WORKSHOP SESSIONS

Download a Draft Workshop Schedule PDF
A preliminary draft schedule. Please note that the workshops and presenters may change.
Conducting Sessions

Beginning Choral Conducting
This choral conducting class will cover the essentials of effective and clear conducting techniques. You will learn how to best conduct breaths (both on the beat and between beats), cut-offs, fermatas, pick-up measures, and tricky rhythm patterns. We will also cover best practices for efficient choir rehearsals and music selections that will help your choir learn songs quickly and confidently. We will work primarily with hymns in this class to solidify techniques.

“Meghann was EXCELLENT! Please have her back!” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Meghann Gavin
Time: 9:10 AM

Intermediate Choral Conducting
This session will cover choral analysis and also focus on the preparation needed to successfully conduct a choir. We will also discuss choosing and preparing repertoire for your individual choirs. This session will also have class participation with participants having a chance to conduct a selected piece (will be provided) in front of the group.

“This is my 2nd time for taking the class. I’ve been conducting in Sacrament for a year now, and the more subtle techniques made so much more sense now.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Jim Kasen
Time: 10:40 AM

Advanced Choral Conducting
In this session, participants will be provided with a score to study and practice during the session. Participants will have the opportunity to conduct it in front of the other attendees.

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Jim Kasen
Time: 1:00 PM

Basic Congregational Conducting
This basic music conducting class is geared for those who know little about leading a song in front of a group, but might be asked to lead the singing! It’s also a perfect class for soon-to-be missionaries who may be asked to lead hymns while serving on their missions. If you don’t want to feel silly waving your hand but would like to know how to take charge and direct, come and learn! We will work primarily with common hymns.

“The correct style of conducting was most interesting to me. Beat Pattern and avoiding soggy wrist motion were clarified for me.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Meghann Gavin
Time: 2:30 PM

PRIMARY MUSIC SESSIONS

Music for Our Little Ones
Tips about successful Nursery Music
Seeing the delight on the face of a nursery child as he or she participates in a Nursery Singing time is the best reward ever! What are practices for a successful nursery music time? How do you choose what songs you should use? What is home base and how does it help singing time? How many songs should you sing in a 15 minute period? How do you help the children stay engaged? This class is for parents and grandparents of young children, Primary presidencies, Primary music leaders, and Primary nursery leaders. There will be hands on demonstrations and lots of active learning. Come experience the delight!

Presenter: Sharla Dance
Time: 9:10 AM

Pacing and Flow
Successful Primary Music Times
This class is an active, experience based, introduction to successful Primary music time practices that come from brain research and years of experience with children. This class is a foundation for the other Primary music classes given in this workshop. Come learn about how children best learn music in a Primary setting and the brain research behind it. Get ready to puzzle, tap, and swish as we experience example music times based on the 2018 Primary Sacrament meeting songs! Clap, patsch, and what’s the code will let you experience Primary music in a wonderful hands on way.

Presenter: Sharla Dance
Time: 10:40 AM

Boundaries and Variety
Successful Primary Music Times
Building on the first class offered at 11 am, this class will give active, hands on ideas for a variety of activities to use with the 2018 songs, all based on brain research and children tested experience. What is Multiple Intelligences and how does it relate to Primary Music? What kind of boundaries help children learn best, yet don’t squelch their enthusiasm? Come stomp, riddle, and beat as we experience examples of Primary music times.

Presenter: Sharla Dance
Time: 1:00 PM

Channel, Challenge, and Essence
Successful Primary Music Times
Building on the two early classes given on Primary music, this class explores the disaster and success of age appropriate activities (disaster if the activity is not geared to the age of the child!) and how to determine what activities to use with the different ages. This class explores what activities will actually take away from learning the song well (essence), and will give example after example of activities that work really well (geared to the age of the child, of course)! What does the acronym PICK ME stand for, and how does it help you plan successful music times? What are some music times that don’t require a lot of material preparation, but work very well in teaching a song? Again, an active, experience based class that will give each participant lots of experiences to take home and use in their Primary.

