Shorter students make presentations at GMTA conference

Jerico Vasquez (from left), Timothy Thomas, Haley Gravitte, Annalysa Cagasan, Grace Garnett, Samantha Deen, Caleb Ramirez, and Amy Neal at the Georgia Music Teacher’s Conference.

A group of students from Shorter University’s chapter of the Music Teachers National Association became the instructors when they presented a session at the recent state conference.

Shorter’s was one of only two collegiate chapters in the state chosen to present during the recent Georgia Music Teachers Association conference.

“Our piano students attend the GMTA conference each fall, but this year, our MTNA Collegiate Chapter was selected as a presenter for one of the 13 sessions,” said Amy Meppen Neal, instructor of piano pedagogy and class piano.

Neal serves as co-sponsor of the chapter along with Jerico Vasquez, artist-in-residence, professor of music and coordinator of keyboard studies.

Neal added, “The opportunity to present at a conference is so valuable for our students. It requires them to take topics we have discussed in class and add their own thoughts and ideas. The students spent months researching, preparing and practicing their presentation. At the conference, they presented themselves as confident future educators, and they were well received by the audience of more experienced teachers.”

The Shorter chapter’s presentation was titled “Teaching the Littlest Fingers: Research and Materials for the Youngest Beginners.”

Presenters included Annalysa Cagasan, a freshman piano performance and pedagogy major; Samantha Deen, a junior music education major; Grace Garnett, a junior piano pedagogy major; Haley Gravitte, a junior music education major; Caleb Ramirez, a sophomore piano performance and pedagogy major; and Timothy Thomas, a sophomore worship and music leadership major.

“Attending the GMTA conference has always been exciting for our students,” Vasquez said. “It is an opportunity for them to learn new ideas from many seasoned teachers and to also find new resources that will help them become successful teachers. More importantly, this is an opportunity for our students to network with other professionals and their fellow students from other fine music schools.”

Established in 2010, Shorter University’s MTNA Student Chapter also participate in service projects for the university and local community.

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