder of 88 Creative Keys, a tech-savvy workshop promoting creativity at the keys for students and teachers. She has helped with planning the 2013, 2014 MTNA Jazz/Pop Tracks and served as chair of the 2015 Creative Pianist Track for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Learning Styles: How Students Learn

Phyllis Pieffer, NCTM
Monday, February 13, 2017, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Studio of Faye Rounds | 160 Live Oak Ct | Roseburg, OR 97470
Host District: Roseburg
Local Contact: Carolee Harbour

Presentation Description

This talk will concentrate on 3 areas: 1) Right Brain/Left Brain: Feeling and sensitive, or logical and mathematical; 2) Temperaments: Apes, Bears, Owls, and Dolphins! (Keith Golay)–The total configuration or pattern of the whole person; and 3) Modalities: Visual, Aural, and Kinesthetic (VAK).

It is often said we teach as we ourselves were taught, but that is not true! We teach in our own learning style. So first it is important to ascertain how each of us learns and then study our students’ learning styles. A teacher can learn to teach in a different style then that in which she learns, but it requires constant attention and adjustment.

Presenter Bio

Phyllis Pieffer, NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music), has been actively involved in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for over forty years, having completed her term of office as Immediate Past President of MTNA in 2007. Previously she held positions as MTNA President and President–elect, vice president for membership and high school performance competitions coordinator on the national level. Prior to that service, she was Colorado state president, certification chair and competition chair; West Central Division president and junior high competition coordinator. A firm believer in the importance of local associations for independent music teachers, she was instrumental in developing the Foothills Music Teachers Association in Lakewood, CO.

Accessing Rhythm Through Movement (rescheduled date)

Mary Hall Kogen, Professor Emerita, Portland State University
Monday, February 13, 2017, 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
First Congregational Church | 1050 E 23rd St | Eugene, OR 97405
Host District: Eugene
Local Contact: Laura Dubois

Presentation Description

Movement initiates and supports our mental and creative processes. Learning, thought, creativity and intelligence are processes of the whole body. Sensations, movements, emotions and brain integrative functions are grounded in the body. The human qualities we associate with the mind can never exist separate from the body. We learn best while moving.

Thinking, learning and making music are not all in our head. The body plays an integral part in all our intellectual processes from our earliest moments right through to old age. It is our movements that express knowledge and facilitate greater cognitive function as they increase in complexity.

Presenter Bio

Mary Hall Kogen is Professor Emerita at Portland State University in Portland, OR. During the twenty-six years prior to her retirement in 2003, she taught Applied Piano, Piano Pedagogy, Class Piano, and supervised Graduate Teaching Assistants. Beginning in 1993, Ms. Kogen directed a summer music camp “Let Music Be the Food of Peace” in collaboration with Self Enhancement Inc. This camp won many awards and celebrated its tenth anniversary with Ms. Kogen’s retirement in 2003.

For the last 18 years, Ms. Kogen has pursued rhythm and movement through the experiential rhythm system TaKeTiNa. In 2008, she presented “Rhythm and Evolution” for the Music Teachers National Association in Denver, CO. She has been a member of the SYMS faculty at the University of New Hampshire for the past nine years where she taught participatory rhythmic learning to high school music students. She has presented rhythm workshops at numerous universities around the US.

Ms. Kogen continues to do presentations throughout the United States, and maintains a private studio in Portland where she teaches pedagogy and piano. In June 2014, she gave two workshops for NFMC, “Using the Music Lesson to Teach Leadership Skills” and “Learning Through Rhythm and Movement”. For the past two years, Ms. Kogen has done “Taketina” in Albignac, France, with pianists from around the world, at Paul Roberts piano school. In June 2017, she will present “Movement and Mapping” at the National Andover Educators Conference in Georgia.

“Mary Kogen has literally become the Piano Teachers’ Piano Teacher”. – The Oregonian

Baroque Dance

Daniel Stephens, M.F.A. and Judith Kennedy, M.A.
Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church | 1770 Baxter Rd SE | Salem, OR 97306
Host District: Salem
Local Contact: Deborah Butler

Presentation Description

Daniel Stephens and Judy Kennedy will present a program examining Baroque dance music through the medium of steps, patterns and dances from the period. The intent is to inform the playing and teaching of music based on these dances, which will include the Minuet, Passepied, Gavotte, Bouree, Sarabande and Courante. Other dance types from the Baroque will be briefly discussed.

The lecture will include informal performances of these dances and an opportunity for those who wish to learn a simple step pattern or two.

