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Ap.inddThe MTACAdult Performance ProgramFive Reflections and Reviews Jennifer Griest, Alison Edwards, Gwen Churchill, Lynn Kidder and Yasmin Haddadi What exactly is Adult Performance?" participants may be considered for the Adult Performance Recital at the State Convention. I was asked this question quite often during the past year as the Then came the inevitable next question: new Northern Chair for the Adult Performance program (AP). Since fall "So what exactly is going to happen there?" 2013 I found myself copying and pasting People were asking what was going to the program description in e-mails to happen, but more importantly: what students and teachers. I became adept were they going to get out of it? There were at paraphrasing during phone calls, and no cash prizes, no specific repertoire soon I could recite the entire webpage. requirements other than "Level 6 and The following is a statement from the above," and participants could choose webpage for Adult Performance: their own instructional mode. To some, MTAC offers the Adult Performance it likely seemed like a free-for-all. I program for adult students and teachers. explained that the instructional mode Each solo or ensemble participant prepares had three possibilities of participation: three compositions and can receive a private lesson, a masterclass, and individual evaluation, study with a private a recital. The private lesson or the coach, participate in a master class, and masterclass could take up all of the hour perform in a recital. Auditors are welcome allotted or the time could be divided at master classes and recitals. Recital equally. The recital was optional and, if the participant specified, it could be used California Music Teacher The MTAC Adult Performance Program " is a largely undiscovered gem. as a selection process for the State This sentiment was repeated by the judges and excited at the Convention by the judges.
frequently. Time management became chance to perform.
a regular topic of discussion. As busy This year, fourteen individuals professionals, most of us are pressed In addition to praising the quality registered to spend the day working for time on a daily basis. I have heard of the private instruction, many with two amazing musicians – from my own adult students similar commented on how much they Sharon Mann and Markus Pawlik. frustrations. "I only have ten minutes enjoyed the masterclasses. Because Participants travelled from all over on this day to practice" or "I didn't the repertoire was widely varied, Northern California, and represented have a much time so I didn't even participants felt they learned even nine of the state's Branches. There more than they anticipated. One were college students, professional teacher, having watched a Bach composers, music teachers and Probably because we lack sufficient Invention played and critiqued, said polished amateurs. The range of ages practice time, it is easy to squander she had taught the piece many times and length of study were equally what little we have because it does but never considered the ideas the not seem worth it. It is not just adult judge demonstrated. It was like musicians who face this issue. A quick hearing the piece again for the first The day of the event, Gwen Churchill search of the Internet will bring up and I welcomed the nervous and hundreds and thousands of articles on excited participants. After an time management. It will also provide The day ended with a successful introduction in the performance equal amounts of advice, and quotes recital. Composers featured were hall, they scattered to practice ranging from inspirational - Chopin, Beethoven, Scriabin, Bach, rooms, private lessons, and the first Piazzolla, and even some new masterclass. Many confessed to "I recommend to you to take care of compositions. Both performers and feeling nervous and excited. Playing the minutes; for hours will take care of judges received a standing ovation. in a strange place on a new piano themselves." – Lord Chesterfield As the judges deliberated whom with a new teacher was something they would select for the Convention many had not recently experienced.
Recital, new friends exchanged congratulations and goodbyes. Many The participants quickly became "Time is a great teacher, but participants expressed gratitude for a community, supporting and unfortunately it kills all its pupils." – the experience and promised to be in encouraging each other. Leaving Hector Louis Berlioz attendance the following year. the last event, they often stopped to discuss the instruction they had During a conversation, a participant From the Adult Performance recitals received. Many rushed to the practice deliberated which measures to focus held in the North and the South, rooms to try out new techniques on in the half hour before the recital twelve were invited to perform at the and musical ideas. One participant, began. She wondered aloud how state convention. The Convention thrilled with the instruction in her progress was possible in the short recital performers represented over private lesson, exclaimed "Who amount of time. The challenge of the ten Branches. AP South Chair Joseph would have thought you could get so program, she decided, was achieving Matthews hosted the recital, and at much done in twenty minutes!" as much as possible within that limit. This challenge did not discourage her. the close of the performance each On the contrary, she was motivated participant received a rosette.