Presenter: Sharla Dance
Time: 2:30 PM

VOCAL SESSIONS

Choral Music Reading & Sing Along
Come explore some great songs that you can bring back to perform with your own choir. We’ll explore resources to where you can find great choral music for FREE (and other selections for a nominal fee). This is a fun way to kick off the workshop as you sing with hundreds of others who are also passionate about music. This class is brought back by popular demand for another year.

“Mark Hamilton makes the music come alive” – AMW 2016 guest

Presenter: Mark Hamilton
Time: 8:20 AM

From Ear to Eye: Sight Singing and More
Learn how your ears are your best teacher for sight singing while increasing the depth of your musical experience. Harmonics, musical notation including rhythm, meter, and clefs will also be discussed.

“Learning the notes on the scales & intervals was so helpful.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Ginger Dean
Time: 1:00 PM

Vocal Technique 101
The basics of singing better
Learn how to use specific vocal exercises to expand your range, strengthen your tone, and eliminate that pesky “break” in your voice!

“Learning WHAT causes the vocal problems & exercises to fix them was amazing…” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Keri Hughes
Time: 9:10 AM

Vocal Technique 201
Application to songs
Come prepared with the sheet music of a song you love in any style (lyrics should meet church standards). Be coached in front of the class and see exciting results! Prepared singers will be selected at random and we will work with as many as time permits. If you prefer not to be sing, you are welcome to attend and observe.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Keri Hughes
Time: 10:40 AM

Ward & Stake Choir Tune-Up
Techniques for getting your choir in tune
Choir masterclass. Techniques for getting your ward choir in tune, vocally, musically and spiritually.

“What was most helpful was learning techniques to improve our choir sound.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Keri Hughes
Time: 2:30 PM

GENERAL MUSIC SESSIONS

Church Music for Leadership
In this session we will discuss how the power of well executed sacred music draws individuals to Christ. This session will focus on the direction given to us by the Church for it’s use in worship services, how the Spirit can direct it’s use in worship services, and the power that music can have in a ward and stake.

Presenter: Jim Kasen
Time: 9:10 AM

Nuts and Bolts of Ward & Stake Music
Budgets, copyrights & music libraries
This session will work through the “ins and outs” of a successful ward and stake music program. We’ll cover everything from effective planning to developing an appropriate budget (including when and how to submit it to leaders) to copyright questions, how to organize your music with an effective music library, and much more. You will leave with a plan tailored to your needs. Come with questions!

“Idea’s on organizing pieces was great! Thank you!” – AMW 2016 participant

Presenters: Jim Carter
Time: 10:40 AM

It’s Showtime!
Creating big music programs Learn how to plan many different types of musical programs (Easter, Christmas, Special Programs, Primary Programs, etc.) from brainstorming initial ideas to carrying out the completed program. The class will involve an engaging presentation and interactive component where you can practice planning a sample program — getting those “creative juices” flowing! If you would you like to add instrumentalists to your programs yet have limited instruments, come learn how to use the instrumentalists you have” & even transpose music so that you can work with your existing arrangements. A class wrap-up will allow time for sharing and collaborating.

“Examples of special musical events, like musical firesides and Christmas Services, was great and & very interesting!” – AMW 2016 participant

Presenters: Laura Adams & Christine Smith
Time: 2:30 PM

Music: Body, Mind & Spirit
Music’s Impact on You!
We all know that our favorite hymns can help us get into a spiritual mood. Or a fun happy song can elevate our mood or get our bodies moving. However, did you know that music has a profound effect on our brains & our bodies, down to a cellular level? Did you know that you can use music to actually heal? In this experiential, interactive class you will get a glimpse into years of research about how the vibrations of music and lyrics impacts you emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Learn how music can slow the aging process, enhance learning, focus and memory; slow Alzheimers; reduce anxiety, depression & pain; & enhance athletic performance.

