Summarising the Summit

Holy smokes! What a magnificent time we had at The Piano Teacher Summit! July 8-9 we spent two wonderful days with 70 piano teachers from around the country! You could feel how much much passion for music education there was in the room, for learning and trying new things. There really is nothing quite like the magic that happens when we can be together!

On day one of the Summit, Paul Myatt got us all moving with Whole Body Learning. Then Samantha Coates gave us fabulous ideas for developing pedalling skills from the beginning. Matthew Nutley shared the Hal Leonard Exam Finder repertoire tool and some new resources, this is an excellent free tool you can check out here.

After lunch Dr Randall Faber brought a beautiful, philosophical discussion around creating agency and co-creation with making music and learning with our students. Following Dr Faber, Angela Turner was an absolute wealth of knowledge about developing aural skills with lots of practical tools to include in lessons. And Kathryn Raats rounded out our day with a dive into studio branding and presenting authentically as a business.

What a first day! Not only were we all together making music, but we also had the opportunity to play the magnificent pianos at the Yamaha Premium Piano Centre (including the brand new CFX concert grand.)

On day two we had an early start with Breakfast Club. And moved straight into Paul Myatt’s very practical session learning about the reading tree. Samantha Coates blew our minds with all of the ways we can use flash cards in lessons for maximum effect. Then Angela Turner shared a great session about productive practice with some brilliant reading recommendations.

A highlight for the day was a very special Masterclass with Dr Randall Faber and three young students. It gave us lots of food for thought with how we can include creative ideas in our teaching, how to communicate big ideas with young students and weaving in improvising to explore repertoire

After lunch The Piano Teacher Editor, Carly McDonald (that’s me!) presented a discussion around how young is too young to begin piano lessons. Then to pull everything together, Yamaha Grand Master Tuner, Julian Morgan-Smith literally lifted the lid off and showed us what to look for in assessing a piano.

We had such a wonderful time together for two full days of PD. It was lovely to have so many teachers together and so many conversations about making music, about creating excellent learning experiences and bettering our craft. And more than that, all of those in-between conversations were golden. Oh how we have missed it.

There are a few people we need to thank who made this possible. To Yamaha Music Australia, thank you not only for a wonderful venue and magnificent pianos to play, but also for your support throughout The Summit. To Pat’s Music for bringing all of the resources and books to us, many thanks for making things so convenient for our teachers. And to the entire team at Hal Leonard Australia for having the optimism to invest in creating a large event and wrangling the logistics at a time that that seemed like a far off dream. 

To each of our presenters, thank you. These events can’t happen without them prioritizing the travel and time to come and share with our teachers. They are all so knowledgeable and we were lucky to have them.

And to you our wonderful teachers. Thank you for supporting this inaugural professional development event. It was so lovely to see you, to have those conversations and be able to spend time together.

Our hearts and minds are full. Thank you. 🥰🎶

Photos: James Terry

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