It is a unique opportunity for adult performers to "challenge themselves and connect with their peers… So back to the original question: and shared their performances. I aim for the same objectives in my own "What exactly is Adult Performance? " Last fall, when I received a phone work as a musician. With an outlet call from Joseph Matthews (South As I learned this year, it is much like Adult Performance, we have the Chair AP) asking me to be a judge for more than the program description. chance to pursue these objectives! AP South, I immediately responded, It is a unique opportunity for adult "YES!" (I can never say "NO" to my It is indeed a privilege to play music, performers to challenge themselves dear colleague, Joe!) teach music, and most of all.share and connect with their peers, a forum music. Adult Performance gives us for addressing the problems serious What transpired after that was this grand opportunity! adult musicians face, and a place to beyond my expectations.
uncover and illuminate the necessary skills that will facilitate a successful Working with these adult students, musical life. Though we may leave from the avocational to the vocational Gwen Churchill
school behind at young age, aren't musician, in a format of private we musicians always learning? We lessons and masterclasses, was a I first attended the program as an continue our education by dipping auditor in 2008, at Diablo Valley our toes or diving headfirst into new College. I sat in on Master Classes and pieces, collaborations, experiences, We had a great time. We worked the final recital. It was very inspiring on particular passages (those nasty to me to witness the courage and the technical challenges!), talked about expertise of pianists just like me! If This year I look forward to the the setting of the piece, tried getting you have any reservations about the inquiries about this program, and am particular sounds, refined the voicing, program, I recommend starting it as excited to share ideas and goals for and discussed interpretive features an auditor. It gives you a chance to be its growth and focus. Hopefully we of a composition. Sometimes, we dug on site, to experience the energy and will continue the discussion of time into a couple of measures. At other to imagine becoming a participant. management, expand the program's times, we sought to see the piece as exploration of teaching repertoire, a whole and how everything in it The second year I attended was 2010 and encourage more performers and related to the whole. From pedaling and the program was held at the auditors to take advantage of this and fingering to tone color and Crowden School in Berkeley. I had unique opportunity. We look forward articulation, my day was completely a private lesson (William Wellborn) to having many more students and filled with musical discoveries.
and I participated in a masterclass teachers participate in the 2015 Adult (Mac McCray). The master classes Performance program! However, I must reveal that despite are somewhat small, three to six my pedagogical "moments," the thing performers and the audience is Many thanks to Joseph Matthews, Karl I got the most out of during this entire rather small, so the feel is intimate. I Goldstein, Gwen Churchill, Stephanie event was the INSPIRATION exuded came away from the experience with Austin and Amy Chen-Huey Martin for by the participants. I was inspired a renewed commitment to study their support and guidance. because they got better, learned more, and performance, inspired by the California Music Teacher
wonderful coaching and the excellent My third experience was in 2014, at Contra Costa College. I attended to offer support to our new AP North Chair, Jennifer Griest. It was a very successful program with many wonderful performances and classes. We are all very grateful to have found Jennifer and Contra Costa College! The program offers a great opportunity for adult students. As teachers, we don't often have the time or opportunity to enhance our skills. This program offers three distinct ways that this can be accomplished. Where else can you get a private lesson with conservatory level teachers, a master class or two and a final performance? All of this is offered in a very supportive environment. I highly recommend this program to anyone who might be Lynn Kidder
recital, getting excellent feedback and as a Microbial Biology Major. My performance experience as desired.
piano instructor, Mr. Bill Becker, is The MTAC Adult Performance a member of the MTAC Sacramento Program is a largely undiscovered 3. Teachers can attend the master County Branch.
gem. MTAC hires master teachers classes all day, watching how various to give private lessons and master problems are addressed - for a Last March, I had the opportunity classes for adult students and nominal fee. This alone is worth the to participate in the MTAC Adult teachers. The day culminates in a Performance Program (AP). The public recital. The northern section School of Applied and Commercial takes place in San Pablo in early My teacher, a member in Richmond, Music at Contra Costa College in San March. State board members attend suggested I participate this year - Pablo, CA hosted this event. I was – this is an important event in the with great results. In addition to the new to the masterclass and recital organization. A player signs up useful feedback I got in the lesson performance part of this process (the with three pieces, choosing private and class, at Convention I performed private lesson being the third part). lesson, master class, or recital for in one recital as a soloist in the Adult Therefore, I enrolled thinking it was each piece. Instruction is limited to 20 Performance Program and the next stepping stone to Convention and that minute slots for lessons or class. Most night on the Teacher Convention my preparation at the Certificate of of the participants this year were Recital with Carol Panofsky in an Merit, level 8, would be sufficient. intermediate or early advanced.
oboe and piano sonata.
