President’s Message, Fall 2010

Dear IMTA Members,

I am always thinking of ways to guide my students to learn music musically. How can I assist them to develop practicing habits for a musical performance? What is the very first  practicing habit my students need to learn to make music musical? Is it posture, hand position, rhythmic stability, note and finger accuracy, pattern recognition, phrasing, or musical  analysis? What are the other important practicing habits that need to become second nature during my students’ practicing?

As a young pianist prior to college, my practicing habit was to learn notes, rhythms and fingerings. As soon as those were established I went on to “making music.” Upon entering college, my piano professor told me to make music the first time I  looked at a piece of music. I thought he was kidding – I always learn notes, rhythms and fingerings before I make music. Lesson by lesson, he guided me to study and hear a score before touching the piano – to analyze a score musically and theoretically. He taught me to ask questions of the score. What is the meter at the beginning, the middle and the end, what are the  large parts, where are the repetitions, the variations and the contrasts, where is the climax, what moods are conveyed, and is this phrase a question or an answer? From there he  encouraged me to carefully practice the score by including accurate readings of the notes, rhythms and fingerings, while making beautiful phrase shapes, interesting colors, rhythmic  and metric vitality, and architectural sense of the piece.Continue reading

President’s Message, Spring 2010

Hello to my fellow members of IMTA!

This is a new adventure for me at the helm of our organization and a big thank you goes to Janet Piechocinski for making the transition seamless for me.  I hope to fill in the big shoes left from Janet and previous IMTA Presidents including Lori Rhoden, Julianne Miranda, Karen Thickstun and Joyanne Outland.

We have enjoyed a wonderful tradition of Conferences – the fabulous 2009 IMTA Conference we experienced at Taylor University.  A warm appreciation goes to Leon Harshenin and his committee members for organizing the concerts and interesting sessions. The 2010 IMTA Conference was held October 8-9, 2010, at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.  Special thanks to Cheryl Everett who chaired this conference.  Look for more information on our website about the 2011 conference to be held on the campus of Indiana University.Continue reading