A few weeks ago I was have a wonderful time in Melbourne. Then I came home 3 days before the new school year started and that was…… a little bit hectic. Now that I have found my feet in the new school year I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect on my travels and the wonderful time I had.
My travels commenced in Adelaide with a very early morning flight to Brisbane where I got to spend time with Thembi Shears. She is a wonderful Brisbane piano teacher and friend. Someone I first met on a mutual trip to Melbourne and we have gone on to meet up at conferences. It was a whirlwind few days of planning, duet playing, eating, discussing our studios and ideas for the new year.
Having colleagues like this is so very rewarding. Thembi understands where I’m coming from and we can bounce ideas off each other. The benefits of going to professional development days can be far reaching and I am so grateful for meeting such a wonderful, inspiring and fabulous friend through them.
As we were heading to the airport we stopped at a little weekend market. Trying to keep out of the heat (and it was very hot and humid!) we found the ever elusive Washi Tape!! These little babies came home with me too.
Then I headed off to Melbourne. I was excited to be presenting at Piano Educators Day about small business and music teachers at Bernies Music Land.
Piano Educators Day is something Bernies has been running now for quite a few years. It is a day teachers can get access to major examining bodies, publishers and keynote speakers. Something to reinvigorate you just before you start teaching again for the new school year.
I presented a session about The Art of Small Business for Studios. It is a topic that isn’t often discussed at professional development days in our industry, but it is ALWAYS something that teachers are talking about. It turned out to be a great and interactive session looking at the ways we run our businesses and the choices we make to determine our future path and income. There was lots of discussion and I hope it has set some wheels in motion for teachers looking for change in their studios.
An hour just wasn’t enough to really get into the nitty-gritty and I am looking forward to exploring it more in presentations at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in Melbourne in July this year.
The next presentation was a complete change of pace with a two and a half hour presentation at Pat’s Music about the Complete Beginner. It was jam packed with creative ideas for beginners including my Groovy Music Box, repertoire, ideas with parents (shared with Gina of Diary of a Piano Mama fame) and how to integrate P Plate Piano with your students!
This workshop was SO.MUCH.FUN and it was great to meet teachers from all backgrounds. Some who had just taught a handful of lessons through to those who are veterans of the industry. It was also a hoot to see some teacher I had met at Bernies earlier in the week also come to this session.
During my Mebourne visit I also visited the Hal Leonard Australia offices and warehouse. This is like a gigantic lolly shop for music teachers. I have my favourite find, the Smart Icon Sticker Book. it has loads of little transparent stickers that I can use with students on their score without covering the music too much. I love it. Here is a little video I made so you could see inside!
My final days away were spent at the Victorian Music Teachers’ Association Development Day. It was time extremely well spent with Emeritus Professor David Lockett A.M and Glenn Riddle discussing the Australian Music Examination Board’s newly released Series 17 Syllabus. It is such an excellent collection that I am really excited to get some students into it that would otherwise been drawn to Piano For Leisure. I would be interested to hear what you think of the new series.
Over the next few months I will be sharing with you some of the gems that David and Glenn shared with us via the Creative.Piano.Professional facebook page so head on over there so you don’t miss out! I will also put up some of my favourite pieces within Series 17! It was such a rewarding trip. Meeting so many teachers eager to learn more and explore new material was so uplifting. I hope to be able to see them again and you perhaps at the upcoming professional development opportunities! While I was in Melbourne I was hosted by Gina and her family, many thanks to them for their amazing hospitality!
Teachers asked so many questions at the development days. Things that they were searching out answers to or wanting feedback on something they currently do. It made me wonder dear reader if there is something you would like to know more about?
Let me know!