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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. Meetings will be held on Friday mornings, September through May. All programs will begin at 9:45AM (coffee at 9:15AM), unless otherwise noted. We are planning to meet in person at Jacobs’ new location in Princeton, located in the Windsor Green Shopping Center (3495 US 1 S, Princeton, NJ 08540). We will continue to broadcast programs via Zoom for those who wish to attend virtually.

2022-2023 Program Calendar

September 23, 2022

Syllabus Meeting

Austin Beaver and the Syllabus Committee


Begins at 9:15AM. Members of the Piano Teachers Forum will present all selections from our 2022 Festival Syllabus, Together We Dance.


October 7, 2022 - Michal Tal

Women Composers in Perspective


History of music is full of masterpieces by women composers, but they were not revealed to the listeners and disappeared for many years. Today, these works are performed and recorded more and more and the awareness of them among the performers, musicologists, as well as the radio stations, is growing, and many musical treasures are revealed. This lecture-recital will present a variety of works, whose recordings are rare and which are almost never performed on the concert stage. Most of the repertoire is from Tal’s new Album GEMS (available on Spotify, apple music and all streaming devices). All repertoire is recommended for young students.


November 4, 2022 - Laura Amoriello, Fernanda Nieto, and Danette Whelan 

From Heart to Hands: How Mindfulness can Revitalize Your Teaching


Music and mindfulness are a powerful combination that inspires easeful and joyous music-making. In this interactive session, three certified meditation instructors will share mindfulness techniques for every music lesson, including breathing, self-kindness, and improvisation exercises. 



December 2, 2022 - Qin Ling

Nurturing Vulnerability through Piano Teaching: Suggested Pedagogical Approaches for Working with Diverse Learners


How can piano teachers make it more likely that piano learners are brave and trustful in music and everyday life? Perhaps the answer lies in a better understanding of the role vulnerability can play in the life of musicians. As discussed by Bréne Brown, vulnerability refers to the courage and willingness to face uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Vulnerability is truly the essence of innovation, creativity, and change, which could help develop piano students’ own artistic voice with a focus on enjoyment.


In this session, I examine vulnerability and its study in different educational contexts. Following, I present pedagogical suggestions for helping all types of learners develop a vulnerable approach to music making with the understanding that different students may encounter challenges to exhibiting vulnerability easily due to any number of variables. The specific pedagogical approaches discussed will hopefully lead teachers to strategically encourage vulnerability and healthy risk taking in psychologically safe environments, where mutual trust develops through uncertainty and emotional exposure from both teachers and students.


It is my belief that the capacity to deal with every student’s personality, handle what they bring to the table, and nurture both their vulnerability and, consequently, their confidence in learning and playing goes way beyond teaching piano. This ability on our end can not only help our students cultivate true love and enjoyment, but also help them transfer the power of vulnerability to other areas of life to become individuals who are sincere, compassionate, trustworthy, courageous, resilient, and grateful.


January 6, 2023 - OPEN FORUM

STUDIO MANAGEMENT: Christianne Bessières Lane

Topic: Teaching Materials and Resources


February 3, 2023 - Stefan Young

The Basics of Musical Composition


This presentation will discuss how to start composing, and how to continue to grow as a composer. Techniques of development, harmony, and form will be introduced. Attendees will learn how to improvise their own pieces during the session, and will have a chance to share these compositions.


March 3, 2023 - Rebecca Pennington

Joyful Music Making: Teaching Young Beginners in Groups


Teaching a group piano class of ages 4-5 year olds can easily leave a teacher feeling exhausted and without resources. Yet, there are so many benefits to this format: social experiences, peer teaching and learning, performance experience, and group musicianship activities. Many times, students of this age group have extra time to devote to piano class and the time to build foundational skills before other activities crowd into their schedule. This presentation will explore curriculum considerations, musicianship activities, and classroom management strategies for group classes with young students that will leave you equipped to teach young beginners in a classroom setting.  




May 5, 2023

Brainstorming/Voting for programs in 2023-2024


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.

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