Saturday, February 22, 2020

Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference

What an amazing day this was!  We were dumbfounded that so many people registered, and that others came the day of the conference.  Hats off to Dr. Nancy Allred and Dr. Christian Bohnenstengel for putting together such a great event!

Presenters included:  Kevin Olson, Mark Gubler, Brandon Lee, Nancy Allred, Christian Bohnenstengel, Lori Arnold, and Shane Bowles.  Each class had valuable information, and participation.  One of the really nice things about this conference was we didn't have to decide which class to go to.  Everyone got to go to all of the presentations.

Lunch was provided through Chick-fil-et, and DSU Food Services.  It was perfect!  We didn't have to go off campus, and it gave us time to socialize with other teachers.

Kevin Olson taught the Master Class at the end of the conference, and the concert Beethoven at Five was excellent!

If you want to review/see what was presented, here are the links:

Nancy Allred: Tips for More Effective Practice and Performance

Mark Gubler: Inspiring Deep Practice

Brandon Lee: Remote teaching (Skype/Facetime)

Kevin Olson: Fluently Speak the Language of Music

Kevin Olson - handout

Shane Bowles: Fundamentals, Improvisation, Composition - The Amazing Connection to the Staff

Christian Bohnenstengel: The Healthy Pianist - Injuries and Prevention

Lori Arnold: The Making of a Piano Teacher

Once again, thanks to all those who made this event possible, and thanks to all who participated!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


We were very disappointed to hear that Paul Anderson is having severe back issues, therefore needed to cancel his presentation to our chapter today.  We are praying he has a speedy recovery, and look forward to his presentation later down the road.

Not to miss an opportunity to share with each other, our chapter still met and shared out favorite pieces of repertoire that others may not be familiar with.  Here's the list of what was shared:

Karen Baker:
Sky Blue by Vandall
Imagine – Bk 2 by Marth Meir
Caroline Jennings
Museum Masterpieces – Rollins
Jazz Book – Mike Springer
Majestic Mountains - Springer
Debbie Clementson
Applause Books
Contest Winners
Grand Solos by Bober
Guardians of Ballinmore
Carole Terry
Pianoworks Collection 1 by Bullard
Audition Repertoire by Jane Magrath
Patrice Hunt
Concerto in Chords – Glover
Midnight Maurauders – Noona
Ride of the Masked Bandito - Noona

We enjoyed getting to know a few new people to our chapter, and missed the ones who weren't here.  Welcome to Lisa Waite and Ashley Ricks.

Looking forward to the first annual Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference (SUPPC) being held February 22, 2020 at DSU, Eccles Building.  The cost is only $25 for the entire conference and there are several great presenters coming.  No membership is required to attend!!  We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas & Music...a great combination!!

Our December chapter meeting focused on some of the favorite presentations attended by our members at the 2019 UMTA Conference.  Some of the favorites included:  ideas for teaching special needs students; Brian Chung presentation on how as music teachers we are "life shapers"; and how it's important to be specific in our praise.  Instead of saying, "Nice," we might want to try being more specific and saying, "Your scales sounded especially clean and articulate today!"  These were some great reminders for those who went to conference, and those who weren't able to go!

Karen Baker, our St. George Chapter President also shared a very creative and effective color-coded early education music program that is especially useful with young children and mentally challenged individuals.  It's called Pelican Piano and can be found on Amazon:   Pelican Piano


After the presentations, we enjoyed playing some Christmas song charades, and had some great Christmas treats!!  Thanks to all those who came and shared in the fun!

Monday, November 11, 2019

UMTA State Conference
Thanksgiving Point
November 8-9, 2019

There were many great presenters, including 
Brian Chung and Nancy Breth.  

Two of our local members also presented:  
Caroline Jennings and Patrice Hunt.

Handouts from the various conference sessions 
can be viewed and downloaded 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Katrine Baker presented in October 2019

I'm playing catch-up a couple of months later...oops!!  Katrine Baker shared some of her experiences pursuing her Master's Degree in Music through Columbia University.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Starting off the new school year, we held our first chapter meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 in the Eccles Building since the Performing Arts Building, where we have previously met, is being torn down.  We are grateful to DSU for making a room available for us to use!!

Patrice Hunt presented on how we as teachers have many opportunities to teach...and not just music.  From physical health, to mental health, to musical abilities, they all interact with each other and WE are the teachers wearing so many different "hats," often within the same lesson timeframe.

To watch the presentation, click on the link below:

For additional information on upcoming chapter presentations, click here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Delightful Duets, People, and Closing Social!

What a great year this has been!!  Here's a list of the great presentations:

September -Incorporating Technology in Your Studio - Rebecca Udy
October - Flashcards...and Beyond - Lezlee Bishop
November - No Chapter presentation due to UMTA Conference
December - Improvising with Creativity - Ken Foster (and cinnamon rolls!)
January- Motivation and Stress - Caroline Jennings
February - Breaking the Curse of the Poor Sightreader - Chris Blonquist
March - Smart Practicing Tips - Juliet Preston
April - C Major scale hack plus The Ultimate Guitar Chord App - Patrice Hunt
May - Closing Social Luncheon and Delightful Duets

The first order of business, before we even started eating, was to elect a new president for next two years.  Patrice has served four years and is on the state board as well so she knew her time was up!  The official decree was "anyone NOT bringing something to eat was up for election."  Karen brought the delicious french bread, but she was also elected as the new St. George Chapter President.  She'll do a great job!!

We had so much fun eating lasagna, broccoli salad, veggies, homemade french bread, crackers and dip, all while visiting and playing duets and trios together.  (There were also some yummy desserts!!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Scales and Chord Hacks!!

Patrice presented on a couple of different ways to make teaching students scales and chords easier.  First hack was a new way to teach students to play C major scale with hands together! 

How many doors do cars have?  Two or four.  Exactly, so "doors" are our 2 and 4 fingers!! 
If you go to a "club" you have to walk in and out of the doors, right?
We have a "club" of 3's.  It's found in the middle of a C major scale (and G, D, A & E!)  And it looks like this:  3's / 1-2 / 2-1 / 3's   (practice playing the "club" a few times...)

Now, here's the saying you repeat aloud, s l o w l y, when playing these scales, hands together, until they're EASY for two octaves: 

"Start / Doors /  3's / 1-2 / 2-1 / 3's / Doors / Start Over  / Doors /  3's / 1-2 / 2-1 / 3's / Doors / End" and then go back the way you came up, repeating the saying!

It works for all five scales (C, G, D, A, E)


The other hack involved using the phone app Ultimate Guitar Chords.  It's a free app and very easy to use.

Everyone had downloaded the app on their phone, and since we were in the piano lab, everyone had their own piano and headphones to experiment with. 

Patrice uses Hallelujah to introduce her students to this app.  It's easy and a familiar tune for students.

The chords it uses are   C    Am   F    G  and   E7

After making sure everyone can play these chords with close voicing,  everyone played the chords while Patrice played the simple melody with the right hand, which is what she does with her students.  Then they could experiment with playing the RH melody along with the LH chords. 

This is an easy way to teach students chords, and the importance of learning LOTS of them, so they can play whatever they want!!

There are thousands of songs available on Ultimate Guitar Chord app, so options are limitless.