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

Stepping into the Light: Thoughts on Performance Anxiety
and The Body Always Wins, or: How to Prepare for Just About Anything

Date/Time: Friday, February 22, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Presenter: Dr. Diane Baxter
Location: Lea Emerson Studio, 401 Sunset Dr, La Grande OR 97850
Presenting District: Blue Mountain
Local Contact: Rebekah Carter
Programs Description:
(10:00 AM to 12:00 PM) “Why are my hands cold and clammy?” “Why is my heart pounding?” “Did you just say something to me?” “No, I can’t just relax!” Performance anxiety is a complex topic that involves how we think, how we feel, and how we behave. The results of it may range from mildly discomforting to completely paralyzing. We all want to get it right when it matters most, whether we are performers, family members, or teachers. All of us have something to gain by understanding what happens as we strive to excel. This talk will introduce some of the causes of performance anxiety, and will offer some tips on how to do your best under duress.

(1:00 to 3:00 PM) Thoughts on how we get ready for performance in the privacy of our own practice rooms. We cannot think our way into new ways of performing. We have to perform our way into a new way of thinking.

About the Presenter:
Diane Baxter performs as a soloist, a chamber musician, and an orchestral pianist throughout the United States, in Canada, Japan and France. Her training is primarily from a long heritage of Hungarian piano teachers, including Bela Boszormenyi-Nagy and Gyorgy Sebok. Diane has worked recently with British pianist Paul Roberts, London-based artist Charles Owen, and Washington DC’s Alon Goldstein. Dr. Baxter is the Principal Keyboard Artist for the Newport Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with the Cascade Festival of Music Orchestra, the Western Oregon Symphony, the Newport Symphony Orchestra, and the Oregon Mozart Players. Dr. Baxter is currently Professor of Music at Western Oregon University where she has received the Faculty Honors Award for Outstanding Creativity and the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching. She regularly teaches courses in Ethnomusicology, Graduate Research Methods, Performance Anxiety, and Studio Piano. Her article on music and the brain, “The Science of Artistry: The Fourth String”, was published in the international journal, Clavier Companion (November/December 2013). She is editor of The Oregon Musician, a journal for the Oregon Music Teachers Association. Dr. Baxter frequently gives workshops on performance anxiety for students and teachers, and adjudicates for piano competitions and festivals around the northwest. In March 2015 she served as principal adjudicator of 350 pianists and presenter of the keynote speech, “Stepping Into the Light: Advice for Performers”, for the Woodley Competition in England.

Teaching Beginning Jazz: Playing from a Lead Sheet

Date/Time: Friday, March 8, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Paul Safar, Composer
Location: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1770 Baxter Rd SE, Salem OR 97306
Presenting District: Salem
Local Contact: Deborah Butler
Program Description:
Explore teaching jazz standard tunes (Real Book format) to early intermediate piano students of all ages. Ideas in arranging and improvising on these tunes.

About the Presenter:
Paul Safar is a LIVING composer of “Art Music” – active listening, concert or theatre 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.

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

Date/Time: Monday, March 11, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Joseph Hoffman
Location: Studio of Karen Gibbs, 1744 NE Reagan, Roseburg OR 97470
Presenting District: Umpqua Valley/South Coast
Local Contact: Carolee Harbour
Program 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.

About the Presenter:
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 graduate 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.

Music for the Piano Duo: Two Heads are Better Than One

Date/Time: Tuesday, March 12, 2019/10:00 to 11:30 AM
Presenter: Dr. Jill Timmons, NCTM
Location: Dr. Bonnie Esbensen Residence, 2993 NW Acacia Place, Corvallis OR 97333
Presenting District: Linn-Benton
Local Contact: Rosanne Smith
Program Description:
Having performed and recorded this repertoire for over two decades, Dr. Timmons, brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to this genre of piano repertoire. In this presentation, both students and teachers will discover new resources and ideas for exploring the two-piano and four-hand genres.

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 Art. 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.

