2106 MTNA National Conference

2106 MTNA National Conference

The MTNA National Conference joins music teachers across the country for interactive workshops, piano masterclasses, outstanding musical performances, and much more.

This year’s conference took place on the beautiful river walk of downtown San Antonio. The sessions covered a wide range of topics appealing to everyone from the novice to the seasoned pedagogue. The performances featured the contemporary string trio “Time for Three” and concert pianist Emmanuel Ax.

It was inspiring to cross paths with successful OU graduates. Dr. Linda Christensen, Dr. Michelle Conda, Dr. Courtney Crappell, Dr. Julie Knerr, and Dr. Mario Ajero were leading presenters. Recent OU graduate, Marji Flint was awarded the prestigious MTNA Studio Fellowship Award. The OU faculty was also active at the conference; Dr. Jane Magrath presented an Alfred showcase and Dr. Barbara Fast lead the elementary piano masterclass. Click here to access the handouts from the conference.

Post conference, each attendee from our group was asked to name one thing that impacted them–a quote, a valuable teaching tool, a fresh perspective. Please enjoy reading about their experiences.


The conference offered me a great chance to meet new colleagues and reconnect with former ones. In addition to Robert Duke’s inspiring session about how students learn, Seymour Bernstein and Dr. Fast also gave excellent masterclasses. 


The speaker that impacted me most on Pedagogy Saturday was Robert Duke and his presentation on “If We Learn Like That, Why Do We Teach Like This?” In this presentation, Duke discussed the brain and how memories are created and retained which he then related back to how this can influence teaching our students to remember better. After Duke’s presentation, I felt inspired to revamp my own lesson plans and come up with more creative strategies for quizzing and grading in an academic setting.


I learned about a music studio management program called “my music staff”. It is mobile friendly and has a beautiful interface. With MMS you can manage lessons, billing, student practice, and much more. MMS is also more reasonably priced than it’s competitors (only $12.95 a month for unlimited students). Here is the link to the program


Some of my favorite quotes from the conference came from Dr. Conda’s session on teaching adults. Re: practice assignments, she said “It is better to tread water than to drown”. Give students shorter assignments if it will keep them practicing because a little practice is better than none at all. Dr. Conda also said that you need to “get down, get dirty” and check in with your adult student every 5-6 weeks to make sure you are still on the same page working together. 


What impacted me from the conference was level of networking. I had the opportunity to meet teachers from different parts of the country and learn of different teaching strategies, technology, and ways to successfully run a studio. 

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