LIVONIA, MICH. – In June, Linette Popoff-Parks, music education professor, was awarded a second Teacher Enrichment Grant from the Music Teachers National Association. The $750 grant, for private study, specific college-level course work, or projects in performance, pedagogy, music theory, and composition, will help Popoff-Parks with tuition and lesson costs for the second year of the Well-Balanced Pianist Teacher Training program. "I also continue to take individual lessons as part of my own development as a pianist," she said.
In her grant application, Popoff-Parks described the first year of the training which consisted of group sessions to address body alignment, “eye space” exercises to expand the field of vision for reading music, reducing eye strain, and creating ease in the face and jaw muscles. She also made two presentations on the following topics: 1) perfectionism and its relationship to performance anxiety in pianists; 2) expressive decisions for Mozart Sonata K. 545 in C Major using the content of Pulse/Beat and Harmonic Movement from I-V, Tonic to Dominant.
“I have applied the methods I learned from the Teacher Training program to my students; helping their bodies and minds find ease and coordination at the piano,” said Popoff-Parks, whose college-level and private studio students range from ages 16 to 67, and include two remote students from abroad, and a teen with autism.
At this stage in the two-year program, Popoff-Parks' teaching will be observed, evaluated, and assessed through co-teaching with her teacher-mentor, observation of recordings of her lessons, and a presentation of one of her student's lessons to the entire teacher training group.