Presenter Bio

Daniel Stephens earned his B.A. in Theater at Southern Oregon University, and his M.F.A. in Dance at SMU. He was a member of the company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for many years, where he performed historic dance in the Green Show, and danced and acted in various plays on their stages for which he also did choreography. He works as an actor, director, dancer and teacher in the Rogue Valley.

Judith Kennedy received her B.A. in Dance and her M.A. in Dance History at Mills College. She was the choreographer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show for 25 years, and has also taught extensively for their Institute of Renaissance Studies. She studied early dance with Dr. Julia Sutton of the New England Conservatory and, along with Daniel, Baroque Dance with Philippa Waite of the Consort de Danse Baroque.

Music in Your Hands

(This workshop has a materials fee; please contact Sherry Todd for more information.)

Gaye Rumsey-Riggs, M.Ed.
Friday, March 10, 2017, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Classic Pianos | 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave | Portland, OR 97202
Host District: Tualatin Valley
Local Contact: Sherry Poole Todd

Presentation Description

In this workshop, participants will learn about specific teaching tools and strategies to teach musical concepts to students. They also will create a take-home box full of hands-on manipulatives to help children learn musical concepts.

Presenter Bio

Gaye Rumsey-Riggs brings over 35 years of teaching experience to her piano studio in Southeast Portland. She began her teaching career after she earned her Master’s in Elementary Education at Lesley University. From there she taught in a wide variety of classrooms settings: from a three-room school house in rural Massachusetts to an international school in Tokyo, Japan, to Oregon Episcopal School. She always integrated music into her classroom curriculum.

It was only after a health crisis in 2000, that she realized she wanted to truly integrate her two lifelong passions: teaching children and piano/voice. Soon after that she started studying with Mary Kogen at Portland State University and began teaching piano students in her own studio.

Gaye has developed many specific teaching tools and strategies to teach musical concepts to her students.

Show ’em Who’s The Man: Proven Techniques that Eradicate Performance Anxiety Once and For All!

Jennifer Wright, M.M.
Monday, March 13, 2017, 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
First Congregational Church | 1050 E 23rd Ave | Eugene, OR 97405
Host District: Eugene
Local Contact: Laura DuBois

Presentation Description

For many, the idea of striding confidently onstage knowing that you are about to give your best performance and feeling eager to share it with a live audience is, at best, a hit-and-miss proposition – or, at worst, an unattainable mythical dream reserved only for “great pianists.”

Well, here’s the news: nothing separates you or your students from the “great pianists.” You can ALL do this. And this workshop gives you the tools to do it: consistently, with joy, and confident in your own power.

This workshop will cover:

• How to become a master of planning and preparation
• Music, Mind, Body, Spirit: what you water is what will grow
• Your Bag of Anti-Stomach Butterfly Tricks
• Overcoming barriers to perfect performance
• How to MAKE IT FUN for you and your students
• Systematic tools for tracking progress and confidence
• How to keep your sense of humor
• Damage control techniques

“Bring your horror stories, your burning questions and your impossible stage nerves challenges so we can knock them down one by one.” Jennifer Wright

Presenter Bio

Jennifer Wright is a pianist, teacher, composer, graphic artist and passionate aficionada of the creative life. She holds two degrees in piano performance (B.M., The Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT; M.M., Trinity College of Music, London, England) and studied for two years at the Stuttgart Music Conservatory in Germany.

An active solo and collaborative performer, presenter, and event producer, Jennifer has presented numerous adventurous performance events, workshops and lectures in the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Cuba. Much of her recent work focuses around alternative keyed instruments, including typewriters, toy pianos, amplified harpsichord, and her one-of-a-kind creation “The Skeleton Piano”: an upright piano that she stripped of its exterior cladding, altered mightily and plays from the inside out with a variety of wild extended techniques and electronic modification.

Jennifer’s compositions have been performed at the Portland International Piano Festival, the March Music Moderne festival, Crazy Jane Composers concerts, Portland’s “Art for the Ears” series, Cascadia Composers concerts, in collaboration with Agnieszka Laska Dancers, filmmaker Takafumi Uehara, and XX Digitus (among others), and in recitals in the U.S., England and the Karjalohja Summer Series in Finland. In November 2016, Jennifer performed her compositions with Cuban musicians in the 29th Annual Contemporary Music Festival in Havana as part of the first-ever USA/Cuba composer exchange. She has served on the Cascadia Composers Board of Directors and is one-third of the intrepid female composer/performer trio “Burn After Listening.”

More info available at jenniferwrightpianostudio.com and skeletonpiano.com

Training the Ear and the Eye from the Start:  The Hoffman Method

Joseph Hoffman, M.M.
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Riverside Community Church | 317 State St | Hood River, OR 97031
Host District: Mid-Columbia
Local Contact: Rebecca Gooch

Presentation Description

Researchers have known for decades that young children do not learn best from books, but through direct experience. Joseph Hoffman will share techniques and activities which will immerse the children you teach in a rich array of musical experiences through singing, movement, and engaging activities that explore rhythm, pitch, and reading notes on the staff. Building on this solid foundation of musical awareness and skill, children develop a fluent piano technique and acquire an impressive repertoire of piano literature. The end result is students who are adept at playing by both ear and by sight.

This program has been used over the last ten years with hundreds of students in both group and private settings, and the results have been remarkably positive.

Presenter Bio

Joseph Hoffman began playing the piano at age six. In high school, he studied with Alfred Mouledous, principal pianist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. While continuing his musical studies in piano and conducting at Brigham Young University, Mr. Hoffman was appointed chorusmaster and conductor for numerous BYU opera productions, including Carmen and Pirates of Penzance. He conducted the 300-voice University Chorale and taught courses for music majors in music theory, conducting and sightsinging.

In order to help pay his way through grad school, Mr. Hoffman began teaching piano lessons to kids in the neighborhood. He wanted his students to love music and piano playing as much as he did, but he struggled to find a piano method that provided a rigorous, well-rounded musical training, while still being fun and engaging. Over the next several years, he made it his personal quest to study all he could about learning theory, and he actively researched the best methods available for teaching music. It was from these years of study, exploration, and experimentation that the “Hoffman Method” of teaching piano was born.

The Taubman Approach

Deborah Cleaver, M.M.
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Southern Oregon University | Music Department Choir Room  | 1250 Siskiyou Blvd | Ashland, OR 97520
Host District: Rogue Valley
Local Contact: Margie Daly

Presentation Description

Researchers have known for decades that young children do not learn best from books, but through direct experience. Joseph Hoffman will share techniques and activities which will immerse the children you teach in a rich array of musical experiences through singing, movement, and engaging activities that explore rhythm, pitch, and reading notes on the staff. Building on this solid foundation of musical awareness and skill, children develop a fluent piano technique and acquire an impressive repertoire of piano literature. The end result is students who are adept at playing by both ear and by sight.

This program has been used over the last ten years with hundreds of students in both group and private settings, and the results have been remarkably positive.

Presenter Bio

Deborah Ingram Cleaver holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Boston University where she studied with the renowned pianist and pedagogue Leonard Shure. After finishing her degree, she worked closely with Shure as his teaching assistant at New England Conservatory.

Ms. Cleaver has also spent many years studying the performance practice of the Baroque and Classic periods with such luminaries as Sandra Rosenblum, Edward Parmentier and Elisabeth Wright. Her broad interests have resulted in lectures for universities and music teachers’ organizations, ranging from the expressive aspects of Baroque performance practice to the correlation between Romantic literature and music.

Ms. Cleaver teaches at Lewis and Clark College and Reed College as well as in her private studio. She also organizes seminars three times each year for the Portland/Golandsky Institute community, and is the immediate past president of OMTA Portland District. She has been a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute since 2005, and teaches at their summer institute at Princeton University every summer. Previous teaching positions have been at Willamette University, St. Andrews College, and the South Shore Conservatory in Boston.

Guiding Your Piano Student in Composition

Paul Safar, Composer
Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Studio of Marge Connet | 2968 Ralinda Terrace | Roseburg, OR 97471
Host District: Roseburg
Local Contact: Carolee Harbour

Presentation Description

Musicians utilizing the Taubman approach can improve technique, prevent fatigue and injury, and maximize their ability to express music.

This presentation will focus on the practical aspects of the Taubman approach that can be incorporated without a lot of training. Participants will learn the most advantageous physical relation to the keyboard, how to successfully perform leaps, polyrhythms, chords and octaves, and improve tone production.

Presenter Bio

Paul Safar is a LIVING composer of “Art Music” – active listening, concert or theater based music. His original compositions continue the western classical music tradition as well as incorporate his love of jazz, pop and rock styles. Paul tries to push his creative abilities in each new project while maintaining accessibility for an audience. The majority of his output has been piano, chamber, vocal and theatrical pieces.