“Most interesting class of the day in my opinion! Would be great for youth per the power of music for good or evil.” – AMW 2016 participant

Presenter: Lori Finlay Hamilton
Time: 10:40 AM

Music Transcription
Intro to MuseScore
“Has the cost or complexity of music notation software kept you from getting your musical ideas (legibly!) onto paper? This class will introduce you to MuseScore, a free, intuitive, and powerful tool that can handle everything from a flute obligato for a ward choir number to intricate keyboard writing to full-blown orchestral works.
We’ll cover fundamentals like downloading & installation, score creation, note entry, dynamics & articulations, playback, and printing. You’ll spend time doing hands-on activities to get practical experience using the tool so bring a laptop (ideally download and install the software before class at https://musescore.org/en/download). The goal is for you to walk out of the room ready to write some music!”

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Joseph Hopkins
Time: 1:00 PM & 2:30 PM

Coloring Between the Lines
Beginning Improv
Learn how to enhance preludes, hymns or children’s music with beginning improv. The class will concentrate on learning chord structures, arpeggios, chord symbols, scales, simple modulating and interval techniques to help enhance any piano skills! 

“I loved all the specific examples. Great delivery and obviously brilliant and gifted musician. I will be using these ideas!!” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Deanne Ohman
Time: 9:10 AM

Adding Vibrant Color and Feeling to the Hymns
Advanced Improv
The workshop offers insights into employing arpeggios, expression, chord substitutions, chord theory, modulations, key changes, and scales to enrich LDS-appropriate preludes and postludes. Techniques for piano and organ will be taught and demonstrated.
This workshop’s content presumes that attendees are very comfortable playing hymns and Primary songs as scored and may also have experience accompanying church choirs and soloists (vocal and instrumental).

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Eric Kristjanson
Time: 1:00 PM

Expert Panel
What IF you could get answers or advice to some of your biggest challenge with music in your stake or ward? What if you had more time to get your questions answered from the top notch faculty of the 2016 Atlanta Music Workshop? Join us for this interactive Q & A session with the faculty of our workshop.

“I liked when each instructor was given the chance to share one important thought.” – AMW 2016 guest

Moderator: Lori Finlay Hamilton
Time: 4:00 PM

ORGAN – Track 1

Introducing… The King of Instruments
A tour of the organ
This class is an entry-level intro the organ and its many parts and pieces. What’s the difference between a piano and an organ? A lot, actually! Discover the fascinating history of this instrument and how it is used today. In addition, we’ll show you what some of those buttons do! This is the foundation any organist needs, so come and join us if you’re new or newly returning!

“What was so helpful were the demo’s of different sounds / stops used for congregational hymns vs. prelude and postludes” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Kymberly Stone Payne
Time: 9:10 AM

Razzle Dazzle
Hear what the organ can do
Stop! Wait! What! I didn’t know that the organ could do THAT! Come and hear a professional organist show just what this magnificent instrument can do. Be inspired in a whole new way as you see all the versatility that an organist can bring to your ward’s music.

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Kymberly Stone Payne
Time: 10:00 AM

Hymn Playing in Shortcut Mode
Come and learn the “pioneering” method of BYU hymn preparation: Shortcut Mode! We’ll show you how to use this approach to learn a hymn in a heartbeat. No matter your skill level, sound like a professional after just one class! We’re not a weight loss commercial, these results ARE real!

“It was fun to learn simplified ways to play hymns on the organ – it gave me confidence to try the organ for church purposes” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Kymberly Stone Payne
Time: 10:40 AM

Getting Started with Pedals
How to take it step-by-step
Let’s start from middle C – a very good place to start! Don’t be intimidated by the pedal board, we’ll make sure it doesn’t bite you as you learn the first few notes you need. And we’ll tell you a great organist secret – many hymns only need two or three notes in the pedals! Take this secret back home and look like you magically transformed into a world-renowned organist!

“As a beginner, learning these techniques was really helpful.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Jim Carter
Time: 1:00 PM

On the Bench for Youth
Try out things you’ve learned on the organ.
If you can play hymns on the piano – you can play hymns on the organ. This class will allow the youth time to get their hands (and feet) on the organ, as we all learn together.

Skill Level: Basic
Presenter: Kymberly Stone Payne
Time: 2:30 PM

ORGAN – Track 2

Pulling Out All the Stops
Organ Registration
Hello you fine organist! Welcome to a fascinating class on what all those buttons do! We’ll teach which stops are great for a choral arrangement and which are wonderful for those show-stopping solos. Come and learn how all those physics and math classes you took in high school ARE used everyday in the organ world (and you thought you’d never need it)!

