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Archived Sessions


Friday, January 25, 2019

Teaching Tools for Your Instrument

11:00 – 12:15 or 1:00 – 2:15, various classrooms. Lunch served at 12:15

Attend an instrument -specific pedagogy session at either 11:00 or 1:00 (see below). Choose from piano, voice, harp, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass or percussion. Hear from a fellow teacher about teaching tools unique to your instrument and enjoy sharing ideas with your peers. Make sure to reserve time to attend lunch as well!

Morning sessions: 11:00 – 12:15

An introductory look at the Swedish-Italian School of SingingDavid Kozisek, Room 124

Renown voice teacher and vocal pedagogue, David Jones, has done comprehensive research on the history, application, and benefits of the Swedish-Italian Singing School of Singing.  MacPhail faculty member, David Kozisek is a student of Jones and uses much of this technique in his own singing and teaching.  In this session, Kozisek will survey several exercises and explore their benefits and application to repertoire. Be ready to sing!  


Incorporating Elements of Taubman Piano Technique into Your Playing and Teaching, Autumn Zander – Room 127

Pianist and pedagogue Dorothy Taubman developed an approach to piano technique that emphasizes correct body alignment, positions and motions to eliminate tension and to overcome technical barriers. In this session, Autumn will share reflections from her week at the Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium studying the Taubman Approach. She will provide a brief background of Dorothy Taubman, outline the primary elements of the Taubman Approach, cite specific repertoire examples in which the concepts can be readily utilized, examine video excerpts from Skype lessons that she has taken. In addition to handouts, there will be 10 minutes reserve at the end of the session for discussion and/or questions.


Using SKYPE and Online Technologies in String lessons, Jeremy Swider, Room 126

Jeremy will share his presentation which was given at the MNSOTA All-State workshop in August. He will cover practical tips for teaching string lessons via SKYPE, including best practices and troubleshooting possible challenges. He will show several video clips of student SKPYE lessons to demonstrate working examples of a variety of teaching situations. A detailed handout will be provided.


 Incorporating Improvisation into Mallet Percussion Lessons, Jenny Klukken, Room 607

This presentation will walk through easily applicable strategies of incorporating improvisation into mallet percussion lessons for all skill levels and will explore the importance of improvisation and free-play for all levels of students. This presentation will contain some percussion-specific teaching strategies. However, the majority of exercises and concepts can easily be applied to other instruments as well.


Afternoon sessions: 1:00 – 2:15

Insights into Sight Reading, Sue Ruby, Room 126

Sue Ruby will share a sight reading talk that she presented to the Saint Paul Piano Teachers Association in October. She will discuss the importance of teaching solid sight reading skills to increase student enjoyment and student retention. She will cover the who, why, what, when, where and how of teaching effective sight-reading skills. Included will be practical suggestions and ideas for repertoire and detailed sight reading drills.


Vibrato for Violin and Viola – How can we start it? How can we fix it? Liz Erickson, Room 127

This session will present a systematic approach to teaching vibrato with a series of exercises students can learn and suggestions for ways of helping students fix a “troubled” vibrato. Participants should bring a violin or viola so that they can try these exercises themselves. Liz will use ideas from Paul Rolland and Mimi Zweig, the book, Viva Vibrato, and several articles from the ASTA magazine.


Tools for Teaching Harp Hand Position, Shari Rothman, Room 208

This will be a presentation and discussion about basic hand / arm / body position at the harp. What words and phrases are used to convey the position? How do we reinforce the position, so it sticks right from the beginning? How do we get students to close consistently, stay relaxed, keep thumbs up and keep open spaces between 1 and 2? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Included will be a review of different hand positions used by harpists around the world and a discussion about which one you like to teach and why.


Flemenco Techniques for Every Guitarist, Jim Flegel

References and allusions to flamenco are ubiquitous for guitarists; even the youngest students imitate flamenco techniques. Mastery of the most advanced techniques requires, well, mastery of the guitar. However, a familiarity with the fundamentals of ligadosrasgueadoalzapuapicado and tremolo can enhance the playing technique of any guitarist. This session will present these techniques, and teaching methods for developing these techniques, as well as demonstrations of exercises and repertoire.




Thursday, November 15, 2018

Teaching Tools to Maximize Student Potential

11:00 – 12:30, Room 126. Lunch served at 12:00

How many times have you complained that your students say they're practicing, but they just aren't making progress? Come to this session and hear ideas about how to inspire students to get to the next level. Parent and teacher panelists will share communication tools, including shared online systems, that can help students advance. This is a one-hour presentation followed by small group discussions during lunch. 

Hear from experienced MacPhail parent, Hallie Kapsner, about the most effective way to receive information about a student's progress from the parent perspective. 

Suzuki piano teacher and teacher trainer, Annette Lee will speak about how to maintain focus with students throughout the year and how to encourage motivation from semester to semester as well as from year to year. She'll help start the conversation about how to develop engagement and community using recitals, auditions and conferences.

 Veteran MacPhail piano teacher, Cathy Smetana will share tools to help students stay focused and engaged during the week, encouraging them to take ownership of their own goals and responsibility for their progress between lessons. 

 The session was video recorded: https://youtu.be/0aMz8hwGAa8 




Idea Exchange | Using online schedule platforms to organize summer scheduling
Presented by Tech Mentors & Guests
Friday, May 4, 2018 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 106

Coffee and snacks provided!

While Outlook Calendars keep all of our day-to-day schedules up to date, there are additional tools that can help gather information from students and organize your summer teaching schedule. This session will give an overview on how to use online platforms such as DoodleAcuity and Google Forms.  

