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Collegiate Group Piano:
Teaching Collegiate Group Piano: Exploring Strategies for Student Success at All Levels

July 26-27, 2022

Andrea McAlister, Seminar Lead
Guest Presenters: Leah Claiborne, Diana Dumlavwalla, E.L. Lancaster, J.P. Murphy, & Omar Roy


This seminar will equip teachers with the skills necessary for planning and implementing group teaching at the college level. Group piano is a required course for most music majors, yet teachers are infrequently given the tools to successfully organize, assess, and engage students in these classes. In this interactive seminar, participants will create learning outcomes for a variety of levels and majors, craft effective lesson plans, review group piano materials, get a first-hand look at technology in the lab, and learn communication and classroom management strategies that can be immediately implemented in their own piano labs.


SEMINAR COST: $275 per seminar or $175 for students
With DISCOUNT: $249 for current subscribers and course enrollees
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 18, 2022 (prices increase $50 at this time)

Click here to register   Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schedule  Schedule: All Times Listed in EDT (click for details)



Tuesday, July 26:
12:00-12:15 PM | Welcome and Introductions
12:15-1:00 PM | Creating Your Syllabus: Setting Expectations
  • A syllabus is a foundational course document that outlines expectations of both student and teacher. In this session, we will discuss learning objectives, course content, and student participation for a variety of group piano levels.
1:00-1:30 PM | Discussion Groups: Syllabus Review and Discussion
  • Small groups will have the opportunity to survey syllabi collected from select group piano programs, looking specifically at organization, variety of learning outcomes, attendance policies, course content, and grading rubrics.
1:30-2:00 PM | Technology in Group Piano
  • Group piano teachers are presented with a number of technological tools in the piano lab, all of which have a great impact on pacing, peer interaction, and group vs. individual instruction. This session will focus on the pedagogical implementation of technology into the group piano classroom and its use in the lab whether faced with aging or modern technology.
2:00-2:30 PM | Group Teaching Methods: A Survey
  • Piano methods specifically designed for collegiate group piano present many concepts necessary for the college music major. This survey of methods books will compare the organization of each method and their division of solo works, ensembles, sight reading, harmonization, transposition, accompaniments, score reading, and skills.
2:30-3:15 PM | E.L. Lancaster: From Rote to Note: Nine Pieces that Reinforce Theory and Technique
  • Rote learning creates opportunities for students to perform music that is fulfilling and motivational while also developing technical and aural skills. E.L. Lancaster will discuss how to integrate From Rote to Note: Nine Pieces that Reinforce Theory and Technique—a book co-written by Lancaster and Kevin Olson—into the collegiate group piano repertoire.
3:15-3:30 PM | Break
3:30-4:00 PM | Discussion Groups: Material Review
  • Groups will compare and contrast select group piano methods, looking specifically at the range of sight reading, harmonization, transposition, accompaniments, skills, solos, and ensembles.
4:00-4:15 PM | Large Group Discussion: Material Review
  • Groups will come back together to discuss method books and strategies for their use.
4:15-5:00 PM | Crafting Lesson Plans: The Building Blocks of Successful Group Teaching
  • Crafting lesson plans is a necessary component of any successful group experience. Lesson organization, pacing, short and long-term goals, sequencing, mixed teaching modes, and the incorporation of technology will be considered as we create lesson plans for the first-semester non-keyboard conservatory major.
Evening assignment: Participants will create a lesson plan that will follow the lesson plan created during the 4:15-5:00 session. Lesson plans must include timings, learning goals, and methods of delivery.

Wedesday, July 27:
12:00-12:15 PM | Welcome Back and Questions
12:15-1:00 PM | Creating Efficiencies: Communication, Cueing, & Classroom Management
  • Teaching in groups requires an instructor to make the most efficient and effective use of communication, gestures, and technology. We will start day two with a discussion about how to communicate expectations, cue for group performance, and facilitate peer learning.
1:00-2:00 PM | Small Group: Share & Teach Lesson Plans
  • Groups will share their lesson plans, give peer feedback, and revise to create effective, efficient plans. Each member will prepare and teach a small portion of the lesson to the others in the group.
2:00-3:00 PM | Expecting the Unexpected: The Joys and Challenges of Teaching Collegiate Group Piano | Leah Claiborne, Diana Dumlavwalla, J.P. Murphy, & Omar Roy
  • Teaching collegiate group piano presents unexpected challenges for even the most seasoned group teacher. Four panelists will discuss topics such as working with groups of varying levels, student injury, attendance policies, and the dreaded “I’m too good to be in this class” attitude!

3:00-3:15 PM | Break

3:15-4:00 PM | Assessment and Rubrics
  • Creating rubrics for assessment gives students clear outcomes for performance and learning. In this session, we will discuss the advantages of both peer and instructor assessment, develop grading rubrics, and practice grading sample student videos.
4:00-4:45 PM | Teaching Remotely: Zoom and the Flipped Classroom
  • The transition to remote teaching happened quickly in March 2020. Although challenging, many new and effective processes were developed to create engaging online learning environments. In this final session, we will discuss teaching and learning online, how to make the most of Zoom, and creating a flipped classroom—even when we can teach in person.
4:45-5:00 PM | Q&A and Final Wrap-Up

Schedule is subject to change.

AndreaMcalister  Seminar Lead Bio: Andrea McAlister

Dr. Andrea McAlister is Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy at Oberlin College. She also serves as Director of Digital Programming for the Frances Clark Center and Senior Editor of the Piano Magazine.

LeahClaiborne    Guest Presenter Bio: Leah Claiborne

Leah Claiborne, DMA, promotes diversity in the arts by championing piano music by Black composers in her performances, research, and teaching. She received her undergraduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and her Masters of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan. Dr. Claiborne currently teaches at the University of the District of Columbia where she serves as coordinator of keyboard studies and teaches the History of African American Music.

DianaDumlavwalla  Guest Presenter Bio: Diana Dumlavwalla

Diana Dumlavwalla is an Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at Florida State University. Previously, Diana taught at Western University where she developed the faculty’s inaugural doctoral piano pedagogy course. She also serves as a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners and adjudicates at local, regional and state/provincial competitions. As a soloist and chamber musician, Diana has performed in North America, Europe and Australia. She has presented lecture recitals and papers at numerous conferences and her research has been featured in several publications. Diana was awarded the 2018 MTNA E-Journal Article of the Year.

E.L.Lancaster  Guest Presenter Bio: E.L. Lancaster

E. L. Lancaster is a piano faculty member at California State University Northridge. Previous positions include David Ross Boyd Professor at the University of Oklahoma and Senior Vice President and Keyboard Editor-in-Chief at Alfred Music. He holds a PhD from Northwestern University and established the masters and doctoral programs in piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. In 2019, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the Outstanding Alumnus in Fine Arts Award from Murray State University.

JP Murphy    Guest Presenter Bio: J.P. Murphy

J. P. Murphy is Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Oklahoma where he teaches piano pedagogy, applied piano, and keyboard skills. His research has been presented nationally at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP), the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3), and the MTNA Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium. His article, The Neglected Consolations of Franz Liszt, is published in the Piano Magazine. Murphy earned a DMA from the University of Oklahoma, and holds additional degrees from SUNY Fredonia and the Manhattan School of Music.

OmarRoy  Guest Presenter Bio: Omar Roy

Omar Roy currently serves as Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy and Coordinator of Group Piano in the School of Music at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Roy earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma, and his research interests include practice efficiency, teaching strategies for students with special needs, sequenced repertoire assignment, and pedagogical applications of musical semiotics.

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