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What is the Piano Connect Virtual Retreat?

Virtual live gathering of interactive and engaging sessions, masterclasses, concerts, breakout sessions, hands on instruction, delicious recipes (who doesn't love good food!?), and camaraderie. Gain valuable creative tools for lead sheets, improvisation, composition, rote teaching, and more that will carve the path for a lifetime of fulfillment at the piano!

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What is the Piano Connect Virtual Retreat?

Who is Piano Connect for?

Piano teachers, professional, and amateur pianists who are looking to expand their creative toolbox and find their unique voice at the piano, while feeling connected and inspired by like minded individuals. You will leave with a fresh, renewed sense of where to take your music and how to instill the joy of music making for yourself and your students.

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Who is Piano Connect for?

Who is Teaching?

Join the top educators from around the globe and learn valuable creative tools for you and your students.

 

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is an internationally-renowned music educator, piano teacher, writer, podcaster and presenter.
Tim’s passion is helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation whilst building sustainable, thriving studios.
He has more than 20 years’ experience in education, having taught in the United Kingdom and around Australia in subjects as varied as music, outdoor education, PE, mathematics and IT.
Tim was consultant editor for the Australian Music Examination Board’s Piano for Leisure Series 4 books released in 2017, which involved selecting and editing 108 new pieces for student examinations across Australia.
His series was the first in Australia to feature creative practice ideas for improvising, exploring and composing to help students and teachers feel more comfortable being creative in lessons.
Tim’s writing and training courses have been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher, Californian Music Teacher, EPTA Piano Professional and the Journal of the MTAC, USA.
Tim loves cycling, coffee and learning how things work. He has trekked to Everest Base Camp and held certifications in fields as varied as pyrotechnics, laser operation, abseiling and remote-area first aid.
Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is an internationally-renowned music educator, piano teacher, writer, podcaster and presenter.
Tim’s passion is helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation whilst building sustainable, thriving studios.
He has more than 20 years’ experience in education, having taught in the United Kingdom and around Australia in subjects as varied as music, outdoor education, PE, mathematics and IT.
Tim was consultant editor for the Australian Music Examination Board’s Piano for Leisure Series 4 books released in 2017, which involved selecting and editing 108 new pieces for student examinations across Australia.
His series was the first in Australia to feature creative practice ideas for improvising, exploring and composing to help students and teachers feel more comfortable being creative in lessons.
Tim’s writing and training courses have been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher, Californian Music Teacher, EPTA Piano Professional and the Journal of the MTAC, USA.
Tim loves cycling, coffee and learning how things work. He has trekked to Everest Base Camp and held certifications in fields as varied as pyrotechnics, laser operation, abseiling and remote-area first aid.
Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

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Jeremy Siskind

Pianist-composerJeremy Siskind is “a genuine visionary” (IndianapolisStar) who “seems to defy all boundaries” (Jazz Ink) with music “rich in texture and nuance” (Downbeat). The winner of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition and 2nd-place finisher in the Montreux International Jazz Piano Competition, Siskind has proven that he’s one of the most innovative, virtuosic,and inspiring pianists in the world. As an educator, Siskind started teaching at the collegiate level at age 19, earning his first tenure-track job at Western Michigan University at age 25. An in-demand clinician, Siskind has written 11 publications with Hal Leonard, including the landmark instructional books Jazz Band Pianist and First Lessons in Piano Improv. He currently teaches at California’s Fullerton College, chairs NCKP’s “CreativityTrack” Committee and spreads peace through music in places like Lebanon, Tunisia, and Thailand with the non-profit organization, Jazz Education Abroad.

