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Workshops & Lectures

To contact Pete about scheduling a workshop or lecture, please click here.

Workshop and Lecture Topics

Pete Jutras is an active presenter and lecturer, and he has delivered sessions at major national and international conferences across the U.S., Canada, and in China and Italy. He also enjoys giving workshops to state and local organizations. His thought-provoking talks are engaging and audience-friendly, and they are constantly updated to include current research and trends. The sessions below are generally designed to fill a 50-60 minute time slot, but timing can be adjusted to fit your needs. Similar topics can be combined for larger, in-depth workshops. New topics are constantly in development, so if you don’t see something on the list, don’t hesitate to ask! Pete is also available for masterclasses with pre-college piano students.

To contact Pete about scheduling a workshop or lecture, please click here.


The Future of Piano Pedagogy

This important talk examines the road ahead. Is music study as we know it declining? If so, why, and what can we do about it? Has the role of music in society changed? Are teachers meeting the needs of what students are seeking? How can we energize our studios and reach a wider audience? This acclaimed, thought-provoking address was delivered as a keynote at the 2011 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and it has also been given at The Eastman School of Music.


Teaching the Next (Net) Generation

Are students of today fundamentally different from those of a generation ago? Do they learn differently? Are traditional teaching methods the most effective approach? This entertaining session looks at how students of the ‘net’ generation learn, gather information, and interact with the world. Has technology fundamentally changed the learning process? How can teachers from older generations reach these students? Includes video clips of net generation students describing the learning process, and offers practical solutions for teachers.


Shall We Play A Game?

Why are students so attracted to video games? Are there pedagogical principles that teachers can learn from video games and apply to their teaching? Nearly everyone enjoys playing games of some kind. This fun session will explore some of the psychology of game play, with an emphasis on how we can use this approach to improve our teaching and help our students improve their practicing and get more enjoyment out of their piano study. Includes discussion of the well-documented “Flow” theory of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and how it applies to practicing, teaching, and performing.


It’s Never Too Late: Teaching Adult Beginners

Adult students represent the fastest growing segment of music study. Explore basic strategies for teaching beginning adult students, including an overview of current research on adult learning theory and Dr. Jutras’s research on the benefits of adult piano study. Learn practical tips about communication styles, lesson planning, and activities that will help students and teachers make beautiful music together at the very first lesson! Presented at the ISME World Conference in Beijing, China.


Jazz and Pop Literature for the Non-Jazz Piano Teacher

Explore inspiring and content-rich teaching materials that will bring more variety to your teaching repertoire, even if you don’t have a jazz background. Designed to help “non-jazz” teachers find quality materials that will help them comfortably teach basic jazz concepts. Includes notated solos, basic improvisation skills, chord-symbol realization, and theory materials for all levels of study


Teaching and Playing the Music of George Gershwin

There’s more to Gershwin than Rhapsody in Blue! Explore his entire output for solo piano, including the song arrangements and all of the preludes. Learn authentic stylistic traits based on Gershwin’s own recordings and playing. Includes valuable teaching tips for handling rhythm and counting in Gershwin, playing unreachable intervals, and more!


Video Master Classes

Improve your teaching today! These fun sessions involve the analysis of teaching videos provided by workshop participants. Dr. Jutras and the group will watch the videos together and discuss solutions to everyday teaching problems, while also covering effective teaching principles, communication styles, content delivery, feedback, and evaluation. Optional: If videos can be provided 3-4 weeks in advance, the session can be organized around a specific topic of interest to your organization.


Meaning, Memory, and Motivation

Why do we remember some things forever but forget other things instantly? How do we create enjoyable, lasting experiences for our students? This entertaining session looks at core principles of memory and learning, and ideas are reinforced with current research and thinking. With a specific focus on the ideas of Jerome Bruner, this talk will explore methods increase student retention and invigorate your teaching!


Additional Workshop & Lecture Topics

This session frames a discussion on effective practicing techniques with data and results from a variety of recent research studies on practice. Learn how experts practice differently from beginners, and see how we can change our teaching to help our students establish better practice habits. Includes research from musicians, as well as ideas and research on practicing from non-musical fields such as sports and chess.

What makes some teachers better than others? What does the research literature say about how to teach effectively? How does the teaching of experts differ from that of beginning teachers? What characteristics of teaching have been proven effective by research? What questions remain unanswered? This session will use current data from a variety of studies to frame a discussion on principles of good teaching.

Do you wish your students would practice 72 hours a week? A recent study reported that American teenagers spend an average of 72 hours a week with electronic media, often multitasking on multiple media devices. This session will explore simple ways for teachers to use everyday technologies like i-Pods, cell-phones, and the internet in the lesson and send students home with fun electronic assignments. Live where your students do, use their world to reinforce your teaching and keep them motivated about piano study, and stake your claim to at least some of those 72 hours a week! No purchase necessary – most of the technology explored in this session already lives in your students’ pockets. Presented at the National Conference of MTNA.

This session will present recent research on the demographics of the growing adult population and examine their role in music learning. Topics covered will include potential health benefits, current research from the field, and new student-centered approaches including New Horizons Bands and Recreational Music Making. Learn how some of these “non-traditional” approaches have the potential to change how we think about teaching adults and open up new opportunities and career paths for music educators.

MIDI technology is less-expensive and easier to use than ever before, but many teachers are unaware of how to use it effectively in the everyday lesson. Learn simple tips, tricks, and teaching steps that can make the most of software you may already have, and start getting your students involved with electronic music making. Learn visual presentation tools, easy student-based composition activities, and techniques for creating intelligent, musical accompaniments for home practice.

Presentation of original research on the Health, Personal, Social/Cultural, and Skill based benefits reported by over 2,500 adult piano students from across the U.S and Canada. Students ranked benefits by importance, and the data presents an interesting picture of what adult musicians value in their experience. Understanding this information can help us offer instruction that better meets the needs of this fast-growing population of students. This research has been published in The Journal of Research in Music Education and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. Presented at national conferences of MTNA, MENC, and the College Music Society.

One of the most intriguing elements of adult students is their ability to intelligently articulate their goals, challenges, frustrations, and triumphs. Every adult student brings a unique body of experience to their lesson, and these life experiences shape their learning. Hear from adult students who participated in an interview study about their music learning, and gain insights that will help inform and improve your own teaching.

Producing video is easier and cheaper than ever before. Learn the basics about selecting equipment on a budget, shooting quality video, editing, and sharing your work. Learn how to use video in everyday lessons as an effective teaching tool, and learn how to market and promote your own skills by creating a video portfolio.