This is the last installment of the MusicEdConnect 2016 recap.  We will be looking at technical elements, developing rhythm in Latin American pieces, engaged learning, & a controversial approach to teaching.

If you are wondering about the MEC conference, feel free to read Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 of this series!  Below is a quick teaser of each of the workshops from the Friday session.  If you are interested in learning more, purchase the Replay pass for full access to all videos until end of December 2016!

Last, but certainly not least …

10 Basic Technical Movements for Beginners

Fred was back this year & I love how demonstrative his presentations are.  Each element that he shared was accompanied by live demonstrations of how it looked on the piano & how it feels in our arms & fingers.  It was also a great reminder that I really need to get back to watching the Entrada videos Fred has created!

Developing Rhythm & Timing with Latin American Piano Pieces

I can attest to the fact that Latin American rhythms are very, very different from our typical European rhythms found in many repertoire books.  I can dance salsa with my husband, but ask me to sight-read a salsa & I will be struggling.  Alejandro took us through several aspects of Latin music: timing flexibility, salon dances, irregular meters, cross rhythms, 3+2+2 & rhythmic layering, & toccata-style pieces.  He also provided a long list of pieces that fit each category.  Needless to say, I am looking for copies of several of the songs!

Engaged Learning

Jennifer Foxx has recently changed the name of her blog to Music Educator Resources.  However, she has been sharing teaching goodies with us for awhile already.  What really blew me away about her presentation was that she took educational approaches I’m hearing about & reading from classroom teachers from a wide variety of subjects/grade levels & applied them to a piano studio setting.  If you are looking to flip your studio, Jennifer shared many ways to check for understanding in an engaging way.  Almost every way she mentioned also happened to have an app!  Needless to say I’ve been playing on my iPad for the last 2 weeks with various ideas.

Teaching Uphill

Sarah Lyngra is another presenter that I was excited to see return.  She has made a study of her students especially after realizing that many of them just do not have much time to practice during the week.  After much research into how our brains learn, she opted for a new approach.  “20 is the minimum of correct repetitions of small sections of music.”  Yes, 20 repetitions.  After each repetition the student reflects on if they played correctly or incorrectly & backs up their answer.  The research, including a study Sarah completed  within her studio, supports this approach.  She did warn us that her presentation might be controversial.  I am STILL mulling over the research & approach she has taken in her studio to see what I can learn from her success.  As teachers we should know ourselves, but be open to new ideas.  So while this workshop was controversial, more importantly it was thought-provoking.

The end … or is it?

If you are interested in learning from the amazing presenters, head over to  There are a couple workshops that I was unable to attend (sorry, Tim & David) that I will be watching in the next several weeks.

I would love to hear from you!  Was there something that got you thinking, either in the post or conference?


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