“It was great to learn about the stops. Now I understand what the different numbers mean and how they affect the sounds.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Larnie Higgins
Time: 9:10 AM

Polish Your Hymn Playing
Learning hymns in polish & shortcut mode Were you a pianist who got “recruited” onto the organ bench by a smiling bishop who assured you “it’s practically the same thing as playing the piano!” You’re doing so well now, why not take it to the next level? This class helps you whether you are struggling or just want to make your practice sessions will be more efficient and effective.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Don Cook
Time: 10:40 AM

Right Foot on Black
You’ve known your right from your left for years now, but for some reason, doesn’t it seem harder when your playing with your feet? Well, that’s why we’ve got a class! Come and learn how to play those pedals without tangling your legs into a pretzel! You’ll learn ways to build your confidence in pedal playing until you have so much confidence you’ll be able to say “pedal playing with pretzel puppies” with a swaggering, staggering smirk!

Skill Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Kymberly Stone Payne
Time: 1:00 PM

On the Bench – for Pianist
Are you a piano player who is looking for a little more in life? Did you recently decide that an organ would be a fun new adventure? This class covers how to start making the transition from pianist to organist without falling off the bench! Class participants will demonstrate skills that can be implemented TODAY.

Skill Level: Basic – Intermediate
Presenter: Don Cook
Time: 2:30 PM

ORGAN – Track 3

Teaching LDS Organ Students
Tips and tools to be an effective teacher
If you are interested in helping others in your area to learn to play the organ, know this: you are not alone! You are not the first, and there are online resources that can assist you on many levels. Most of these are specifically geared to the needs of the LDS organist, but they can be adapted to include non-LDS musicians as well. This session will familiarize you with some of these resources, and you should leave feeling empowered!

“I appreciated the resource review from the back of the organ workshop booklet.” – AMW 2016 guest

Skill Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Presenter: Don Cook
Time: 8:20 AM

We’ll Sing & We’ll Shout
Inspiring hymn singing
All the fingering, pedaling, and hymn playing techniques you can muster “don’t mean a thing if you can’t get ’em to sing.” This session helps to “tie it all together,” offering specific ideas on how an organist can contribute towards a singing congregation and to set the tone for the Spirit to be present.

“Loved seeing the prepared score, hearing advice & experiences with interludes & variations…” – AMW 2016 guest

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Don Cook
Time: 9:10 AM

All Hymns Are Not Created Equal
Playing the difficult hymns
An organist who can play a hymn in the sustained legato style can provide consistent, powerful leadership in the worship service. However, some hymns lend themselves to alternative playing styles — such as a more detached touch in one or more parts.

“Lots of new ideas – very fun. Also great discussion.” – AMW 2016 guest

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Larnie Higgins
Time: 10:40 AM

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
Dealing with challenging pedal parts
Learn the decision-making process used by an accomplished organist when faced with challenging pedal passages.

“I especially enjoyed the candor that the instructor expressed which let me know that even the professionals have the same concerns that I do.” – AMW 2016 guest

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Don Cook
Time: 1:00 PM

Creative Preludes & Postludes Masterclass
This masterclass will cover the process of finding, learning, and programming prelude and postlude music for worship services. Brother Kasen will also be discussion the compositional techniques he has and currently employs in writing arrangements for the organ.

“I loved the demonstrations — lots of good ideas!.” – AMW 2016 participant

Skill Level: Advanced
Presenter: Jim Kasen
Time: 2:30 PM

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Primary Music Breakout Session
Moderator: Barbara Smith
Time: 12:10 PM
Location: Primary Room

Choir Director Breakout Session
Moderator: Jonathan Edwards
Time: 12:10 PM
Location: Young Women’s Room

Piano to Organ Breakout Session
Moderator: Jim Carter
Time: 12:10 PM
Location: Relief Society Room

Ward Organist Breakout Session
Moderator: Linda Fields
Time: 12:10 PM
Location: Young Men’s Room