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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

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
Thursday, November 17, 2016 | 12:00–1:00 | 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

Join these School partnership teachers as they share reflections from a November trip to Baltimore where they observed “OrchKids,” an after-school program sponsored by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Hear about how the relationship between a professional orchestra and an after school intensive string program can help engage at-risk students in a meaningful program.


Idea Exchange | Recording and Editing Videos in MacPhail Studios (Includes time for Q and A)
Presented by MacPhail IT staff and Tech Mentors
Wednesdat, December 14, 2016 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 310
Come and learn how to record, edit and share teaching videos from your MacPhail studio. Our IT staff will review the studio equipment available to teachers and will demonstrate best practices for recording. We’ll include a substantial question and answer period to help address specific challenges, so make sure to bring your questions. Tech mentors will be on hand to share their recording recommendations and to provide support.


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...