There are about 200 piano teachers here in Halifax for the every-other-year conference of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations (CFMTA). I posted this on the piano teacher board, but it might be of interest here as well.
Two highlights from the presentations...
Thomas Parente, a Dalcroze-and-piano prof from New Jersey (Westminster Choir College), gave a presentation from his forthcoming Oxford U Press book on achieving flow at the keyboard. He's a warmhearted, earthy fellow, and he had some interesting thoughts on making piano practice and performance ever fun, ever joyful. Basically the task is to choose repertoire that is either within one's grasp or just above it, and then find ways to practice musical snippets that are short enough so as to always be easy. It's a mindfulness technique, to discover or reclaim one's sense of mastery.
Alan Fraser, an expat Canadian living in Serbia, is something of a piano technique guru: his work has been discussed on this board. He's a Feldenkreis practitioner, who has applied those principles to the motion of the finger/wrist/arm. He has published some books and CDs on technique, and is a thoughtful and ever-questing sort of temperament. Perhaps he's onto something new - or new-old, coming as it does partially out historical harpsichord playing - but Fraser has been through many high-level piano regimes to arrive where he is today.
He's now giving master classes here and there in N. America and Europe, mostly for the community of advanced adult pianists (i.e., those beyond their formative years of study). Nice guy, and I have a feeling he is a fine pianist. His demonstration playing exemplifying different styles was intriguing and well done, and he mentioned he's giving a Rachmaninov recital this Sunday in the Amherst, MA area, where he has a following.
Fraser is a name to note, a la Abby Whiteside, Dorothy Taubman, Peter Feuchtwanger, et al. And he's a Canadian boy, from Montreal!