The two judges, Sharon Mann and This is an excellent triple opportunity Start thinking now about what you Markus Pawlik, blew our minds might like to play next March, and during the Masterclasses. Their consider which of your adult students knowledge regarding each piece 1. Adult students can learn via private might benefit from this as well.
performed that day was beyond lesson or master class, and they get impressive. During each masterclass, performance experience via master endless tips were given to the class or recital.
pianist, and these tips related to every individual in the room. The 2. Teachers are welcome to participate informative discussions, formed equally, choosing lessons, class, or I recently turned 19. This fall, I will be starting my second year at American from a particular question, gave River College in Sacramento, CA
Jennifer Griest (left) earned the Fullerton. She is active nationally served various positions including Bachelor of Arts degrees in both as a performer and teacher and Treasurer. She stays active in the Music and English at Ohio State is known for her innovative Branch assisting with recitals, University, and her Master of lecture-recitals. For MTAC, she has festivals and fund raising events. Music degrees in both Piano served as a Music Reviewer for She has served one term on the Performance and Pedagogy the California Music Teacher, as an State Board as Recording Secretary from the University of Illinois at Evaluator and Instructor for the and is currently serving her second Urbana-Champaign. She serves Adult Performance Program, and year as Treasurer.
MTAC as the Adult Performance now serves as the South Chair for Chair North. A faculty member the AP Program.
Lynn Kidder (middle right) has at Contra Costa College, she performed extensively as a soloist, teaches private and group piano, Gwen Churchill (middle) received chamber musician, duo-pianist College Chorus and serves as the a B.A. in piano from Humboldt and accompanist, and is also a staff accompanist. She maintains State University and currently piano teacher and vocal coach. a private studio for all ages of runs a private studio in the Santa She has a B.A. in Music from CSU students in Oakland.
Rosa area. She is an active chamber Fresno and a M.Mus. in Piano musician, performing at both Performance from the UW in Alison Edwards (middle left) Sonoma State University and is Assistant Professor of Piano Santa Rosa Junior College. She and Chair of Piano Pedagogy has been a member of the Sonoma Yasmin Haddadi (right) is a at California State University, County Branch for 8 years having student of Bill Becker.
the experience a very personalized the Adult Performance program was the My private lesson teacher was Judge most mentally stimulating piano event that Mann, who had the most intriguing way of explaining the story behind my piece. She compared the tempo of I had ever participated in. my piece to the rhythmic movement of a train as it begins moving up until the moment it comes to a analyze a piece so well-known for The whole day was a great halt at its new destination. After its open-ended interpretations from opportunity to expand my knowledge three or four measures, we would musicians who know the piece to the in music performance.
stop and meticulously break down core really affected my perspective. Reflecting on the whole process at specific measures and discuss my This event allowed me to connect the end of that day, I concluded that performance. The piece I had chosen further with the Baroque Era and the Adult Performance program was for the masterclass and recital was the hidden emotional movements the most mentally stimulating piano the J. S. Bach Prelude No.2 in C minor throughout J.S. Bach's music.
event that I had ever participated in, (WTC Bk. 1). The opportunity to in the MTAC programs. ♫ California Music Teacher
Tian, J., et al. "Excess heat" and "heat after death" in a gas loading hydrogen/palladium system. in The 9thInternational Conference on Cold Fusion, Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2002. Tsinghua Univ.,Beijing, China: Tsinghua Univ. Press. "EXCESS HEAT"AND "HEAT AFTER DEATH"IN A GAS- LOADING HYDROGEN/PALLADIUM SYSTEM
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