You’ll experience more than just playing the piano when you take private lessons from Jennifer Stadler. “I work hard to keep lessons interesting for my students (and myself!),” she says. “I maintain a massive library of resources including physical and digital games, educational apps and practice incentives to keep my students motivated throughout the school year.”
Stadler also provides a variety of performance opportunities in her piano studio, and she makes sure to include fun elements. “Students attend regular studio classes where they perform solo and ensemble pieces for a small group of peers,” she says. “They also engage in cup rhythm ensembles, sight-reading relays, digital escape rooms and other fun group activities.”
Her students also participate in two formal recitals — one in the winter and one in the spring. “The winter recital always includes a group sing-a-long, which everyone enjoys. During the quarantine, we continued this tradition over Zoom (with extended family, thanks to the online format) and also played holiday trivia,” she says.
The spring recital is different each year, according to Stadler. “One year, students created a storyboard of images that was projected on an overhead screen while they performed,” she says. “Another year, students created green-screen performance videos, where they appeared to be playing in another time or place (e.g., playing ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ inside Hogwarts) using chroma key technology. This multimedia project fostered creativity and musical connection — and the students had a ton of fun doing it.”
Students also participate in events outside of Stadler’s studio like the Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (COMTA) Clavinova Ensemble Adventures, a collaborative event where they perform in an orchestra of digital pianos, and the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Achievement Auditions, a non-competitive adjudicated event where they can earn ribbons, medals and trophies.
With her tech skills, it’s not surprising that Stadler is a member of the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) Technology Committee, which is responsible for planning all aspects of the preconference technology track. She has presented sessions on a variety of tech topics, including multimedia and long-distance recital ideas, the role of virtual reality in music performance and education, and green-screen technology.