I attended the VMTA 2013 Summer Conference in Melbourne at Melbourne High School and it was amazing. Four days of presentations, workshops, master classes and concerts was such a motivational kick start into a new school year.
One of my favorite presenters, Jody Heald, talked about a music repertoire for students from the beginning level to higher grades and how to approach each piece in regard to mastering technique requirements and musical interpretation. Her masterclasses were very inspiring especially her unique way of awakening and bringing every suppressed emotion out of performing students. I love her creative energy.
Another inspiring presenter was Dermot Tutty, a very talented singer, teacher and composer who gave a lesson in teaching elementary singing. He not only talked about but demonstrated, through giving a little girl a lesson onstage, an importance of understanding student’s individual personality, the value of humor and how a sense of constant improvement and achievement can be a powerful motivator. Totally enjoyed it.
For the first time i got a chance to find out more about Alexander Technique thanks to Robert Schubert. He helped us became aware of our body’s unconscious responses to stress and pressure. So many of music students, teachers and performers have pains and aches from muscular contractions as a result of that. We learnt how to help ourselves and our students in bringing changes to our habitual thinking, posture and movement. Thanks Robert!
Overall, I met some interesting people, teachers whom I had an opportunity to exchange my teaching philosophies and methods with, who refreshed my views on examination programs and confirmed my long-standing opinion that music teaching is the best profession I have been privileged to have.
Well done VMTA!