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Welcome to the MacPhail Music Learning Lab, the go-to professional development resource for MacPhail Center for Music faculty members.

On this page you will find a comprehensive list of professional development events.

Our blog, LabReport, features a wide range of MacPhail faculty-generated content, posts by guest bloggers, and excellent content drawn from around the web.

The MacPhail faculty is rich with ideas. Our hope is that every idea worth sharing from every individual and gathering at MacPhail will find its way onto the Learning Lab website.

One-On-One Help
The MacPhail Tech Mentors are available to provide one-on-one assistance to their MacPhail colleagues as they work to integrate new tools into their work. Click here for details.

Professional Development Events

Idea Exchange | De-escalating Tense Students Situations—Calm Every Storm with Verbal Intervention
Presented by Jane Laine, Music Therapy Manager
Friday, October 7, 2016 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126

Have you ever been caught off guard by a client or student with challenging or confrontational behaviors? In this session, you will learn how to remain calm when students or parents exhibit escalating behaviors and hostility and how to help students with disagreeable motivations. “Verbal Intervention training” stresses the importance of maintaining control of ourselves to keep responses professional and non-argumentative. You will also learn about how to:

  • Identify causes of challenging behavior
  • Recognize when verbal altercations are leading to physical violence
  • Determining exactly when to intervene
  • Quickly calm hostile behavior and outbursts
  • Assist with multiple individuals at once
  • Maintain a calm, professional, and respectful attitude


Idea Exchange | Developing Your Online Presence
Presented by Hanno Strydom
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 125

MacPhail tech mentor and cello faculty member, Hanno Strydom, will share ideas for developing an online presence for your studio.

Being visible online can be a powerful recruiting tool, can streamline the day-to-day operation of your studio, and can serve as an important learning resource for your students.

In this session, Hanno will discuss several approaches to developing your presence online, including:


Key Faculty Presentation | Working with Students who Can't, Won't, or Just Don't Practice (Enough)
Presented by Cathy Smetana
Friday, November 4, 2016 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126 — Complimentary lunch. Click here to RSVP by November 1
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 125 — Snacks & coffee provided. No RSVP
Date and time TBD | Apple Valley — Snacks, coffee and free parking! No RSVP.

Explore the reasons (real or psychological) why students can’t/ won’t/ don’t practice. Learn strategies for dealing with these realities and discover practical ideas for making lessons productive and musically satisfying anyway. Find out how integration of theory and music learning can lead to a deeper musical understanding. Cathy will talk about how to build and maintain motivation, both external and intrinsic, and how mindful practice can make a difference. Presentation complete with engaging original cartoons by Katie Condon!


Idea Exchange | Reflections on School Partnership Trip to Baltimore
Presented by Katie Condon, Sarah Krefting & Teresa Campbell
Friday, December 2, 2016 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 125

Description coming soon...


Key Faculty Presentation | The Benefits of Teaching Scale Degree Numbers
Presented by Craig Anderson
Friday, January 6, 2017 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126 — Complimentary lunch. Click here to RSVP by January 2
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 125 — Snacks & coffee provided. No RSVP.
Monday, January 23, 2017 | 7:30–8:30 pm | Chanhassen — Snacks, coffee and free parking! No RSVP.

In this presentation, Craig Anderson will share specific ways to apply scale degree numbers to teaching note reading, a theory-based comprehension of music, knowledge of an instrument, improvisation, and ear training.  The presentation will also demonstrate how each area feeds the others.  The material is for use with intermediate-level students, 14 years and older, learning most instruments; the improvisation concepts and song examples are not style-specific.


Idea Exchange | Using Technology to Support Your Teaching
Presented by MacPhail Tech Mentors
Friday, February 3, 2017 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126

Details to be announced...


Idea Exchange | Fostering the Musician's Spirit: Reflections on What it Means to be Musical
Presented by Jon Iverson
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 126

Description coming soon...


Teacher Rejuvenation Day
Friday, March 3, 2017 | Antonello Hall & US Bank Lobby
Complimentary lunch


Idea Exchange | Tips for Teaching Students with Mental Health Diagnoses
Presented by Jane Laine & MacPhail Music Therapists
Friday, April 7, 2017 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126

Description coming soon...


Idea Exchange | Using Technology to Support Your Teaching
Presented by MacPhail Tech Mentors
Wednesday, April 16, 2017 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 310

Details to be announced...


Key Faculty Presentation | How to Teach Varied Learning Styles
Presented by Dianna Babcock & MacPhail SPL Faculty
Friday, May 5, 2017 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 126 — Complimentary lunch. Click here to RSVP by May 1
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 125 — Snacks & coffee provided. No RSVP.

Description coming soon...