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Berr_Bruce.jpg  Bruce Berr is an independent piano and pedagogy teacher and university professor at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. He is known nationally as a clinician, author and educational composer. He has lectured and done demonstration teaching for numerous state and national conferences. His popular column “ad lib” currently appears on the back page of every issue of American Music Teacher, and he has been an associate editor of Clavier Companion for 15 years. His educational compositions and arrangements are published by Hal Leonard, FJH and Opus Music. His hobbies include world radio, studying linguistics and riding his motorcycle.

Cyndie Caruth, NCTM, an Iowa MTA/MTNA member for more than 40 years, completed a music degree at Iowa State University in 1998. Her students have earned honors from district through international competitions. She received the “Friend of Education” award for her volunteer work developing a program for K–4 accompanists. Caruth served Iowa as state president, auditions chair, festivals, local associations, certification, advertising editor, repertoire, theory and Foundation. Caruth received the Certified Teacher of the Year and Distinguished Service Award in 2004. She is an accompanist, adjudicator, lecturer, organist, portrait artist and piano sales representative.


Kenneth Christensen, NCTM, is a pianist, collaborative artist and piano teacher. He began his career as an adjunct professor at Montana State University, where he taught piano, ear training and theory. Christensen first served MTNA as a local association president in Bozeman, Montana. He then became the Montana State MTA president, Northwest Division president and Northwest Division director. He has served as MTNA Conference Planning chair and National Certification chair. Christensen served as MTNA president from 2013–2015. In 2014, he was awarded the Montana State MTA Teacher of the Year. He currently maintains an independent piano studio and travels the Pacific Northwest as a clinician and adjudicator.


Stephen Cook holds BA and MM degrees from the University of South Carolina and a DMA degree from the University of Southern California. Formerly, he served on the faculty of the Colburn School of Performing Arts and was the director of the pianist program at the Orange County High School of the Arts. Cook has served on the executive board of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers and was a research program specialist with the Music Intelligence Neural Development Institute at the University of California, Irvine. He is on the faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and is associate professor of music at Whittier College.


Luann Coleman Forell is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music celebrating 50 years as an independent piano teacher. She holds a bachelor of music degree in piano and organ performance from the Sherwood Music School in Chicago and has done post-baccalaureate work at Northwestern University and the University of Memphis. A two-time past president of the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association, Forell was named Teacher of the Year in 2002 and in 2007. She has served as an adjudicator at many local and state competitions and presently serves on the executive boards of GMMTA and the Tennessee MTA.


Charles Fugo teaches applied piano and coaches chamber music at the University of South Carolina School of Music. He received degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, and studied at the Akademie des Mozarteums in Salzburg and Indiana University. His principal teachers include Abbey Simon, Jorge Bolet and Joseph Schwartz, with chamber music coaching under Menahem Pressler. Fugo has played collaborative recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and has recorded for Centaur the complete works of Schumann for viola and piano, and sonatas by Franck and Schubert with double bass. As the Jesselson/Fugo Duo he has a CD available online.


Susan Goodfellow, NCTM, is emeritus professor of flute at the University of Utah and also taught at Brigham Young University. She holds degrees from Juilliard and the University of Chicago. Goodfellow has performed as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival and with the New York City Symphony and Chicago Chamber Orchestra. She worked in music research for Encyclopaedia Britannica and was assistant editor of The Britannia Book of Music. Goodfellow has performed and presented at MTNA and National Flute Association conventions. Following retirement, she served an LDS Service Mission in Family and Church History. She is married to the late William S. Goodfellow.


Douglas Guiles, pianist, accompanist, teacher extraordinaire and sought-after judge, has had a piano studio in Columbia, Maryland, for many years. Guiles received a BS degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, studying with Miriam Gottlieb; he also studied with Genia Robinor. Guiles also holds BM and MM degrees in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory. A founding member of two Maryland State MTA local associations and the Leschetitzky Club in Maryland, Guiles is active on the MSMTA board and has chaired various MTNA competitions for the state over a 35-year period. He chairs the Gottlieb Competition and the Doris Chase Sonata Awards.



Sheila Hamaker, NCTM, is a dedicated piano teacher who has been very active in Colorado State MTA and four local associations. She served as CSMTA treasurer, and during her term in this office established valuable guidelines. She serves from time to time as annual auditor for local associations. Hamaker grew up in Tripoli, Libya, studying piano with Italian and American piano teachers in the expatriate community of the 1960s. She maintains an independent piano studio in Highlands Ranch, teaching private lessons and quarterly group lessons. She participates in Achievement Day and the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.