Gems of African American Piano Repertoire: Featuring Piano Etudes by Leslie Adams

Date/Time: Saturday, March 16, 2019/11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Presenter: Dr. Thomas Otten, NCTM
Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1805 Minnesota St, The Dalles OR 97058
Presenting District: Mid-Columbia
Local Contact: Rebecca Gooch
Program Description:
Leslie Adams’ Twenty-Six Etudes for Solo Piano, completed in 2007, are written in a cross-over style that blends classical and jazz/pop elements in a unique and highly attractive manner. Dr. Otten will perform brief excerpts from each of the five African American composers introduced and will conclude with a performance of several short etudes by Adams.

About the Presenter:
Dr. Thomas Otten, a California native born of German-American parents, has been hailed by the New York Times as “an extremely original player who puts a formidable technique at the service of his ideas.” He made his debut at age 17 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and has since developed a global profile through performances in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Munich, Frankfurt, and Milan, including such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Severance Hall, the German Embassy, and the National Press Club. He has given guest artist recitals and masterclasses at top music schools and conservatories, such as the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia, the Munich Hochschule für Musik in Germany, as well as the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, and Oberlin Conservatory in the U.S.

A recipient of numerous national and international awards, Dr. Otten has studied with artist teachers John Perry and Nelita True, and worked intensively with biomechanics expert Barbara Lister-Sink. He has been on the faculties of the International Young Artists Project (Italy), Saarburger Serenaden International Music Festival (Germany), the American Institute of Musical Studies (Austria), and the Kent/Blossom Festival (Ohio), as well as concerto soloist at the Chautauqua and Brevard Summer Festivals. He has been a member of competition juries in the U.S. and abroad, and was founder of the Kent Piano Seminar in Ohio, as well director of the UNC Liszt Festival, UNC Etude Festival, and the Ginastera Centennial Celebration in North Carolina. His discography includes transcriptions of Franz Liszt and a premiere recording of etudes by African American composer Leslie Adams. He is committed to diverse music of our time, having also premiered works by electronic music expert Frances White and jazz pianist/composer Joe Utterback.

Dr. Otten is Professor Emeritus of Piano at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; previously he was chair of piano at Kent State University. His former students include prize-winning concert artist Andrew Tyson, along with other professional musicians who are active throughout the country. His collaborations include the Miami and Vega String Quartets, violinist Richard Luby, as well as baritone Marc Callahan and soprano Louise Toppin.

For more information on Dr. Otten’s activities as a master teacher/pianist, please visit his website: www.otten.studio.

Music of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary Eras: Differences in Tone, Articulation, Pedal, Rubato

Date/Time: Friday, April 5, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Dr. Thomas Otten, NCTM
Location: Oregon Coast Community College, South Beach Campus, 400 SE College Way, Newport OR 97366
Presenting District: Lincoln County
Local Contact: Rita Warton
Program Description:
What makes for a stylistically appropriate performance? Should we use the same amount of pedal in Mozart as Chopin? How do we choose articulations in Baroque music? These and similar questions will be examined to shed light on the often confusing musical choices we have we performing and teaching music from many different style periods. Optional: participants may perform a work, or portion thereof, from any era, and receive comments relating to issues of style.

About the Presenter:
Dr. Thomas Otten, a California native born of German-American parents, has been hailed by the New York Times as “an extremely original player who puts a formidable technique at the service of his ideas.” He made his debut at age 17 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and has since developed a global profile through performances in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Munich, Frankfurt, and Milan, including such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Severance Hall, the German Embassy, and the National Press Club. He has given guest artist recitals and masterclasses at top music schools and conservatories, such as the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia, the Munich Hochschule für Musik in Germany, as well as the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, and Oberlin Conservatory in the U.S.

A recipient of numerous national and international awards, Dr. Otten has studied with artist teachers John Perry and Nelita True, and worked intensively with biomechanics expert Barbara Lister-Sink. He has been on the faculties of the International Young Artists Project (Italy), Saarburger Serenaden International Music Festival (Germany), the American Institute of Musical Studies (Austria), and the Kent/Blossom Festival (Ohio), as well as concerto soloist at the Chautauqua and Brevard Summer Festivals. He has been a member of competition juries in the U.S. and abroad, and was founder of the Kent Piano Seminar in Ohio, as well director of the UNC Liszt Festival, UNC Etude Festival, and the Ginastera Centennial Celebration in North Carolina. His discography includes transcriptions of Franz Liszt and a premiere recording of etudes by African American composer Leslie Adams. He is committed to diverse music of our time, having also premiered works by electronic music expert Frances White and jazz pianist/composer Joe Utterback.

