Cassa Pedagogy

Early Bird pricing for Pedagogy is in effect until June 15, register today.

Cassa Pedagogy July 26, 2018

St. Vladimir's Cultural Centre, 404 Meredith Road NE

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

See the registration form and the fee summary 
for further information.


Piano Pedagogy Topics

Morning - Session 1 Empowering the Musical Voice: Maximizing Expression through Choreography and Gesture 

At the core of rewarding music making is the challenge of creating an effective and comfortable physical approach with the piano. This interactive session will include activities with “hands-on” solutions to technical challenges faced by developing pianists. Areas to be covered include building a healthy technique, choreography for expressive performance, and practical approaches to achieving control of tone quality and fluency. With a well-coordinated technique students can freely engage their musical sensitivities, explore new ideas and concepts, and expand their musical horizons. 

Morning - Session 2 Hugging Porcupines: Getting Comfortable with Acquired Tastes (Dr. Hisey)

Using selected RCM-list repertoire written in the last 5 decades, we’ll explore how to become comfortable and creative with musical elements that sometimes seem prickly for teachers and hard to ‘sell’ to students. Looking through the lenses of harmonic understanding, expressive gesture, exploratory listening, sound experimentation, and improvisation, our emphasis will be on presenting and unlocking the secrets to engaged — and engaging — performance.

Afternoon - Session 1 Curiouser and Curiouser: Alice in Chordland (Dr. Hisey)

While there are many paths into improvisation, all of them — sooner or later — depend on the ability to ‘speak music’ with awareness of the vocabulary, idioms, syntax, and expressive power of harmony: chords, progressions, and voicings. Together, we’ll examine the what, when, and how of addressing harmonic matters with students from beginning to advancing levels. We’ll uncover ways of connecting to repertoire, musicianship skills, technique, and improvisation.

Afternoon - Session 2 Sparking the Musical Imagination: Exploring Interdisciplinary Connections  

Central to music teaching is developing a student’s musical imagination and creative thinking.   This interactive workshop will explore how to investigate deeper layers of musical understanding and create a more authentic personal expression through interdisciplinary awareness. Areas to be explored include movement, creative listening, visual inspiration, sound exploration, narrative, architecture, video and more.


Clinicians for 2018

Dr. Jennifer Snow and Dr. Andrew Hisey

Dr. Jennifer Snow

DR. JENNIFER SNOW is the Executive Director of The Frances Clark Center. She has held the positions of Vice President, Teacher Education and Chief Academic Officer, Examinations for the Royal Conservatory. She is actively involved with areas of creativity and innovation integrating technology and education and is dedicated to career advancement for young professionals. A passionate educator, Jennifer was previously on the keyboard faculty at the renowned UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she taught piano, collaborative piano, and pedagogy. Her students hold teaching, performing, and arts leadership positions internationally. 

More information about Dr. Snow is available here


Dr. Andrew Hisey

DR. ANDREW HISEY is recognized across the United States and Canada for his innovative and inspiring work teaching people to engage with and make music at the piano. He was a Regional Leader for the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program and continues to serve that organization as a senior examiner. He has played a major role in the creation of several widely recognized series of piano music books—The Composer Editions; Christopher Norton: Connections for Piano; Pattern Play: Inspiring Creativity at the Piano, and the 2001, 2008 and 2015 editions of The Celebration Series repertoire and etudes anthologies published by RCM Publishing.

More information about Dr. Hisey is available here


Register for this program


From Our Participants

"Thank you for hosting Piano Pedagogy today featuring lectures from Dr Bell and Mr Dupuis. I came to the workshop after Alicia signed up all the piano teachers at the studio, and I am so glad I did. There was so much that was covered today that would not be found in my regular ways of studying pedagogy, such as through books and regular lessons. I truly found it delightful to have spent the day with such experienced and refined musicians and teachers.

I would love to attend any future workshops or seminars regarding piano. Thank you for the wonderful workshop held today."

- Katherine 

I really enjoyed the program, thanks so much for putting it on! It was great to hear the practical advice on how to be a better teacher

- Denisha



Previous Pedagogy Programs

We keep a list of previous programs to help teachers see the variety and high quality of topics that we have provided in past years to assist you, the teacher, with ideas and skills that you can use in your own teaching.


2017 Dr. Laura Bell presented the My Life Teaching Music - and there’s no app for that! She shared her stories and gave practical guidelines and tools for teaching in these different areas. 

John Dupuis discussed analysis and its importance for memorizing classical sonatas. He talked about motivic links, illustrating the psychological relationships of the movements and discussed conservatory curricula, piano pedagogy and interdisciplinary arts appreciation.

2016 Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff discussed maintaining our commitment to teaching, music as part of contemporary culture, mentoring students for a life with music, the semantics of teaching, the emotion of sound and meaning of colour, the relationship between technique, choreographed gesture, and musical intent.

2015 Dr. Kent McWilliams and Dr. Christopher Hahn: Employing Effective Learning Strategies Through the Use of RCM Publications

2014 Edwin Gnandt: Understanding Chopin Style and The Soul of the Music: Gifts from the Golden Age of Piano
Willard Schultz: An Approach to Sequencing of Repertoire and Program Planning and Performance Preparation

2013 Elizabeth Pridonoff on the effects of music on our emotions, and  the interrelationship of sound and emotion then how to integrate a life of music with having a family. 
Eugene Pridonoff on why people want to play and listen to music and music’s greater purpose and on becoming aware of the difference between process oriented and goal oriented practising. 

2012 James Anagnoson: The Baroque Era and The Fundamentals of Tone Production
Dr. Janet Lopinski: Excellence in Teaching: Nurturing a Passion and The Muses Who Inspired the Master

2011 Edwin Gnandt on the Journey of the Piano Teacher, Dr. Michelle Bozynski on 20th Century Music, Gabriella Jonas on Humanism in Teaching and Joseph Fridman on The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Imagination

2010 Dr. Faina Bryanskaya

2009 Paul Sheftel on enhancing teaching by using computer technology and Dr. Sara Sheftel on using interpersonal skills with students and parents. Go to his website for some background and links

2008 Ingrid Clarfield on Rubato and other musical elements and Lillian Livingston on teaching adults

2006 Nelita True on the role of teachers

2005 Robin Harrison discussing tone production and arm weight


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