Keith Heckman received a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1972. That same year, he joined Dietze Music House and became a partner in 1978 and retired in 2015. Heckman has been active in the Lincoln Musicians Association, Lincoln Arts Council, Nebraska Coalition For Music Education, Nebraska Music Dealers Association and the Nebraska Music Educators Association. Heckman has performed professionally in the Lincoln and Omaha areas for 50 years and currently plays with the praise band at Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln. He is married to Janet Danielson; they have four children and six grandchildren.


Jacqueline Herbein, NCTM, is an active pianist and teacher in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. She is known for her creative approach in unraveling musicians’ pain and injury issues by working with biofeedback, imagery and alternative therapies to awaken connections within the body. Her articles have appeared in a number of professional journals, and she regularly presents workshops on technique, perception and wellness at state, national and international conferences. Herbein has been honored with state service and teaching awards, has held and continues to hold numerous leadership positions at state and local levels and currently serves nationally as the Junior Competitions coordinator.


Jo Ann Hagele Hobbs, NCTM, earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a secondary performing area in harp. Her junior year was taken at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. At Oberlin she was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda. Hobbs earned a MM degree in piano from the University of Wichita, where she had a teaching fellowship in studio piano and also performed as duo-harpist and soloist. She was a faculty member at Cornell College and taught studio piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater from 1974 through 2003, where she received an Excellence in Teaching award.


The late Joe C. Ince attended most all of the Texas MTA and MTNA conferences from 1988 until his last one in 2015. Although he did not play an instrument, music was one of his great loves. He attended many years of the International Piano workshops in Europe, where he enjoyed every master class and concert. Ince was a member of the Founders Council at Round Top Festival Institute and an honorary member of TMTA. He was a life member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, and through the years he held numerous positions at the local, state and national levels.


Playing the piano has always been a part of Kathleen Johnson’s life. Besides lessons in her growing years, she obtained a bachelor degree in music education and a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of North Dakota. Johnson taught public school music for six years and private piano lessons for 39 years. Many of her students have studied music at various universities. She serves as church organist and leader of the praise group at her church. Johnson has been a NDMTA/MTNA member for 39 years, has held the office of president several times and serves as NDMTA technology coordinator.


The late Christine Bane Kefferstan, NCTM, (1951–2014) served as professor of piano at West Virginia University for 35 years. Kefferstan was a classical pianist who performed all over the world, including Belize, London, Rio de Janeiro, Indonesia, Malaysia and Canada, but she was best known for her love of teaching. An active member of MTNA, she served as West Virginia MTA state president and as Eastern Division director. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, she earned a doctoral degree with Israeli pianist David Bar-Illan and had additional coaching with Anna McGrosso, Sedmara Rutstein and Viachaslov Gabrielov.


Christine Kissack, NCTM, teaches piano pedagogy at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham and maintains an independent piano studio for pre-college age piano students. Kissack holds a BA degree from Plymouth State College, where she studied with Carleen Graff. She received a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, studying with David Karp and the late Louise Bianchi. A winner of the D. H. Baldwin Teaching Fellowship Award recognizing excellence in piano teaching, Kissack is an active member of the Maine MTA, having served in a variety of positions. She most recently served MTNA as the Eastern Division Certification commissioner.


Marilyn Linde, WSCTM, joined Washington State Music Teachers Association in 1964. Since then, she has served WSMTA in just about every possible capacity: auditions chair, vice president, president-elect, president (2001–2003), Education Board chair, Young Composers Project chair and Student Teacher chair. She was the founder and first president of both the Lynden and Sun Valley chapters. Named a WSMTA Honorary Life Member in 2007, she entered WSMTA’s Hall of Fame in 2009. Linde is active as a church organist, accompanist and adjudicator. She and her husband, John, enjoy spending time with their five children, 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.


Margaret Rae Elkins Littlehales, NCTM, the daughter of a concert violinist, was raised in Eugene, studying piano with Constance and Francis Bittner, and Patricia Chase. She studied viola with Molly Hardin and played with the Eugene Junior Symphony. At the University of Oregon, Littlehales studied piano with Gabriel Chodos and viola with Robert Hurwitz. At Portland State University, she studied piano with David Bloch. Post-college teachers include Aurora Underwood, Nellie Tholen and Helga Sigurdson. She is an Oregon MTA adjudicator, presenter and honorary life member. In 1998, Littlehales became state president and was chosen to for a music teacher exchange to Khabarovsk, Russia.


Susan McDuffie is a graduate of Wesleyan College, where she majored in piano performance and minored in organ. Further study was at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. She performs as piano and organ soloist and collaborates with others including her son, world-renowned violinist, Robert McDuffie, and daughter concert pianist Margery McDuffie Whatley. A former Wesleyan College faculty member, she has a private piano studio. She is the former president of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Macon MTA, Morning Music Club and Macon Pharmaceutical Auxiliary. McDuffie was named Georgia MTA Teacher of the Year and is the 2017 MTNA Teacher of the Year.


