Guest: Dr. Michelle Conda

Guest: Dr. Michelle Conda

MCondaWe were very fortunate to have Dr. Michelle Conda at OU this week. Dr. Conda is an Associate Editor for Clavier Companion magazine with her specialty in the field of andragogy—adult learning. She is a founding member and on the Steering Committee of the National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3). National conference participations include the Steering Committee of the Adult Learning session of Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA), Steering Committee of the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program and Steering Committee member of The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NMCP). She lectures locally and nationally, including MTNA National Conference, GP3, and NMCP.

Dr. Conda gave two energized presentations; one on teaching adult piano students and another on the university job search.

She shared with us her “ten tenets” of teaching adult piano students, backed by research from experts such as Malcolm Knowles, Carl Rogers, and Erik Erikson. Each tenet also came with “take withs” and “cautions”. Click here to view her powerpoint presentation.

In a nutshell, here are Dr. Conda’s ten tenets: 

1) The aging population is smart

2) Adults choose their course of study

3) Don’t believe “I’m doing this just for fun”

4) Adults lack self confidence

5) Adults will be your friend

6) Social is important

7) Money matters

8) In, through, out is possible

9) Adults aren’t all the same

10) Adults will continue to learn

In Dr. Conda’s second presentation on job searching she gave insider advice on job preparation, searching, interviewing, and what to do once you land a job. You can view her presentation by clicking on this link.


– organize material on interfolio

– consider dropbox for media

– microsoft office template for Vita

– don’t wait until the deadline to submit

– ask politely for recommendation letters and send thank you notes

– only give them what they ask for but let them know that you have supporting material upon request


– Chronicle of Higher Education

– College Music Society

– Wiki Piano Pedagogy Jobs


– do your hmwk

– dress professionally

– make eye contact and give a firm hand shake

– listen – don’t just talk!

– be prepared to talk salary

– consider non messy foods

The Job

– the best time to negotiate salary is when you are hired

– ask about new equipment and money for moving expenses

– be a good colleague

– find local and national outlets for your skills

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *