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MTAC Convention 2009 - Day 2

Day 2 of the convention was invigorating. I took in much great information today and will focus on digesting said information over the next few months.

Here are the events I attended today:

Hans Boepple Advanced Master Class:
- I arrived late to this event. Our country's forefathers fought and earned many things. Today I decided that among the things they won is my personal right to sleep in on July 4, Independence Day. Thank you, forefathers.
Anyway, Hans Boepple is a piano master. Last fall I attended a he gave on the music of J.S. Bach. Boepple is filled with a depth of knowledge. I caught the 2nd hour of his "Master Class" today and it was excellent. Several high school-age students performed for him and he offered critiques. This can sometimes be a very clinical process, but Boepple managed to keep things light and always encouraging for the students.

Michael Schneider Lecture on Louis Gottschalk:
- Gottschalk (1829-1869) was America's first musical virtuoso. He is particularly significant as the first American-born musician to gain wide acclaim and acceptance from Europe's conservatories and musical elite.
Schneider - whose Intermediate Master Class I enjoyed yesterday - alternated speaking about the events of Gottschalk's life and performing piano pieces composed by the man. The music was striking and the performances were stellar. 
I must admit that prior to today I had never heard the name "Gottschalk". Shame on me, I guess, but not really -- my head was previously filled with many more important things, i.e. my wife's birthdate, my bank account number, etc. But now my brain has made some space for Gottschalk, alongside all the rest.

Jane Bastien Master Class Demonstration:
- Jane Bastien is a jedi. This woman was on point today, offering a presentation of her methods for instructing children of various ages. I had previously not taken any notes at this convention, but as Bastien spoke, I found myself having difficulty keeping up with my note-taking, so insightful were her remarks. And they really ought to be: she has 50+ years of teaching experience now, and she has never stopped working. The Bastien piano method books have been among the most widely used for decades now, and they are used by teachers all over the world. She is a master instructor.
It was a joy to witness the warmth she shared with the 4 students of hers that were invited to participate in the demonstrations - a great reminder of how rich the teacher-student relationship can become.
Full disclosure: I use the Bastien method books with all of my younger students, so listening to Mlle. Bastien today was a "celebrity experience" for me. She provided great insights, and I have the 6 pages of notes to prove it.

Lecture with Jane, Lori & Lisa Bastien, "Continuing the Legacy -- Music and the Family":
- Jane Bastien worked closely with her husband James Bastien until his passing in 2005. Both their daughters developed a love of the piano also, and now, as adults, each of them teaches a thriving piano studio. Jane Bastien's mother - Lori & Lisa's grandmother - was a piano instructor as well, so the Bastien family tree is truly a dynastic link in modern piano pedagogy.
Each of the three women offered rich & humorous reminisces of their lives in music.
*It ought to be noted that Lori Bastien was wearing a smashing red leather jacket, with white stars. This top was complemented by striped dark blue pants. Only at the end of the lecture did I realize, "Of course - it's July 4th; stars & stripes, she's making it work!"

And then I headed off to a holiday barbecue.
More tomorrow.



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