Faculty Development Meetings
At the Utah Piano Conservatory, we believe in continually improving, and that applies to our faculty as well as to our students. To that end, we hold quarterly faculty development meetings, so we can continue to grow and improve as teachers.
At these meetings, we discuss issues that I or the other directors have noticed happening in the teaching rooms, whether that be difficulties with specific students or generalities across the board. We also talk about things that are going well or things that have improved since our last meeting.
Our most recent faculty development meeting was held just this past weekend. It proved to be a valuable time for all of us to continue getting to know each other, which will, in turn, positively affect the way we teach and interact with each other and our students. Since our students are taught by at least four teachers every time they come for a lesson, communication between teachers is crucial to our coordinating efforts to teach our students together.
At this meeting, we were also able to take some time to brainstorm together. This was invaluable to me. Our teachers have such good ideas and insights. They often bring up points that I would never have thought of. For example, at this meeting, I asked for ideas to help students who are resistant to note-reading. This includes young, beginning students who just haven’t had very much experience reading notes yet, but this group is also made up of very advanced students who play mostly by ear and do not see the point of learning to read. As I had hoped, the faculty were full of ideas, such as encouraging students to take the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading through Piano Marvel on a daily basis and making a competition of passing off note identification flashcards.
I am so grateful for these quarterly meetings in which we can come together as a faculty, share our ideas, and continue to improve as teachers to our students. Even though I help lead these trainings, I usually come away feeling like I learned the most of anyone.