The University of South Carolina School of Music’s chapter of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) has been named co-recipient of the 2023 MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year, along with Utah State University.
Chapter president Fanarelia Guerrero, DMA Piano Pedagogy, (pictured) will accept the award on behalf of her fellow members during the 2023 MTNA National Conference on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. She says the recognition is the result of the group’s involvement in the creation, support and research efforts in piano pedagogy.
“We are a diverse group, and since the early years of the association, we have welcomed not only local students but also international students, creating a supportive group and a friendly community. We have had members from different parts of the world such as Nicaragua, Russia, the Philippines, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Brazil, Colombia and the United States,” says Guerrero. “Part of our mission is to help our members keep growing in their knowledge of piano pedagogy.”
“We have had different guests that contribute to developing their teaching skills, including Jane Magrath, Martha Hilley and Kevin Olson — all internationally recognized pianists, scholars and authors in our field,” she says.
One of the main events the chapter holds yearly is their Student Research Day, an event in which the group showcases the research of their members. Members are also encouraged to contribute to MTNA’s Clavier Companion/The Piano Magazine publications, as well as other important journals and magazines that support the research in piano pedagogy. Locally, the association supports the piano community in Columbia by providing assistance and adjudication services for the Columbia Music Teachers Association.
Fall and spring recitals have been well-received by the community. The recitals showcase the talents of chapter members and students taught through the School of Music Center for Piano Studies. Students seeing their mentor being successful and enjoying music is an important motivator for them, and this creates a close and meaningful relationship between mentor and student.
In addition to winning acceptances to present at the South Carolina Music Teachers Association state conference, MTNA Collegiate Symposium, the Music Teachers National Association national conference, and regional conferences of the College Music Society, students are also preparing and submitting proposals for the 2023 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Chapter members have also gained full time employment during the past year at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, Kyushu Ryukoku Junior College in Japan, and Albany State University in Georgia.
The USC chapter of MTNA has presented on at least five national conferences of MTNA, have presented numerous workshops, research posters, and lightning talks at MTNA and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and have become a large fixture of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association annual conference. Former chapter members have been winners of the American Music Teacher Article of the Year Award and have received the MTNA e-Journal Article of the Year Award.
“Receiving this award is truly a great honor for our organization. This award recognizes the hard work and love that year-by-year our chapter has put into building a strong piano pedagogy community here in South Carolina,” says Dr. Scott Price, faculty advisor. “This chapter is one of the most active in the nation and has a sustained and durable record of service to the community and the profession, and an excellent record of scholarly research, presentation, and publication. They are very deserving of the Chapter of the Year recognition based not only on their work during this year, but their past achievements.”
About the USC School of Music
The University of South Carolina School of Music believes music is an essential component of the human experience. Our mission is to prepare our students to be skilled music leaders to ensure that they advance the quality of life in their communities by helping to make others happier, healthier, more hopeful and more fulfilled through the power of music. We do this not only by advancing musical instruction at the highest level for students' professional preparation, but also by leveraging the actual daily work done by students and faculty in the teaching and learning of music to unlock music’s unlimited potential to improve lives throughout the Midlands and beyond.