Jeremy Siskind

Pianist-composerJeremy Siskind is “a genuine visionary” (IndianapolisStar) who “seems to defy all boundaries” (Jazz Ink) with music “rich in texture and nuance” (Downbeat). The winner of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition and 2nd-place finisher in the Montreux International Jazz Piano Competition, Siskind has proven that he’s one of the most innovative, virtuosic,and inspiring pianists in the world. As an educator, Siskind started teaching at the collegiate level at age 19, earning his first tenure-track job at Western Michigan University at age 25. An in-demand clinician, Siskind has written 11 publications with Hal Leonard, including the landmark instructional books Jazz Band Pianist and First Lessons in Piano Improv. He currently teaches at California’s Fullerton College, chairs NCKP’s “CreativityTrack” Committee and spreads peace through music in places like Lebanon, Tunisia, and Thailand with the non-profit organization, Jazz Education Abroad.

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Paula Dreyer

Paula Dreyer is a classically-trained pianist and composer, making music in a unique style that draws upon influences of classical, Spanish, film, and improvisational music. Known for her transporting and mesmerizing performances, Paula has graced world-class stages from Carnegie Hall to the Green Music Center, performing in the US, Canada, Nicaragua, Prague, Portugal, and Spain. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Obras in Portugal, where she composed much of the music for her globally successful Little Gems for Piano educational series. She is also a well respected educator and presents nationally to music teachers.

Paula Dreyer

Paula Dreyer is a classically-trained pianist and composer, making music in a unique style that draws upon influences of classical, Spanish, film, and improvisational music. Known for her transporting and mesmerizing performances, Paula has graced world-class stages from Carnegie Hall to the Green Music Center, performing in the US, Canada, Nicaragua, Prague, Portugal, and Spain. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Obras in Portugal, where she composed much of the music for her globally successful Little Gems for Piano educational series. She is also a well respected educator and presents nationally to music teachers.

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Samantha Coates

Samantha Coates is an internationally regarded piano pedagogue. She is the author and publisher of the BlitzBooks music education materials specialising in theory and sight reading, and the creator of the revolutionary Rote Repertoire series for piano. She has been teaching in Sydney for 35 years and adores it.

Samantha Coates

Samantha Coates is an internationally regarded piano pedagogue. She is the author and publisher of the BlitzBooks music education materials specialising in theory and sight reading, and the creator of the revolutionary Rote Repertoire series for piano. She has been teaching in Sydney for 35 years and adores it.

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Bradley Sowash

Bradley Sowash is a jazz pianist, composer, and educator specializing in improvisation. After many years as a touring performer and recording artist, he turned his attention to introducing "recovering classical pianists" to the joys of musical creativity in online jazz piano classes, at teacher conferences, and through his widely-acclaimed publications.

Bradley Sowash

Bradley Sowash is a jazz pianist, composer, and educator specializing in improvisation. After many years as a touring performer and recording artist, he turned his attention to introducing "recovering classical pianists" to the joys of musical creativity in online jazz piano classes, at teacher conferences, and through his widely-acclaimed publications.

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Leila Viss

Ms. Viss holds a full-time church position as organist and accompanist, frequently adjudicates piano and composition competitions and regularly presents at conferences around the country. In 2012, Ms. Viss started a blog at 88pianokeys.me which is now found at LeilaViss.com. Her site includes music app suggestions, dynamic teaching tips, off-bench activities and original arrangements. Her fascination with the iPad and apps resulted in her book called The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps, now distributed by Alfred Music.

Leila Viss

Ms. Viss holds a full-time church position as organist and accompanist, frequently adjudicates piano and composition competitions and regularly presents at conferences around the country. In 2012, Ms. Viss started a blog at 88pianokeys.me which is now found at LeilaViss.com. Her site includes music app suggestions, dynamic teaching tips, off-bench activities and original arrangements. Her fascination with the iPad and apps resulted in her book called The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps, now distributed by Alfred Music.

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Dennis Alexander

Since his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and poince his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he has taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, NM where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Publishing Company.

Dennis Alexander

Since his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and poince his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he has taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, NM where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Publishing Company.

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Sarah Jane Kenner

I’m Sarah, a violinist, lover of all things edible, and creator of the Hungry Musician blog. I make my home in New York City, where I work as a professional violinist and food blogger. I have loved cooking for as long as I can remember, which, coincidentally, is about as long as I’ve been playing music.

