APTA Conference

September 26 & 27, 2014
Black Knight Inn, Red Deer
By Kay Alexander

The theme for this year was ‘Wild About Teaching’ and the clinicians lived up to the idea! Michiko Yurko is a very highly regarded and experienced Suzuki teacher who openly shared her ways of engaging her students. She strongly believes in supporting many learning styles and has a line of teaching strategies that can be found at www.musicmindgames.com.

Dr. John Burge, a fellow Calgarian, was energetic and entertaining as he shared his ideas on nurturing music in his students. Joseph Fridman spoke on teaching artistry and expression while beautifully demonstrating his topic. His gentle and humble approach makes his amazing talent all the more striking.

Friday evening began with a banquet, the presentation of scholarships and finished with a performance at the Red Deer College. Colleen Athparia played an extensive program from Mozart, Grieg to Granados in the first half. She began the second half, typically with some lesser known works by Clara Schumann, flowed into Chopin and finished with the very modern style of Allan Gordon Bell’s Danse Sauvage. The whole performance flowed with such apparent ease and beauty that it was difficult to come back to reality at the end.

Between sessions there were many things on sale at the trade show. Here I found a set of music books that are aimed at the child with ADHD and/or autism. The composers, Eleanor Gummer and Marie-Therese Gummer, are ADHD themselves. There are 4 lesson books that take students to playing music hands together and learning scales. Each book has a spiral binding so the book clearly show one page at a time. Each page is clear and appealing without a lot of distracting clutter. There is a set of books for the older beginner and activity books that correspond to the lesson books. I was very excited to find someone addressing the needs of these students and look forward to using them in my studio. For more information on this go to http://www.oneeyepublications.com.

Overall it was a great time filled with much inspiration, many friends to meet and ideas to share. All in all it was a good way to gear up for the teaching year.