MTACC Workshops + Gatherings Workshops

2020-2021 Teacher Training Workshops

As members and teachers of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County, we strive to encourage and support each other through networking, meetings, social events, and professional music opportunities for our students. The attendance and participation of us all remains vital for a thriving chapter. 


This year our meetings include mini-workshops designed for teachers of all levels and styles! Come join our exciting team and be inspired in your own teaching!

The MTACC Executive Board also holds open monthly business meetings on the 2nd Friday of the month at 9:30am via Zoom. All members are welcome to attend.

Workshop Videos | Fall Workshop

September Workshop

Two Locations:

Come join us for our annual kickoff event! We will have live music entertainment, Papa Haydn's famous and delectable desserts, and Argyle champagne to welcome us into the 2020 school year, as well as fun networking activities for our members.

Elizabeth's Music Studio

Keynote Address

The Exoticism of the Classicists

In this presentation several piano works by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart with Turkish and Hungarian-Gypsy elements are discussed and performed. Specifically the works are Beethoven’s Six Variations on an Original Theme (Op. 76), his Rondo a Capriccio (Op. 129), Haydn’s Gypsy Rondo from his Piano Trio in G Major (Hob. XV:25), and Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca from his Sonata in A Major (K. 331). The composers’ use of “exotic” elements in these charming works is examined, together with a discussion of selected editions and transcriptions.

Like many of their contemporaries, Beethoven and Mozart were fascinated with Turkish music of the time. Beethoven later used the theme of his Op. 76 Variations in his Turkish March in The Ruins of Athens. Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca has been transcribed into virtuosic encore pieces by various contemporary pianists.

The presenter hopes that this project will help to enrich the understanding and legacy of Beethoven and his contemporaries, and that teachers will benefit from the experience. Such projects would also help to promote further understanding and appreciation among our various cultures.

Presentator Bio

The New York Concert Review described Susan Chan as “a thoughtful musician and a sensitive player,” and The New Yorker called her “an energetic advocate for contemporary music.” The Fanfare magazine and the BBC Music Magazine praised her “great technical finesse” and “conspicuous refinement” in her playing on her CD recordings.

Susan Chan is an active masterclass teacher, presenter and adjudicator. She has been guest artist at institutions such as the Royal College of Music in London, UK, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore, University of Sydney in Australia, and the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She presented at the European Piano Teachers Association International and UK Conferences, Music Teachers National Association Conference, College Music Society National Conference, World Piano Conference as well as state conferences. She has adjudicated at the Seattle International Piano Festival & Competition, the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival and other competitions. Her students have received awards from international competitions.

Ms. Chan holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University and MPhil and BA degrees from the University of Hong Kong. Her major piano teachers include György Sebök, Menahem Pressler and Eleanor Wong. She currently serves as Professor of Music and Piano Area Coordinator at Portland State University, where she is also founder and director of the PSU Steinway Piano Series. She is listed in the 2000 edition of International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory, and is a Si-Yo ArtistTM.

Membership Address

Navigating the World of Online Teaching

Online music teaching has been around for a while and is becoming more mainstream since COVID-19 pandemic. Now the music teachers can teach permanently online or expand their business with an online platform. Even though it was not too tricky to set up for the basic online lessons, sound quality and different camera angles can significantly improve online lesson experiences. Debbie will share how to optimize equipment and technology for better online lesson setups in the studio.

Presentator Bio

Debbie Lee has been teaching piano since 1991 and currently maintains an active studio in Camas, WA. She teaches private piano lessons to students from the age of five to retired adults. Students in Debbie Lee Piano Studio receive well-rounded music education and have been recognized for their natural technique that produces a great tone and sensitive understanding of the repertoire.

Along with maintaining a private piano studio, Debbie performs as a collaborative pianist in the Vancouver (WA) area with choirs and solo vocalists and instrumentalists. She has also served at area churches playing piano, organ, and keyboard. Debbie belongs to several professional music teachers organizations and has held many offices, the most recent position being the president at Clark County Music Teachers Association (CCMTA). She is also a frequent adjudicator at festivals, adjudications, and competitions. In the past few years, she began mentoring students and young adults pursuing careers in music and supporting the arts advocacy groups. Debbie has a B.M. in Piano Performance and M.M. from the University of California.

January Workshop

Two Locations:

Come join us for our winter workshop! We will have two exciting presentations and lots of fun member activities.