Key Faculty Presentation | Individual & Group Teaching Demonstrations with Discussion
Friday, April 27, 2018 | Room 126
  • 11:00 - 12:00 pm: Video recordings of group teaching presented by Jane Tate and Joe Kaiser
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm: Complimentary lunch (Click HERE to reserve your lunch by April 23)
  • 1:00 - 2:00 pm: Individual live teaching demonstrations presented by Mark Bjork (with a violin student) and Bob Adney (with a percussion student) 

Come to our last Key Faculty Presentation of the year and watch 4 teachers in action with their students! The group class section will feature video clips from a variety of group classes that will show teaching strategies, classroom management techniques, tips for engaging students of disparate levels and more. The individual session will feature live demonstration lessons with two of our veteran MacPhail teachers. Each teacher will describe which teaching points they focused on and why. We'll have a discussion about the different teaching approaches used, the dynamics of student - teacher interactions, and the wide variety of communication skills needed for effective teaching.

 Complimentary lunch is served between the sessions. Come for the whole time, or pick and chose which session works for you. (Or just come for lunch if you want to!). This will be a fun time to connect with fellow teachers and share our wealth of teaching knowledge!




GUEST PRESENTATION: Comparative Fiddling Workshop,

presented by Lisa Gutkin,

Grammy Award winning violinist, singer, actor, and composer

Friday, March 23, 12:00-1:30 pm, Room 127


Lisa Gutkin, who is in town for her show Indecent at the Guthrie, graciously volunteered to do a workshop for MacPhail teachers about fiddling traditions. Violin and viola teachers—bring your instruments and learn about comparative fiddling from Ms. Gutkin. Other teachers are welcome to come and observe!

Included will be information about how to hold the bow differently, how the slides vary in the styles, and how the fingers need to touch the fingerboard differently. Ms. Gutkin will share the way ornaments are used in both klezmer and Irish traditional music. She will compare the rhythms and the scales and play examples on her fiddle. She will also touch on Italian Tarantella and American fiddling. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

Please RSVP by replying to this email by Wednesday, March 21, so we know how many people to plan for.

More information about Lisa Gutkin can be found here.


Idea Exchange | Overview of Online Notebooks; Evernote, Google Drive, Notability & OneNote

Presented by Jeremy Hanson, Heather VanderLey and Timothy DePrey

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | 12:00–1:00 | Room 125


Keeping detailed lesson notes is essential for ensuring student progress from lesson to lesson and for planning short and long-term student goals. Having a record of each lesson assignment is also helpful in communicating student progress to parents. And it makes our teaching lives easier!

There are many ways to keep lesson notes organized, whether your preference is to write in a notebook or type notes via e-mail. Come learn from your peers how you can use online platforms to organize and digitize your student notebooks.



Teacher Rejuvenation Day

Friday, March 2, 2018 | 10 - 3:15 pm | Antonello Hall / US Bank Lobby 
RSVP HERE for sessions and lunch by February 23

  • 10:00 – 11:30:  Naad Yoga, presented by Anna Meher-Mogensen, Naad Yoga Teacher, Raj Academy Graduate and Member of the Naad Yoga Council.

Naad Yoga is the yoga of sound. All experience has a sound – whether expressed aloud or not – and the mastery of that sound within ourselves enables us to shape our experience and our life. Rooted in the science of sound from ancient India, Naad Yoga is a healing journey of relief, growth, and awareness, expressed through musical moods based on the universal language of emotions.

In our introductory workshop, we will learn about the basics of Naad Yoga along with some breathing techniques. The practice of Naad is meditation based rather than movement based. Dress comfortably to preferably sit on the ground. Chairs will be available. More information at  http://www.naadyoga.org/

Your Ears Rock Hearing Conservation Program is designed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of recreational, occupational, and music induced hearing loss and Tinnitus. Your Ears Rock accomplishes this by improving the knowledgeaccessibilityself-efficacy, and awareness of hearing loss prevention practices in a fun, engaging, way. PROTECT YOUR HEARING IN LESS TIME THAN IT TAKES TO DAMAGE IT.

  • 12:30 – 1:00: Complimentary Lunch catered by Afro Deli. Check out the menu HERE.
  • 1:15 – 2:15 OR 2:15 – 3:15: Yoga, taught by Stephanie Kimble.

Come for an hour of relaxing, movement-based yoga. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat if you have one. Stephanie is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance and currently holds yoga teaching certificates in 200-hour Vinyasa, Yin Levels 1 & 2, and the Blooma BYOB and Prenatal programs. 




Idea Exchange | Creating Educational Videos

Presented by Andy Meyers
Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 12:30–1:30 | Room 126

Andy, an Ericksen grant winner, recently completed an educational video project which he will share with us in this session. He will demonstrate how to efficiently create professional music education videos for students to engage with at home, in classrooms and in individual lessons. Andy will showcase and discuss camera options, lighting, and technical issues. He will also demonstrate how to create and edit a set of three specific educational videos. Publishing videos on YouTube, creating playlists and sharing videos with students will also be discussed.


Idea Exchange | Favorite iPad Apps to Enhance Teaching

Presented by Tech Mentor, Jeremy Hanson

Friday, February 16, 2018 | 1:00–2:00 | Room 126

 Back by popular demand, Jeremy will share his updated list of engaging iPad apps to enhance individual lessons and group classes. Come for a demonstration of some apps useful for teaching sight-reading, ear-training, music theory and more! Bring your iPad or mobile device so you can immediately access new apps.