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NSMS Faculty Selected to Present at 2023 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy

Several presentations submitted by NSMS faculty members have been selected for NCKP 2023: The Piano Conference. This bi-annual conference offers an inspiring experience dedicated to piano teaching, learning, and performing. Returning to the Westin Chicago Lombard Hotel, the full in-person conference includes four days of engaging concerts, keynotes, PEDx presentations, and more. A record number of proposals were received this year, and the following presentations by NSMS faculty were selected through a blind review process. This is an honor and an exciting opportunity to interact with pianists and teachers from all over the US and the world. Congratulations to our faculty!

Teaching Portraits in Jazz by Valerie Capers: An In-depth Analysis and Practical Guidelines

NSMS Faculty Group Presentation


Valerie Capers is a celebrated composer who combines jazz and classical elements in her compositions. Her Portraits in Jazz: A Piano Album, is a collection of intermediate level pieces that honor jazz legends in a style that utilizes authentic jazz harmonies and is accessible for student pianists. This lecture-recital includes complete performances of each piece along with detailed descriptions and demonstrations of key teaching strategies. Participants will leave the session feeling equipped to teach every piece in this collection.


Bach to the Books: Music Programming at Your Local Library (lightening talk)

Kristin Cahill


The local public library can be an inclusive and diverse venue for music programming. In this session, learn how to integrate music and piano with books through musical storytimes and other events.


Nurturing Vulnerability through Piano Teaching: Suggested Pedagogical Approaches for Working with Diverse Learners

Qin Ling


Using Bréne Brown’s definition of vulnerability - the courage and willingness to face uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure, this presentation will provide pedagogical suggestions for helping all types of learners develop a vulnerable approach to music making through healthy risk taking in psychologically safe learning environments.


Confessions of First Year Teachers: From Graduate School to a Community Music School

Gonzalo Aguilar, Denise Isaac, Malissa Tong, and Gregory Worthley


This presentation will provide attendees with a glimpse into the lives of four teachers’ first year of teaching at a community music school. A glimpse into a year of teaching experiences regarding aspects of dealing with parents, communication, professionalism, coursework, and self-care. There will be information regarding the overall structure of the program for future post-graduate students as well as advice for future first-year teachers.

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