Terry McRoberts, NCTM, a faculty member of Union University, teaches piano, organ and related courses, and serves as university organist and carillonneur. A former faculty member at Blue Mountain College, he holds degrees from Ball State, Youngstown State and Manchester universities. McRoberts served Tennessee MTA as president, newsletter editor and membership chair. TMTA honors include Teacher of the Year in 2002 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2016. He served as president and newsletter editor of the American Matthay Association for Piano which presented the Distinguished Service Award to him in 2014. He has been a church organist for more than 30 years.


James Miltenberger was educated at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and at the Eastman School of Music. He teaches piano, piano literature and jazz piano at West Virginia University. He is an original member of the West Virginia MTA and has served as vice president and president of that organization. Miltenberger has been named an Outstanding Teacher at WVU and by WVMTA on multiple occasions. He has performed extensively in solo recitals as a jazz pianist in the United States, Europe and Asia and concerti with the National Symphony of Thailand and the Pittsburgh Symphony, among others.


Susan E. Naylor, NCTM, is associate professor of music and coordinator of undergraduate studies in music at Reinhardt University. She received a BM degree in piano performance from Converse College in South Carolina and an MM degree from Georgia State University, where she studied with William Masselos. In 1991, Naylor received college faculty Certification from Music Teachers National Association. She has been an active member of that organization since 1975, holding various offices at the local and state level, and serving as president of Georgia MTA. Naylor has spent 44 years not only teaching music, but teaching her students habits for life.


Patti Nyien, NCTM, earned a BM degree in education (magnum cum laude) from Belmont University and piano pedagogy at University of Michigan. Her Noteworthy Piano Studio recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, receiving Best of Westmont Award three times. She directs the Forever Praise choir. She has served as Illinois State MTA director and treasurer and Salt Creek MTA past president and newsletter editor. Nyien co-chairs and co-conducts Glorious Grands: A Piano Extravaganza!!!, an Eight Steinway Grand Pianos concert at College of DuPage and Chicago’s Symphony Center for the Keys to the City Festival. She crochets, breeds Bengal cats and participates in triathlons.


Patti Petersen is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and past president of the Oregon MTA and the Central Oregon District. She has served as OMTA Conference Chair, parliamentarian and member of the State Syllabus and Ethics Committees. Petersen received a post-graduate degree in piano performance from Lewis and Clark College, under the guidance of Nellie Tholen. She has taught piano for 50 years and has adjudicated for the Oregon Syllabus Program for 35 years. Petersen has performed with both the Cascade Music Festival and the Sunriver Music Festival and currently serves on the Sunriver Music Festival’s Young Artists Scholarship Committee.


Jani Peterson, NCTM, received a BM degree in piano performance and music therapy from Willamette University and an MM degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Idaho. A member of Washington State MTA, Peterson has served as: Local Association president, district vice president, vice president, Washington State MTNA competitions coordinator/chair, president elect and president. Nationally, she served State Presidents’ Advisory Council chair, Northwest Division direct-elect, Northwest Division MTNA Performance Competition chair, Northwest Division director and MTNA Local Association Forum. Peterson has been a church musician and pianist for choral groups. She maintains a private studio in Moscow, Idaho.


Arleen Pickett holds a BA degree from the University of the Pacific and an MA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in music education, with emphasis on piano and organ performance. After teaching music in public school, she served as the director of music in the schools through the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View. A member of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, Pickett has served in many capacities, including nine years on the state board and, six years as president of Santa Clara Valley Chapter. She maintains a private piano studio and is a church organist.


Pamela D. Pike, NCTM, holds the Barineau Professorship in Piano Pedagogy at Louisiana State University. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma and an experienced piano teacher, Pike has authored a book, contributed chapters and published more than three dozen scholarly articles, one of which was named American Music Teacher Article of the Year by MTNA. Pike also has presented research papers at international conferences and is regularly invited to present papers and workshops at national conferences in the United States. She is president-elect of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association and serves as a board member for many national music organizations.


Sandra Paschal Polanski joined MTNA and Mississippi MTA in 1965. She holds degrees from the Mississippi University for Women and the University of Michigan. She taught piano for 50 years at collegiate and pre-college levels, retiring after 30 years as department chair and teacher of piano and theory at Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex in Jackson, Mississippi. She served MTNA as Southern Division High School Auditions chair and Collegiate Artist Auditions chair at both Southern Division and national levels. She and her husband Frank Polanski have performed extensively as duo-pianists, and she continues to perform as soloist and collaborative pianist.