Dr. Otten is Professor Emeritus of Piano at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; previously he was chair of piano at Kent State University. His former students include prize-winning concert artist Andrew Tyson, along with other professional musicians who are active throughout the country. His collaborations include the Miami and Vega String Quartets, violinist Richard Luby, as well as baritone Marc Callahan and soprano Louise Toppin.

For more information on Dr. Otten’s activities as a master teacher/pianist, please visit his website: www.otten.studio.

Becoming the Accompanist

Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Matt Katz
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 201 SW Dorion, Pendleton OR 97801
Presenting District: Umatilla-Morrow
Local Contact: Sue Nelson
Program Description:
The biggest question that comes up in private lessons with parents of piano and guitar students, “Will my kid earn a living making music?” The answer is yes! Accompaniment makes up a fair amount of the kind of work a lot of musicians can be employed with. Have you ever asked yourself, “Outside of teaching cadences and harmony, how can I teach my student to accompany?” In this workshop, Mr. Katz will break down and demonstrate the few basic activities that will start a student on the road to becoming the accompanist. Starting with teaching cadences in a “by-rote” method, he will take attendees through a practical approach to using current pop music and classics as a way to not only keep a student engaged who might be losing steam with studying piano repertoire, but to get them using all the music theory in an applied way to teach themselves a song quickly. Mr. Katz will cover learning a song by ear quickly as well as sight -reading an accompanied piece quickly. This will be a master-class style workshop with demonstrations and audience participation.

About the Presenter:
Matt Katz grew up studying piano in Brooklyn, NY. After earning a BFA in studio composition and jazz studies at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, he went on to tour with dance and pop bands honing skills on keyboard, production, vocals and arranging. He also spent some time working in music publishing as a sync licensing agent. Mr. Katz began privately teaching lessons during his senior year of High School and has done so steadily ever since, to students of all ages. Besides teaching, he also produces records for various singers, bands and artists as well as some film and theater sound work through his production company, The Katz Cradle.

Mr. Katz works with all types of vocalists and pianists from beginner to advanced. He excels at pop, jazz and contemporary theater singing styles and all types of piano study. He also teaches music theory, composition, arranging and offers both chamber and solo performance training. For more information please look online: www.thekatzcradle.com, www.fortemusicschool.com.

The Art of Phrasing

Date/Time: Monday, April 8, 2019/10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presenter: Mary Hall Kogen
Location: Studio of Janel Hahn, 354 Northstar Lane, Sutherlin OR 97479
Presenting District: Umpqua Valley/South Coast
Local Contact: Carolee Harbour
Program Description:
Phrasing comes from within, from our musical heart and soul. And it must also come from an intellectual understanding of the concepts of music, from the concepts upon which music is created and heard, from one’s musicality. Musicality combines all the elements of music. It blends individual interpretation, musical rules and the styles of periods and composers. Yet, the most important ingredient is emotion, which puts excitement and meaning into every note.

In this workshop we learn how to teach our students to play the music and simultaneously feel it. Phrasing is part of this musicality. Is it possible to teach someone to be musical, to phrase and shape music so it has both emotion and intellectual understanding?

About the Presenter:
Mary Hall Kogen is Professor Emerita at Portland State University in Portland, OR. During the 26 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.

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 presented “Movement and Mapping” at the National Andover Educators Conference in Georgia.

Ms. Kogen continues to do presentations throughout the United States, and maintains a private studio in Portland where she teaches pedagogy and piano.

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

Acquiring Aural Skills: Listening Deeply

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 9, 2019/10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Presenter: Dr. Johnandrew Slominski
Location: Dr. Bonnie Esbensen Residence, 2993 NW Acacia Place, Corvallis OR 97330
Presenting District: Linn-Benton
Local Contact: Rosanne Smith
Program Description:
The composer and pianist Robert Schumann wrote in 1848 that, “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.

About the Presenter:
American pianist Johnandrew Slominski 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” (All Classical 89.9), 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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. Dr. Slominski is a New Piano Collective artist.