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 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.

Upcoming Events

Playing Well: Strategies for Performance Preparation

Date/Time: Sunday, October 21, 2018/3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Presenter: Dr. Jill Timmons, NCTM
Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church, 104 E Simcoe Dr, Goldendale WA 98620
Presenting District: Mid-Columbia
Local Contact: Rebecca Gooch
Program Description:
One reoccurring theme that is often on the mind of pianists, regardless of level, is what creates a fine performance. How can we arrive on stage for that concert, audition, or adjudication solidly prepared and confident that we will play well? In this two-hour workshop, Dr. Timmons will explore concrete strategies that develop detailed and informed preparation along with how to be fully focused during a performance. The result can be a true connection with the music through a confident and poised performance.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Jill Timmons has performed internationally as both a solo pianist and ensemble artist, combining concert and recording projects with work as an international performing arts consultant through Artsmentor, LLC and O’Malley International Associates in Pasadena. As an artist/teacher, she has offered performances and educational residencies on three continents. Dr. Timmons has been a featured artist on National Public Radio, and has performed under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts. She has recorded on the Laurel, Centaur, and Capstone labels. Ken Burns chose music from her Amy Beach recording for the soundtrack to his PBS documentary, The War.

As an award-winning author, Dr. Timmons has written on topics that include entrepreneurship, career development, and volunteerism within the arts and humanities. She is a recipient of the Wilk International Literary Prize from the University of Southern California. In 2013, Oxford University Press published her best-selling career guidebook: The Musician’s Journey: Crafting Your Career Vision and Plan.

Dr. Timmons holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington and a Master of Music degree from Boston University. She is an artist/teacher affiliate with Classic Pianos at their flagship Portland store and in their affiliate locations in Seattle, Denver, Cleveland, and Albuquerque. When she isn’t making music, writing, or teaching, you will find her volunteering for the Urban Gleaners “Food To Schools” program.

Tips for Preparing for Syllabus Exams

Date/Time: Monday, November 5, 2018/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Heidi Evans, NCTM
Location: Pioneer Village (Library), 805 N 5th St, Jacksonville OR 97530
Presenting District: Rogue Valley
Local Contact: Catherine Rooney
Program Description:
Using the OMTA Piano Syllabus: Advice on choosing repertoire, with an emphasis on the Contemporary Era and how to figure out the level of any given piece.
About the Presenter:
Heidi Evans is a Nationally Certified Teacher and holds a Masters Degree from Portland State University. She has 17 years teaching experience with students of all levels and ages. Her ultimate goal is to teach each student to teach themselves, so that music can be a rewarding lifetime experience. She maintains a private studio in the greater Portland area, and is married to Dan, with two children, Ellia and Berren. She also enjoys playing the harp, reading, hiking, white-water rafting, and gardening with her two black cats, Shadow & Inky.

Papa Haydn and the Sonata

Date/Time: Friday, November 9, 2018/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Donna Gunn, NCTM
Location: Portland Piano Company, 8700 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland OR 97220
Presenting District: Portland
Local Contact: Deborah Cleaver
Program Description:
Follow the development of the sonata through the life experiences of Franz Joseph Haydn. Find the sonata in his personal study at the Esterhazy Summer Palace in Hungary, or at its debut on the concert stage in London. Ms. Gunn brings it all together with photos from her experiences abroad, historical primary-source commentary, and artful performances of selected Haydn sonatas..
About the Presenter:
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Donna Gunn is a never-ending seeker who delights in playing to her audience; whether at a conference or workshop on the coasts, an outreach performance in a small community, an all-school residency performance, or while teaching in her private studio. In April of 2018, she premiered the 2014 solo piano score of The Great Train Robbery by New York City composer John Muccino during the Great Plains Arts Museum’s First Friday screening.

Ms. Gunn’s ongoing passion to dig deep culminated in her book, Discoveries from the Fortepiano, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Research for the book was supported by MTNA, NMTA, and The Piano Technicians Guild. In 2017, she presented a workshop on eighteenth-century performance practice for MTNA National Conference and continues to lead workshops and seminars throughout the United States. Ms. Gunn resides in Lincoln, NE.

Baroque Dance Rhythms

Date/Time: Monday, November 12, 2018/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenters: Daniel Stephens and Judith Kennedy
Location: First Congregational Church, 1050 E 23rd, Eugene OR 97405
Presenting District: Eugene
Local Contact: Dr. Janet Pollack
Program Description:
This presentation will examine 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 period will be briefly discussed.
About the Presenters:
Daniel Stephens earned his BA in Theater at Southern Oregon University, and his MFA 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 BA in Dance and her MA in Dance History at Mills College. She was the choreographer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show for twenty five 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.

Teacher Training

Date/Time: Monday, November 12, 2018/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Paula Watt, NCTM
Location: Studio of Faye Rounds, 160 Live Oak Ct, Roseburg OR 97470
Presenting District: Umpqua/South Coast
Local Contact: Carolee Harbour
Program Description:
Ms. Watt will work with music teachers who are using the OMTA Piano Syllabus, crafting the presentation according to the needs or concerns of those who attend the session.
Topics may include:

  • Using syllabus but going deeper;
  • Setting a good foundation in the beginning piano student;
  • Teaching young students how to practice;
  • Combining method books with classical literature;
  • Building sight reading skills;
  • Memorization;
  • Fingering and mapping;
  • Finding syllabus in the music;
  • And more!

About the Presenter:
Paula Watt, NCTM, is a master teacher in the Portland area. Her students have often won awards at Portland festivals, and she has had several students place in the MTNA Student Performance Competitions. Active in OMTA, Ms. Watt co-chairs the OMTA Scholarship Competitions. She has mentored many teachers in the Portland area.

Ms. Watt studied Undergraduate Piano Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music under Fernando Laires. She also completed her ARCT in Piano Performance at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. After completing her Bachelors of Music Degree at the University of Toronto she went on to complete her Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois under Charles Leonard. She has been happily teaching in the Portland area for 32 years.

Albums for the Young: Fascinating but Lesser Known Repertoire Choices for the Intermediate Level Pianist

Date/Time: Friday, January 11, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenters: Dr. Crystal Zimmerman
Location: Tigard United Methodist Church, 9845 SW Walnut Pl, Tigard OR 97223
Presenting District: Tualatin Valley
Local Contact: Patti Widener
Program Description:
This lecture will explore fascinating but lesser known repertoire choices for the intermediate level pianist. These compositions are similiar to Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op. 68, ranging in length from one to three pages and are technically accessible for the intermediate student. Dr. Zimmerman will discuss the character pieces in the middle of the nineteenth century, around the time of Schumann and the impetus behind the explosion of “Albums for the Young” during this time. Playing pieces from Schumann’s Op. 68, Dr. Zimmerman will demonstrate comparable/alternate, suitable works by other composers such as Mosonyi, Kullak, Heller, Gade, Godard, Karganov, Kiel, Köhler, Kirchner, and Gurlitt. Many of the pieces have programmatic titles; it is this “character” element that can be a powerful creative stimulus for the student. For younger students especially, engaging imaginations in response to the images and emotions suggested by the title, can create truly magical learning experiences.

About the Presenter:
Dr. 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.

Dr. Zimmerman 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 serving as pianist in the Salem Chamber Orchestra. Dr. 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.