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Wonderful Wichita April 8-9, 2016!
The Teaching Parents Association Conference was a big success! Not only did we talk to many interested homeschooling parents (who bought for their families) but we reconnected with prior customers who stopped by to say “Hi” and pick up the next book they needed in the program. It was gratifying to learn how well they are doing. One little bright-eyed girl who had been learning to play the piano from her mother with MerrieNan Melodies bounced into our booth and declared, “I’m really good at piano!” Isn’t this joyous self-confidence with making music what it’s all about? It is for us!
More Conference Fun!
Summer fulfilled on its promise of more outreach fun when Betty Todd Smith, Olathe piano teacher extraordinaire, and Merrie traveled to Chicago the end of July to attend and present at the 2015 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. The hosting organization was the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. Frances Clark’s name is spoken with admiration by her followers. We feel she would have been open to our innovative approach as her guidelines included exploring new and successful ways to learn to play the piano.
A highlight was sharing MerrieNan Melodies with Dennis Alexander, composer for Alfred Music. Dennis is the brother of Merrie’s college chum Cyndie Alexander so this was a special treat. Dennis was given a lifetime achievement award at the Friday night banquet; piano teachers will recognize his wonderful body of work. Cyndie always said her brother could “really play the piano.” Indeed!
Our annual conference season was also busy this past spring with three conferences. This was the fifth year that MerrieNan Melodies hosted a booth at the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) annual gathering KMEA In-Service Workshop in Wichita, KS. It is always gratifying to meet old friends and talk with new converts to the MNM way to teach music. Limited funds for education is a current reality in the state of Kansas so many who would have liked to start MNM have to postpone their desire to add MNM to their music curriculum.
Homeschoolers are our new best friends! We appreciate their enthusiasm and purpose-driven approach to giving their children the best education they can. We hosted a booth in Wichita for the Teaching Parents Association (TPA). We appreciated their openness to something new to support their children’s music education. We will definitely go back next year! Another return visit also is warranted for the Midwest Parent Educators (MPE) Conference held in Kansas City. We met more caring parents who saw the potential in our materials. We were pleased to be able to present at MPE. We even had one devoted fan tell us, “I drove an hour back today only to attend your presentation and buy your materials!”
MerrieNan Melodies 15-Second Tour
The piano teacher or classroom music teacher who flips through the MNM EarlyStart Book, the MNM WriteStart Book, or the MNM Classroom Book Series will notice the unique approach of this method. Colored notes? Limited fingerings? Blank looking pages? Advanced theory?
Add Color; Retain Staff
MNM adds color and also retains the staff. Note identification is done with color instead of fingerings. The staff is included in the very first lessons.
Composing to Read and Play
The MNM Kit contains manipulative materials that reinforce concepts in a fun and accessible way. The MNM Kit can be used as a composing kit for years.
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