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 

Unlocking the Secrets of Modern Classical Music: Teaching our students how to explore contemporary repertoire through the composer’s ears
Workshop + Master Classes and/or Lessons

Date/Time: Friday, November 6, 2020, 5:00 to 7:00 PM (Master Class) and Saturday, November 7, 2020, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Lecture)
Presenter: Dr. Mark Stevens
Location: Zoom
Presenting District: Umatilla/Morrow
Local Contact: Sue Nelson
Program Description: Aaron Copland’s What to Listen for in Music teaches all music lovers how to enjoy music more fully. We can explore Copland’s ideas easily with students of all ages as we work with them on new repertoire. By doing this, our teaching becomes more exciting as we involve composition, theory, musicianship, audience communication, and improved memorization in our music study! This workshop will apply Copland’s major themes of rhythm, melody, harmony, and form to his own intermediate piano pieces, as well as other music from American composers from the same time period. These concepts are easily transferred to music from any era! Finally, we will explore his ideas about listeners and performers to make for a richer recital experience.
About the Presenter: Dr. Mark Stevens enjoys a dynamic career as a solo pianist, collaborative artist, teacher, and adjudicator. He is Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at the School of Performing Arts at South Dakota State University. Dr. Stevens’ experience as a pianist ranges from traditional piano repertoire to contemporary music, including living composers. As an advocate for 20th and 21st century music, he performs a diverse range of repertoire, with a special affinity for American composers. In recital, he engages audiences through thematic programming, juxtapositions of unique repertoire, and colorful insights about music, composers, and cultural context. An active collaborative pianist, he routinely coaches and performs with both vocalists and instrumentalists. His passion for chamber music leads him to blend chamber and solo repertoire to create concert programs of unusual variety and depth.

An active and passionate teacher for two decades, Dr. Stevens has repeatedly been awarded for the quality of his instruction.

To obtain the Zoom meeting link, please contact Sue Nelson.

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

Date/Time: Friday, November 13, 2020 and Saturday, November 14, 2020
Presenter: Jennifer Wright
Location: Zoom
Presenting District: Blue Mountain
Local Contact: Jan Miller
Program Description: Have you heard a ‘kind’ instructor say that making mistakes is normal, 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!
About the Presenter: Jennifer Wright is a pianist, teacher, composer, graphic artist and passionate aficionada of the creative life. She holds two degrees in piano performance (BM, The Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT; MM, 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

To obtain the Zoom meeting link, please contact Jan Miller.

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.)

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.