Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference

 Saturday, April 9th, 2022 - SUPPC 2nd Annual Conference was held in Cedar City after a one year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.  It was great to be back together, and this conference was as great as the first!

2022 Conference Details 

2022 Conference Booklet - you can read through this and see how many great presentations there were.

Some of my take-aways were:

What causes stress???  NUTS!!

N - new things/novelty

U - unpredictable things

T - Threat...whether real or perceived

S - Stress that is toxic...continuous and unsupported.  

We can reduce stress in our students' piano/lesson life by asking the following:

What would you like my help with most today?

What would you like me to hear first?

What do you feel you did really well this week?

Giving our students a bit more autonomy during their lessons will help reduce stress AND help them feel more empowered and motivated.

The different panels were informative.  I especially loved the question asked the 4 University professors:  What do you wish you would have known when you first started out with your collegiate education/career?  There were some great suggestions and it caused me to think about my own...I wish someone would have shaken me by the shoulders and said, "PERFORMANCE ISN'T THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO WITH PIANO!!!"  I might not have wasted 30 years.  However, I AM making up for lost time thanks to UMTA!!!  *_*

I loved that Dr. Allred shared her favorite duets list and Dr. Dean's.  Dr.Dean had the best list of solos and duets.  Here's his list:

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

"Let's Write!" with Christopher Oill

(REMINDER:  There will not be a chapter meeting in April due to the Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference being held on April 9th.  More details can be found HERE.)

Today's chapter meeting really gave some great insights into how we can help our students compose.  And we didn't even need a keyboard to start!  The handouts Christopher used can be found below.  They are helpful to have as you go through the video posted below the handouts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Stunning Studio Spaces!!

Although we were few in number, we were able to record this fabulous Zoom meeting.  I was amazed at the wonderful ideas and recommendations Christie gave that can improve and enhance ANY teaching space we may be working with.  Christie's attention to detail and teaching in such a way that we are encouraged rather than discouraged was remarkable!

Here are a few of the tips I appreciated:
  • if possible, have two pianos side-by-side rather than different places in the room
  • there are some great piano design things for the bathroom...shower curtain, bath mat, hand towels if you wanted your bathroom to have some piano flair!
  • keep your instrument in tune
  • pianos on an inside wall, if possible
  • Open the lid of a grand piano away from the wall where possible
  • Organize your shelves/closet with your music; magazine holders work great (Ikea)
It was a great presentation and we really appreciate Christie's time and talent!


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Welcome 2022!!

 2021 was an interesting, but good, year!!  With most of our chapter meetings held online via zoom we had more teachers in attendance, but we missed our personal contact.  Our May Closing Social was so much enjoyed, meeting together at Vernon Worthen Park.  Who knew it would be our LAST chapter meeting with Dr. Dean present.  His death impacted our chapter and community deeply.  He is missed in so many ways!!

Our December chapter meeting was a gift of time to each of us.  No meeting was held.

And now we have ushered in 2022!!  Our first meeting was held on January 11th with Christopher Oill presenting on Interpretation.  He used Mary Had A Little Lamb as a very easy foundation piece to work with.  It was funny to think/hear how this well-known melody could change very quickly depending on the "performers" perspective.

Many of his recommendations made me think of different students and their varying attitudes depending on what is going on in their lives.  I can hardly wait to have a cranky student play their scales as a MONSTER...and then to play them as a PRINCESS.  Hopefully, they will start to recognize the difference in their playing depending on what they are feeling inside.  

It was a great presentation, and Christopher always has some "take-aways" that improve our teaching.

FEBRUARY's CHAPTER MEETING:  Due to the change in the Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference date (moved from February, now is on April 9th) we WILL have a chapter meeting!!  

Dr. Christie Sowby will present on "Stunning Studio Spaces" (a presentation she has given several times, including at MTNA Conference!)  February 15, 2022 - Noon via zoom!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


 Performance Evaluations will be held in-person at Dixie State University on October 8-9, 2021.

If you are a member of UMTA the cost is $10/solo K-12 or 412/solo Collegiate/Adult.  If you are not a member of UMTA the entry cost if $30/student.

If you need more information, please email Patrice Hunt at

You can find more information on the UMTA website.

Holli Archer - "Registration to Recital: Tech Hacks for Your Studio and Life"

 It was great to be back for our 2021-22 UMTA chapter meetings!  We've decided to continue hosting them via Zoom so more members can attend.  

Holli presented a LOT of great ideas that we can implement in our studios to save us time and help us engage with our students, their parents, and the public.

October's meeting will feature Christopher Oill - Level Up with Left Hand Patterns

Left hand patterns easily turn “that was nice,” into “holy smokes!” Come hear how famous composers did it, and how you can, too.

Bonus: the handout has tons of patterns to try at home!

Christopher Oill composes piano pieces for The FJH Music Company, Inc., works for Faber Piano Adventures, and owns the Oill Piano Universe. He holds an M.M. in Piano Performance Pedagogy from Arizona State University.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Untimely Passing of Dr. Lynn Dean

 It was with very heavy hearts that we learned of the passing of our friend, mentor, colleague, and long-time member of our St. George Chapter/UMTA due to a three-week battle with Covid19.  His passing was on July 23, 2021 and his funeral took place on Friday, July 29, 2021.  His obituary can be found here.

His influence can't be overstated.  With a studio of private students reaching up to 99 at times, and teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Dixie State University, he still found time to serve as the UMTA State President, and in many other positions along the way.  

Our closing social in May was the last chapter meeting he attended.  And he was lots of fun, as usual.  Thank you, Lynn, for being of such good influence in so many of our lives!!  We miss you!!  

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Closing Social at Vernon Worthen Park


After a very "strange:" year of wonderful Zoom meetings, it was delightful to meet together at the park and enjoy just being together.  (Sorry we took the picture after you left, McKayla and Mark!)  It was great getting to know some of our new members, and learning new things about our long-time members!!

We hope everyone enjoys their summer, sorry we missed a few of our members: Brandon, Christian, Tallie, Elouise, Debbie, Julia, Jacob, Brenda, & Lindsay.

We look forward to many more great chapter meetings starting in September!