Sarah Jane Kenner

I’m Sarah, a violinist, lover of all things edible, and creator of the Hungry Musician blog. I make my home in New York City, where I work as a professional violinist and food blogger. I have loved cooking for as long as I can remember, which, coincidentally, is about as long as I’ve been playing music.

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Kevin Helppie

Dr. Kevin Helppie Tribute Concert to his 3rd Grade Buddy Forrest Kinney

Kevin Helppie, Baritone, DMA
Debra Huddleston, pianist, MM, Bösendorfer Educational Artist

World Premiere: Song Cycle: Oyster Blues
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie
poetry by Henry Hughes

5 Selections from: World Songs Book Collections
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

5 selections from: Bridges to Artistry
Pedagogic Songs for vocal students of all ages
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

A couple of cherished memories from Kevin

Kevin Helppie

Dr. Kevin Helppie Tribute Concert to his 3rd Grade Buddy Forrest Kinney

Kevin Helppie, Baritone, DMA
Debra Huddleston, pianist, MM, Bösendorfer Educational Artist

World Premiere: Song Cycle: Oyster Blues
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie
poetry by Henry Hughes

5 Selections from: World Songs Book Collections
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

5 selections from: Bridges to Artistry
Pedagogic Songs for vocal students of all ages
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

A couple of cherished memories from Kevin

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Sarah Whitney

Praised by The Washington Post for her “marvelous violin acrobatics,” Sarah Whitney is a widely recognized performer and musician’s life and business coach.

She is a founding member of the string quintet SYBARITE5, whose last 2 albums have reached the top ten on the Billboard Charts. SYBARITE5 is winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Grand Teton, and Ravinia Festivals.

In 2015, Sarah founded Beyond the Notes, an innovative concert series that breaks down the boundaries between the audience and the performers. Entering its seventh season, Beyond the Notes presents groundbreaking concerts around the country as well as a full season of concerts in Concord, MA.

As a musician’s life and business coach, Sarah helps musicians craft fulfilling and sustainable careers in music and has given workshops at the Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Rice University and is author of the widely-read blog The Productive Musician.

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan School of Music, as well as a Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Sarah Whitney

Praised by The Washington Post for her “marvelous violin acrobatics,” Sarah Whitney is a widely recognized performer and musician’s life and business coach.

She is a founding member of the string quintet SYBARITE5, whose last 2 albums have reached the top ten on the Billboard Charts. SYBARITE5 is winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Grand Teton, and Ravinia Festivals.

In 2015, Sarah founded Beyond the Notes, an innovative concert series that breaks down the boundaries between the audience and the performers. Entering its seventh season, Beyond the Notes presents groundbreaking concerts around the country as well as a full season of concerts in Concord, MA.

As a musician’s life and business coach, Sarah helps musicians craft fulfilling and sustainable careers in music and has given workshops at the Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Rice University and is author of the widely-read blog The Productive Musician.

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan School of Music, as well as a Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

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Testimonials

See what other people are saying about us.

Tresa Ann

Tim Topham - "Thank you for extending yourself above and beyond what anyone could ever expect. You have been such a great source of encouragement and inspiration and I am most grateful for all you do. I can only imagine how blessed your students must feel having you as their teacher."

Richard RejinoPender’s Music Co

Bradley Sowash- “…Your appearance at the NPITYA in Dallas was spectacular! The evaluations from the teachers gave you rave reviews on all of your sessions. You have much to offer teachers, especially those who don’t play jazz and are somewhat intimidated by the prospect of teaching it.”

LindaPianist and Teacher

Paula Dreyer- "Thank you for being a wonderful teacher and the highlight of my summer. Your vision and journey has provided me with much personal insight and inspiration. Your flow has truly been my energy and joy."

Grant KondoPiano Teacher

Piano Connect is an ALL-STAR list of presenters. Not only do I know all of them but unlike most conferences, there isn't a single presentation I'd want to miss!

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