The PTF offers monthly workshops, lectures, and demonstrations given by renowned presenters. Our programs address a variety of topics such as pedagogy, technique, performance psychology, historical and stylistic considerations, jazz, improvisation, and studio management.

Programs are held the first Friday of each month, October through May, at Jacobs Music (2540 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648). We meet for coffee at 9:15AM, and presentations begin at 9:45AM (unless otherwise noted).

Program Calendar 2019-2020

October 4, 2019

Jason Gallagher

Festival Syllabus


Begins at 9:15 sharp, coffee at 8:45. Members of the Piano Teachers Forum will present all selections from our 2020 Festival Syllabus, "Colors in Sound."


November 1, 2019

Veda Zuponcic

The Role of Teaching Materials in Developing Technique and Taste


Veda Zuponcic will share her experiences and opinions about the development of technique and stylistic understanding through use of sophisticated and thoughtful pedagogical materials.  What we choose to teach a beginning and intermediate student in the first years affects student and parental interest, rate of achievement, and student retention.  


December 6, 2019

Greg Sikora 

A Conversation of all Things Piano

Greg is the Vice President, General Manager, and Chief Steinway concert technician for Jacobs Music in the Philadelphia region. He prepares concert pianos for music organizations, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and all visiting concert music organizations to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as well as for universities, schools, and theaters in the region. 

Greg interfaces with concert pianists from around the world, working alongside these artists to prepare each piano to their individual specifications for every performance. In his 54+ years in the profession, Greg has worked with hundreds of artists, including many of the top names in music, from pop to classical genres. His insight and experience in the concert piano business gives listeners a new perspective in the world of pianos.

In addition to his work with music organizations and artists, Greg teaches piano technicians their trade and has written a book titled “The Pianist- Technician Relationship, A Master Class for Success” which is not only a technical guide, but also a compilation of his experiences with the realities of working in the concert piano business. Available on Blurb Bookstore. 

January 17, 2020

OPEN FORUM: Working With the Everyday Student

Often times, it feels like what we learn in our professional development works well with some students, but is quite challenging to apply with the vast majority of our studio. Two members of our forum will lead group discussion on how we work to reach every student who comes to us to learn music.


February 7, 2020 

Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada

The Riddle of the Pianist's Paradox 


Our musical world is brimming with contradictions. When we perform, we simultaneously seek control and freedom, excitement and composure, power and grace, accomplishment and acceptance. This session explores the field of contemplative pedagogy as a foundation for understanding the dual mindsets of successful performers, in order to develop strong mental skills for both practice (training) and performance (trusting). Supplementing our teaching techniques, student activities, and assessment approaches can develop confident, resilient performers at any age.


February 16, 2020

Marvin Blickenstaff


Marvin Blickenstaff will conduct a masterclass for students of PTF Members. All  are encouraged to attend and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to see a master teacher. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
177 Princeton-Hightstown Road
Princeton Junction, NJ

To register students to perform in the masterclass, please use this form


March 6, 2020

Dr. Christopher Fisher

The Secret Ingredient for Piano Teaching Success: The Powerful Role of Parents


Piano teachers commonly report an alarming trend of low student motivation and engagement, poor lesson preparation, slow student progress, and increasing student attrition. Worse yet, teachers often lament declining interest in piano study in general. While these trends can certainly be attributed to many factors, the clinicians contend that one factor in particular is usually at play: a lack of positive parental involvement.


This workshop will explore robust strategies piano teachers can employ to engage, educate, and encourage the parents of their students. The clinicians, who are piano parents themselves, will introduce and discuss the concept of parent practice retreats and their powerful impact. Additionally, participants will experience practical, time-tested practice techniques and resources that can be used to create a positive home practice environment while successfully inspiring effective, efficient, and joyful student practice.


Saturday, March 14, 2020 – See update here regarding COVID-19


April 3, 2020 - More information coming about plan for COVID-19

Dr. James Goldsworthy

Three R`s of Music Reading:  Recognition, Realization, and Retention

By always reconsidering how we read [both tenses/pronunciations] music, we provide ourselves with fertile ground for how we nurture music reading in others. How many of us learned to read music was most likely based on the 18-member mnemonics of E-G-B-D-F, et al. How we now read music is probably relatively automatic, perhaps with the exception of alphabetically counting up or down for distant ledger line notes. In this presentation we will consider how humans came to notate music, how notation evolved, how we teach deciphering, and how the means of deciphering impacts our singing/playing and memory of that which we have read.


May 1, 2020

Brainstorming/Voting for Programs in 2020-2021


In this session we will focus together to plan what all of us would like our next year's programs to be. Share your feelings and thoughts so that your voice is an active part of our Forum. Your vote is important and needed to ensure that a wide variety of perspectives is included. All of us together make the Forum work. 

© 2017 Piano Teachers Forum of Central New Jersey.

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