Paul Reed, NCTM, is associate professor emeritus at Wichita State University, where he taught for 42 years and was chair of the keyboard area. Upon his retirement, he was presented the 2008 Faculty Excellence In Teaching award. His students have become successful performers, teachers and businessmen. Reed has performed in more than 150 solo and collaborative recitals and concerts. He previously taught at Drake University and St. Norbert College. He has served as KMTA President, West Central Division president, vice president, secretary and Collegiate Competition chair and was on the MTNA Board of Directors. In 1989, Reed served as the MTNA Conference local chair.


Myra Schubert has trained more than 100 piano teachers and composers during her 65 years of teaching. She teaches piano, theory, pedagogy, composition and improvisation to students of all ages in her studio in Bethany, Oklahoma. Schubert is a composer and arranger for the Lillenas Publishing Company and Alfred Music, with more than 30 piano, organ and choral books in print. She is a member of MTNA, Oklahoma MTA, Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and Oklahoma City Pianists Club. Schubert is an adjudicator for OMTA and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. OMTA named her Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2007.


Frank E. Scott, NCTM, has been the director of the piano program at Northern Arizona University since 1976, when he made his Arizona debut performing a Mozart Concerto with noted guest conductor, Izler Solomon. Recently he performed the Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand in Flagstaff and Chicago. Scott has presented many solo and chamber music recitals and has been an MTNA convention artist in Arizona and Nevada. He holds degrees in piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Michigan State University and the University of Iowa. Many of Scott’s students have received master’s and doctoral degrees in piano.


Susanne Skyrm, NCTM, has been a member of MTNA and South Dakota MTA since 1988. She has served as SDMTA High School Auditions chair and South Dakota MTNA High School Auditions chair; State Foundation chair; and SDMTA vice president and president. She was a West Central Division member-at-large for three years. She has been a Nationally Certified College Faculty Member since 1994. She teaches piano, fortepiano, class piano and piano literature at the University of South Dakota and devotes time to the research and performance of the keyboard music of Spain and Latin America, and the performance and study of early keyboards.


Jennifer Snow is a well-established educator and performer. She has held key leadership positions with the Royal Conservatory and Chromatik, and served as keyboard faculty at UCLA. Her students hold professional positions internationally. A frequently invited speaker and clinician, Snow has presented at state, national and international conferences. She has published pedagogy articles and is an active adjudicator. Snow has served on the CAPMT executive board since 2010 and as president since April 2014. She is on the AMT Editorial Committee and has served on the MTNA Teacher of the Year Committee and the 2011 National Conference Program Committee.

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Richard Van Dyke, NCTM, DMA, specializes in taking students to their highest potential. With the studio motto, “Practice to Prosper,” his highly motivated students work diligently to perform beginning through virtuoso repertoire. Many of his students have been accepted into major music schools and have been recognized for their performances at local, state and national events. Van Dyke was chosen as the 2010 OhioMTA Music Teacher of the Year. He served on the OhioMTA board as president, vice president of student activities, MTNA competitions coordinator, Southwest District president and chair of the IMTF. Currently, he serves OhioMTA as the Collaborative Music chair and webmaster.


Andrea Warren, NCTM, has been a member of Texas MTA for more than 26 years. She is president of the Bay Area MTA, where she chairs the TMTA Theory tests and directs a convention ensemble. She has also served BAMTA as secretary, ensemble chair and parliamentarian. Formerly, she was a member of Austin District MTA, where she served as president, Student Activities chair and ensemble chair. She is TMTA vice president for Student Activities and has served two terms on the board of directors. Warren maintains a private studio, and is an accompanist for several schools and the Bay Area Youth Singers Children’s Choir.


Paul Wirth is the artistic director of the Wirth Center for the Performing Arts in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities. He has taught numerous first prize-winning students of regional, national and international piano competitions, with his pre-college students performing more than 80 solo performances with orchestra, including appearances with the Minnesota and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras. He created the GRAVI-DVD on teaching piano technique to children and is artistic director of the Salon se Leve concert series in Minneapolis and of the Young Artist World Piano Festival at Bethel University in St. Paul.

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Christina Xie, NCTM, holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An independent teacher, she is an active accompanist in New Jersey and the surrounding states. Xie joined the New Jersey MTA board in 2004, serving as Recital Audition chairperson from 2004–2011, State Conference chairperson from 2011–2013 and president from 2013–2015. In 2011, she received the NJMTA Service Award. Since 2015, Xie has served as the New Jersey MTNA Competition chairperson, and Senior Performance and Chamber Music Competition coordinator.