2017-2018 Speaking Schedule Reflections

This past year I was blessed to get the chance to present for several local associations and state and national conferences. Up until about three years ago, I found the idea of presenting terrifying, intimidating, and completely out of my reach.

Luckily, my inner drive, curiosity, and motivation didn’t let those feelings of fear and inadequacy stop me from giving it a shot. In return, I have realized speaking to other teachers is more rewarding than intimidating, more energizing than terrifying, and more within reach to those who persevere (and continually polish those proposals LOL).

Psst…If you’re interested in what I’ve learned along my presenting journey then check out the post Tips for Presenting: Tools, Resources, and a Pep Talk.

Let’s take a quick peek at those of you I was able to be with this past year!


First Applications of Music Learning Theory

My friend, Joy Morin, and I have been excited to get our first duo session out there. It’s exciting not only because it’s a session we put together and can present together, but because we’re able to share what we’ve been learning about applying Music Learning Theory in piano lessons.

The session, Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory for Piano Teachers, saw it’s premiere with the teachers of the  Wood-Ottawa Counties MTA in Bowling Green, Ohio last September. Piggy-backing from there we were honored to get to present it for both Kentucky (pictured above) and Indiana (pictured below) state conferences.

We also just found out this session was accepted for presentation at the 2019 MTNA National Conference in Spokane, Washington! 

If you’ve ever submitted a session to the national conference, then you know how on pins and needles you feel waiting to hear back whether or not you’ve been accepted. After getting this session rejected for the 2017 conference in Baltimore, we tweaked and revised and are looking forward to getting it out on the national level!

The moral of the story? We all get rejected – just keep on tweaking and improving and don’t give up. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a fellow colleague to help you polish your proposal. Been there – done that!


Evernote Lightning Sessions

At both the Kentucky and Indiana conferences, as well as the Ohio state conference, I was fortunate to get to present a lightning session Evernote for the Independent Music Teacher. (Both 5-7 minute and 15-20 minute versions of this session are available if you happen to be interested).

My friend told me she was puzzled going into it how in the world I would be able to cover all Evernote can do in 5-minutes. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised at how clear and concise it turned out!


Piano Pedagogy Class Guest Speaker

The last few years I’ve been speaking once or twice to the pedagogy classes at my alma mater, Ball State University. This past year our topics were studio management and how I use technology in my piano studio.

I even presented to an undergraduate piano pedagogy class at Taylor University with my session, Connect and Engage: Online Professional Development Resources for the Independent Music Teacher. Taking an in-depth look at the plethora of rich resources available at our fingertips as IMT’s, this session is especially wonderful for new teachers but really for anyone interested in learning!


Digital Management Strategies

Taming the Jungle: Digital Management Strategies for the Independent Music Teacher was actually a breakoff from my original session Connect and Engage: Online Professional Development Resources for the Independent Music Teacher. 

The latter session made me realize that more than anything, teachers seem to be overwhelmed with how to manage the overabundance of tools, resources, and idea at our fingertips. This realization developed into a completely new session that I couldn’t have been happier with.

The teachers of Louisville MTA in Kentucky invited me to give the Taming the Jungle session in February 2018 to their group. (P.S. I’m looking forward to presenting this session for all my Kentucky friends again for the 2018 conference in Louisville in September!)

This session also made an appearance (pictured above) at the 2018 MTNA National Conference in Orlando, Florida. Like the Gordon session, it was also rejected once (maybe even twice?) before getting accepted!

That’s a wrap for 2017-2018 and I look forward to 2018-2019 and all it has in store!

If you’re interested in any of these sessions appearing at your local meetings or state conference, feel free to email me directly. Details on sessions and past engagements can be found on my speaking page.



  • Your June letter is the first big item I just finished reading. It’s hard for me to take the time to do so. You have a list of categories and which one would have information with how to organize my abundance of emails. All I remember from the conference is that I should have only 20 in the inbox. Janice Wilkans

    I tried to study Evernote through the library and the video was going to fast for me. These days it is hard for me to give a lot of effort and time to things. I want everything to be short and not so time consuming. Janice Wilkans

    • Hi, Janice, I hope you enjoyed the letter! I completely understand that it can take a lot of time to take in so much stuff these days. I received and replied to the email you sent me about this a few days ago. As far as organizing emails goes, I recommend using three major folders to sort your emails: 1. PROCESS. This folder is where you should move everything that is older than one month from your inbox. This will allow you to get all of your items out of your inbox without losing them completely. They will be there for reference should you ever need to find anything and you can go in slowly and sort them at our own convenience. 2. CALENDAR-SPECIFIC. This folder will be where you will keep emails that come in that are about specific events are dates. This is good especially for emails that have links to webinars and such. 3. ACTION. This folder is items that you need to reply or tend to but that will take you more than a few minutes of your attention. The point of this is to only let your inbox be a place to sort your mail, not for storing it. I hope this helps! These were the three folders I suggested in the session I gave at the conference.

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