2023-2024 Workshops

Programs start at 1 p.m. Our Connections time will happen beforehand at 12:30 p.m.

September 16 – Dr. Yoon-Wha-Roh (bio)

How to Memorize Music Securely

This workshop will explore tips and methods to securely memorize music. A memory slip on stage is one of the greatest fears of many performers. Secure memorization requires four types of memory:

  • Muscle memory
  • Visual memory
  • Auditory memory
  • Analytic memory

We will examine each type of memory by memorizing a short passage focusing only on one. Then, we will group these memories in various combinations with a short exercise to explore creative ways to securely memorize music.

November 11 – Jen Lohmann

Imprinting Intervals : An Off-Center Approach to Sight-Reading Pedagogy

Many piano students struggle with music reading/sight-reading, reverting to familiar fallbacks– a good ear and muscle memory. Modern methods focus on memorizing note names, C and G positions, an overreliance on finger numbers, and black-key approaches. This leads to a dependence on devices that impede efficient music reading.

Developed in response to these frustrations, Imprinting Intervals is a specific way of seeing and teaching musical notation. The basis of this pedagogy is the distillation of the keyboard to a graphic representation of lines and spaces.

  • The first lesson includes a kinesthetic approach to melodic and harmonic intervals, similar to how a string player would learn.
  • Then, the drawn lines and spaces are introduced in creative visual ways:
    • Staves oriented vertically
    • Twelve or more lines to a staff
    • Elimination of other distractions including finger numbers,
    • Incorporation of movable clefs

This presentation is designed for teachers of all experience levels and will demonstrate exactly how to structure lessons and what language to use to guide students to see and play intervals automatically. Because this teaching technique is an underlay and not a replacement for existing methods, it is relevant for students ranging from complete beginner to advanced transfer students.

Bio: Jennifer Lohmann is active in the Chippewa Valley as a piano teacher, harpsichordist, piano accompanist, and church musician. She has a degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, as well as a degree in history from Marshall University. Jennifer also teaches class piano at UW-Stout. She has a particular interest in the history of music, and tries to develop this curiosity in her students so that they can better understand the historical and cultural context of the music they play and experience.

January 20 – Dr. Yukiko Fujimura

Let Them Tell a Story: Tools to Promote Self-Expression through Music

As music teachers, we give students a valuable outlet to express themselves through music. Oftentimes, however, we find students push expression to the wayside. The use of certain visual aids has been successful in linking music with feelings, inspiring students to tell a story through music. This workshop will introduce tools every music teacher can use to help students perform with deeply felt emotions.

Bio: A native of Kanagawa, Japan, pianist Yukiko Fujimura actively plays recitals of solo and chamber music, as well as concerti with orchestra.

Fujimura graduated from UWEC in 2005 and holds a Doctorate in piano performance from Ball State University. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. During her academic career, Fujimura recorded a two-CD set of Samuel Barber’s Complete Works for Solo Piano, the first recording to include the composer’s recently published early works.

Fujimura is an Assistant Music Professor at Union College in Barbourville, KY, and serves as President-Elect for Kentucky Music Teachers Association. She has also founded Union College Community Piano Initiative for underserved youth in Appalachian Kentucky.

April 13, 2024 – Joyce Grill

In This “New” World, What Do I Teach Today, and Tomorrow and Ever After That

Covid really turned the teaching world around. Music is different. Students are different – not that they practice more! We as teachers are different and must look at what makes the most sense for the students we have. We must examine our own music background when we decide what to do after the method books. There are so many choices!

A good option for students is to accompany. There are many opportunities today in churches, groups like Kiwanis, social groups, etc. This can be easily integrated into piano lessons if started from the beginning. What kind of recitals, what competitions, what other opportunities we can think about!

Bio: Joyce Grill, NCTM, is a retired emeritus faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she taught piano, accompanying and music appreciation. She accompanied many student recitals as well as area music faculty recitals and those of touring professionals. She wrote the UW-La Crosse Fight Song as well as the Alma Mater for Viterbo University in La Crosse. Though retired, she is in demand as a clinician for student and teacher groups.

With degrees from UW-Madison, BM and MM, she received training at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France where she studied piano with Robert and Jean Casadesus and theory and composition with Nadia Boulanger. She is an active member of MTNA, having held state and national offices. She founded the La Crosse Area Music Teachers Association in l980 as well as other groups in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Her book “Accompanying Basics” was published in 1987 by KJOS and is still in use with private teachers and collegiate teachers. She has written many piano pieces for all levels published by Warner Bros. and Alfred.

In 2006, she was named an MTNA Foundation Fellow. In 2010 she was the WMTA
Commissioned Composer and the Arizona MTA Commissioned Composer in 2013. In 2021, UW-La Crosse established a music scholarship in her name.

Her goal is to help teachers keep their piano students playing as long as possible which is becoming even harder today!


Other Dates

WMTA State Conference will be held October 20-21 in LaCrosse. Information is available on the WMTA website. The MTNA Conference will be March. Details are on the MTNA website.

District Auditions will be on March 16, 2024. Federation Junior Festival will be March 9, 2024.

Other student events will be posted on the Performance Opportunities page.