Portland Piano Company

Keynote Address

Yoga for Musicians: Body, Mind, and Soul

In this presentation, Liz will share strategies to include in your life as a musician and instructor, as well as some tips for creating more mindfulness in your students. We will include several parts of yoga including:

- Noticing & assisting in eliminating unnecessary tension
- Focused breath work to calm nerves or create more musical phrases
- Intentionally interacting with the world
- Meditation or a calm, focused mind

Presentator Bio

Liz Kohl is a pianist, instructor, collaborative musician, composer, and yoga instructor based in Portland, Oregon. She holds degrees in music from University of Washington (B.A. in Music, Dance Minor, cum laude) and Baylor University (Master of Music, Piano Performance and Pedagogy), where she was awarded a graduate assistantship. Liz has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Portland State University since 2016, where she teaches her original course material, “Yoga for Musicians.” This course was a dream job, since her Master's Thesis ("Cultivating Awareness in the Piano Student") included a projected syllabus for "Yoga for Musicians"! She also maintains a thriving private piano studio in SE Portland, teaching students of all ages (from as young as 3 years old to adults).

Membership Address

The Art and Science of Arranging: Quick Start Tips to Help Your Students Create Their Own Arrangements

Have you ever wanted to help your students create their own arrangements, but felt uncertain how to begin? Colleen Adent will share her own arranging process, and present tips and techniques designed to encourage and equip students (and teachers alike) to creatively develop their own arrangements.

Presentator Bio

Colleen Adent is a classically trained, improvisationally minded pianist. She is a freelance musician, with over 35 years experience as a performer, composer, arranger, and teacher. As one of the Pacific Northwest’s accomplished pianists, the uniqueness of Colleen’s artistry lies in her ability to improvise as well as perform as a classical musician. These two disciplines are often viewed as two separate worlds, but Colleen lives comfortably in both places, embracing the strengths of each musical world to create a fresh, dynamic, engaging listening experience. Whether playing solo or collaboratively, sacred or secular, from the concert hall to an intimate home setting, Colleen’s warm personality and skillful playing naturally invite the listener to join her in embracing the moment.

Colleen is a performing artist, educator and arranger. Over the past 40 years, she has been commissioned to write and arrange for piano and strings, as well as vocal and choral groups. She is an author with Alfred Music Co. and has several pieces published with Fred Bock Music Co. Her most recent arrangements are available at

May Workshop

Two Locations:

Come join us for our end of the year workshop and BBQ! We will enjoy dinner from 5-6pm have two exciting presentations from 6-8pm, with fun member activities along the way!

Elizabeth's Music Studio

Keynote Address

Music Education from Classical to Jazz

Let’s talk about music education and jazz! How do we as music educators approach our own cultural music in our teaching and why should we? How does classical training benefit the jazz musician and vice versa? How can the relationships between the public and private music educators be enhanced to benefit each other? How can we free ourselves to speak the language of jazz to our students? What about this thing called “improvisation”?
Together we will share answers to these questions and more about our students and jazz education.

Presentator Bio

Natalie Wilson is in her 36th year of teaching in the Camas School District. Her first 18 years were serving students in grades 6-12 choir and vocal jazz. She is now in her 18th year teaching K-5 General Music and Vocal Jazz, currently at Grass Valley Elementary in Camas.

Natalie is passionate about jazz education as America’s cultural music. She incorporates elements of jazz at all levels through teaching history, form, and improvisation through student exploration and performance. Her ensemble “Grass Valley VOCAL JAZZ,” which includes a student rhythm section, welcomes students in grades 3-5, and has been recognized multiple times in the junior high division of the Downbeat magazine “Student Music Awards”.

Natalie most recently was inducted into the WMEA (Washington Music Educators Association) Class of 2020 Hall of Fame and is an active member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). Natalie has presented numerous sessions, workshops, and webinars on a variety of topics from the regional to national levels. She also serves as the K-8 General Music/Vocal Jazz Chair of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Education Committee, which provides additional opportunities to learn and share resources on jazz education. Natalie was selected as the Regional Music Educator of the Year in 2012 and 2014, and also received the Camas school district “Innovator Award” in 2013. She holds a BA in Music Education from Western Washington University and an MS in Education from Portland State University.

Membership Address

The Jam Band: Putting Practice Into Play

Jam Band - Putting Practice into Play.

Apply the introductory skill of primary chords into a fun, interactive experience of playing specifically chosen songs in the keys of C, G, D, and A. Students learn the songs as they learn the chords and how to read a lead sheet then play with their teacher, other students, or along with a backing track. The Jam Band is designed to get a student with no experience in music to be able to jam with the band within three months.

Presentator Bio

Rob Melton is the owner and director of Opus School of Music in Ridgefield and Camas. He opened his studios in 2006 after graduating from PSU to grow artistic spirits of all ages. He supports and trains teachers and oversees the curriculum for piano, guitar, preschool music, various programs for ages 5-9, and choir/glee programs. Opus offers lessons for most instruments, group and private lessons, and music technology. Mr. Melton enjoys teaching, creating curriculum and systems for the school and meeting the parents and students who attend each week. He has a contagious passion for rhythm and enjoys supporting a collaborative spirit between the teachers and the students. He performs with local groups playing variety of genres and with his wife and two young children.
When Mr. Melton is not at his studios, you can find him running, hiking, camping, birding, reading, playing with his family and spending time wondering.