CHADRON – Five Chadron State College students attended the Music Teachers National Association conference in Baltimore, Maryland, March 17-21. They are Kallie Bush of Kimball, Neb., Donica Enevoldsen of Potter, Neb., Carrie Lundberg of Chadron, Aydin Mack of Alliance, Neb., and Allen Kissack of Sidney, Neb.
In addition to sessions about music teaching techniques and a vendor expo, students from middle school to college competed at the conference.
Lundberg, who is studying both music and special education, said the experience was fantastic.
“I learned a lot. One example a presenter shared helped special learners. They were having a hard time understanding whether to play a certain note on the piano with the right hand or left. When she turned the sheet of music to the right side, they knew to play it with their right hand. Such a simple solution,” Lundberg said.
She said she was able to report on this experience and several others at the conference for a human development course she is currently taking.
Bush, who also attended the national conference last year, echoed her appreciation for learning practical applications.
“I knew I needed help with improvisation, so I attended sessions to learn basic hands-on piano techniques. School children from Baltimore were brought in for a session and they actually improvised with the presenter,” Bush said.
At the expo, Bush said there were opportunities to network, learn additional teaching techniques and also collect free music books.
Mack said he appreciated the session about prevention and care for musician’s injuries.
“The speaker gave us advice for the proper ways to warm up and cool down to avoid debilitating or career ending injuries,” Mack said.
Even though he plays brass instruments instead of piano, he said he was able to adapt the suggestions.
Kissack, a trombonist, said the conference was his first time observing other low brass college musicians.
“It was nice to see what they are doing. It made me want to work harder and take more initiative,” Kissack said.
He and Mack said they plan to audition at the Nebraska Music Teachers Association next year for the chance to advance to the national competition.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator