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Tenth Annual

Winter Piano Pedagogy Conference

Saturday, February 10, 2018: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Greaves Hall NKU School of the Arts



Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts

Northern Kentucky Music Teachers Association

Ohio Music Teachers Association – Southwest

University of Cincinnati: College Conservatory of Music – MTNA

Welcome to the 2018 Northern Kentucky Winter Pedagogy Conference. We are delighted to be celebrating our tenth year, and would

like to thank all of you who return each year for making the conference a success.

This year we have quite an exciting menu of presentations. The morning sessions will feature the nationally recognized pedagogue,

Marvin Blickenstaff, who will share his expertise in two sessions titled Doing What Comes Naturally:  Nature's Clues To Performance

and The Case Of The Potential Piano Drop-Out:  What Do You Do When The Magic Stops? 

Our afternoon program will explore the complexities of teaching adult students, featuring Dr. Michelle Conda, the Director of the Keyboard Division at the University of Cincinnati: College-Conservatory of Music.  Her session, Don't Push It, You'll Lose, is sure to

provide insight in planning lessons for your adult students.

This conference would not occur without the generosity of the Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts Music Program,

Northern Kentucky MTA, Ohio MTA Southwest District and the University of Cincinnati: CCM-MTNA (student chapter).


9:00 – 9:30      Registration and Refreshments


9:30                 Welcome and Introduction to the Conference: Richard Van Dyke


9:35 – 10:35    Doing What Comes Naturally: Nature’s Clues To Effective Interpretation

                         Marvin Blickenstaff

                         What more could one ask?  The student plays accurately, the rhythm is steady, fingerings and dynamics are observed,  

                         and most of the articulations are present.  That’s a good student!  Yet something is missing in the flow of the sound, the

                         shape of the line, and in the expression.  In this session we examine ways in which natural laws of gravity, inertia, heart

                         beat, and tension/relaxation can influence our performances in a most effective, natural way.


10:45 – 11:45  The Case Of The Potential Piano Drop-Out: What Do You Do When The Magic Stops?

                          Marvin Blickenstaff

                          Most students enroll in piano lessons with great anticipation and excitement.  Often, that initial enthusiasm wanes to

                          the point that we are working to salvage a potential drop-out student.  There is much about a student's life we cannot

                          change.  But there are issues and attitudes in our teaching that can be re-examined.


11:45 – 1:00    Lunch on your own, a list of restaurants will be provided


1:00 – 2:00      Don't push it, you'll lose

                         Dr. Michelle Conda

                         Teaching adult students can be exasperating.  They don't listen to advice, they quit (just when you were getting  

                         somewhere), or don't quit (and you wish they would).  When you finally are making headway in a piece, they show up

                         at their next lesson with something different.


                         Dr. Conda will share with you her experiences both in the field of adult teaching and in her personal studio.  If you

                         decide to change YOUR attitude, you may find more rewards in teaching those pesky adults!


2:15 – 2:45      Reflections on the Day: Small Group Discussions


3:00 – 3:45      Collaborative Music Recital

3:45                  Conference Adjourns

Presenters' Bios

Marvin Blickenstaff, featured presenter: is known among piano teachers

throughout the country for his teaching, lecturing, performing, and publishing.

Currently he maintains a private studio in the Philadelphia area and teaches at

The New School for Music Study in Princeton.  Blickenstaff is the former Board

President of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and is on the

Executive Planning Committee of the National Conference on Keyboard

Pedagogy. In 2007 the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum published

tributes to Blickenstaff honoring his contribution to piano teaching in America.

Also in 2007 he was named Fellow of theRoyal Conservatory of Music in

Toronto.  He was honored in 2009 with MTNA’s highest award, the MTNA

Achievement Award, and was selected in 2013 by the National Conference on

Keyboard Pedagogy for its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michelle Conda, featured presenter: is the Head of the Keyboard Division, Coordinator of Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and Professor of Piano

at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied piano with Dr. Jane

Magrath and pedagogy with Dr. Jane Magrath and Dr. E. L. Lancaster.  She received her M.M. in piano performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and her B.M. in piano performance from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

The pedagogy program in CCM includes undergraduate pedagogy, graduate pedagogy, and a cognate (minor) in pedagogy on the doctoral level.  CCM graduates with cognates in pedagogy can be found in teaching positions all

over the country, including Louisiana, Nevada, Colorado, California, Florida

and Ohio.

Dr. Conda is Associate Editor for Keyboard Companion magazine, for which she heads the “Adult Study” column.  She also is on the editor’s team of the MTNA “EJournal.”  Other writings can be found in Soundpost, Piano Forum, and American Music Teacher. She is one of the founding members of GP3—National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, which held its sixth event in August 2012.  She has been an invited speaker at MTNA National Conference and GP3, as well as numerous local and state functions.

Dr. Conda is a member of the Cincinnati Community Orchestra, for which she has performed as soloist for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Schumann’s Piano Concerto,  Shostakovich Concerto #2, a four hand concerto with her husband—Interplay by Michigan composer David Gillingham, Khatchaturian Piano Concerto and most recently Prokofiev Piano Concerto #3. She has performed with the Cincinnati Metropolitan orchestra and for the Sienna Series in Cincinnati.

Dr. Conda’s specialty is the field of “Andragogy”—working with adults in educational settings.  She has a home studio of adults who understand they may be written about at any time.



Dr. Diana Belland, Conference Founder, Professor of Music, Northern Kentucky University

Thom McGovern, Northern Kentucky University, Acting Music Program Head

Jonathan Eaton, Greaves Hall Coordinator

Brianna Matzke, President, OhioMTA Southwest District

Natasha Pence, Conference Co-Director, President, NKMTA

Dr. Richard Van Dyke, Conference Co-Director, Adjunct Professor of Piano at NKU

Dr. Sophie Wang, Keyboard Coordinator, Lecturer Piano at NKU


Morning refreshments will be provided for those attending. So please do take this opportunity to network, renew old acquaintances,

meet new friends and discuss topics of the day with your colleagues. We hope you enjoy the Conference and return next year.


Natasha Pence and Dr. Richard Van Dyke, Conference Directors

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