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

For more information about our OMTA/OCF Nellie Tholen District Enrichment Project Programs, contact our grant coordinator, Karen Huntsberger, NCTM.

Upcoming Events

Practice Smarter, Not Longer

Date/Time: Saturday, May 6, 2023 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 850 SW 11th St Hermiston OR 97838
Contact: Sarah Milburn
Presenting District: Umatilla-Morrow
Dr. Lark PowersRead Presenter Bio

In demand as a solo and collaborative artist as well as an adjudicator and presenter, Dr. Lark Powers has performed at such venues as Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the 92nd Street Y in New York City and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Internationally she has been heard in Europe, Mexico, and Canada. In addition to numerous collaborations with ensembles, including the Tacoma Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, the Washington-Idaho Symphony, and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, she appears in frequent two-piano concerts as part of the duo she forms with pianist Ricardo de la Torre. Locally she is a frequent performer on the Listen Live at Lunch series at the First Lutheran Church of Tacoma, the Second City Chamber Series, and the faculty artist series at Pacific Lutheran University.

Lark received a DMA in piano performance from the University of Colorado Boulder, and holds three Master’s degrees (in piano, theory pedagogy and in harpsichord) and a graduate performance diploma in piano from the Peabody Institute. Her undergraduate studies occurred at the University of the Pacific, where she earned a BM in piano performance, summa cum laude, after which she attended the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris for three years where she won a premier prix.

A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and a Washington State Visiting Artist, Lark teaches at Pacific Lutheran University where she instructs applied lessons and accompanying and coordinates the group keyboard program. Dr. Powers has presented on topics including managing performance anxiety, the creativity inherent in the Baroque repertoire, the pedagogy of keyboard harmony, and more. She is a proponent of new music, specializing in the music of Latin American composers, and can be heard on recordings with the Pan Pacific Ensemble on Albany records and the Cherry Creek Flute Duo.

Program Description: Practice is the most significant element which will determine a musician’s success and enjoyment of their craft.Read More

However, many musicians were never taught how to practice, and some of what we think we know about learning can be updated. A few easily incorporated practice strategies can greatly increase progress and make practicing more efficient. This presentation will delve into fascinating research on how the brain learns and how this relates to music and practicing. Offering innovative and practical advice, topics discussed will include organization, spacing, the effectiveness of interleaved (random) repetition, first-time retrieval strategies, performance preparation, and common practice mistakes. With strategies to overcome the challenge of getting started, making improvement that sticks, staying focused, and planning the next session, this presentation will suggest ideas that can make practice rewarding and effective. Strategic practice techniques create transformative changes, which can be seen in overall progress as well as in performing comfort and success.

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

Date/Time: Saturday, May 13, 2023 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Grace Lutheran Church 660 Frances Lane Ashland OR 97520
Contact: Terri Horn
Presenting District: Rogue Valley
Presenter: Emily Ross holds a Bachelor of Music EducationRead Presenter Bio

from University of Colorado and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in music therapy from Naropa University. She taught public school music (general music and band) in Oregon for seven years, and English as a Foreign Language for two years while serving in the Peace Corps. She has been in private practice as a music therapist since moving to Portland in 2003. While she works with clients with a variety of challenges and learning difficulties, her specialty is autism. She taught music therapy courses and supervised music therapy students until Marylhurst University closed its doors in 2018. Emily played French horn in the Portland Wind Symphony for 18 years and is now enjoying learning Celtic harp and playing in a bell choir. She is the owner of HoofnHorn Music Therapy Studio, hnhmusictherapy.com.
Program Description: Music therapist,Read More
Emily Ross, MA, MT-BC, will review the characteristics of autism, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbance, and outline both specific strategies and general ideas for approaching students who present with these characteristics. Emily will also clarify the differences between music lessons, adaptive music lessons, and music therapy so that students can be served in the best manner possible. And finally, Emily will lead a discussion on communication with parents regarding these sensitive topics.

Teachings of Nelita True: An Homage

Date/Time: Friday, June 9, 2023 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Zoom, please contact Terri Horn for link
Contact: Terri Horn
Presenting District: Central Oregon
Presenter: Thomas Otten holds the title of Emeritus Professor, Read Presenter Bio

having retired in 2018 as Piano Area Chair from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He now resides in Portland, OR, where he is establishing himself as a master teacher and concert artist. A California native born of German-American parents, Dr. Otten 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 seventeen 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’s 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, please visit his website at www.otten.studio.

Program Description: Nelita True, who passed in January 2021 due to COVID,Read More

was one of the great artist teachers and clinicians of our time. Dr. Otten counts his study with her as one of his great blessings and joys; much of his pedagogical approach is due to his work with her. This session will illuminate her highly practical, organized, and effective approach to musicianship (tone, voicing, line, rhythmic direction), technique, practice, and memorization, along with anecdotes that underscore her warm, nurturing approach to her students.

Workshop Videos

(The following videos are available on this page below this list to active OMTA members only. Members will need to log in to view.)

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.

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