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Presenter Bios

George Litterst

The New Moonbeams 3!!

George Litterst is a well-known music educator in the United States. A frequent clinician at national music educator conferences (such as Music Teachers National Association and National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy), he is an author, performer, and music software developer. A classically-trained pianist, he presents multimedia performances on technology-equipped acoustic pianos. For many years, he has been an associate editor for Clavier Companion and co-author of the Random Access column for American Music Teacher. As a music software developer, he is co-author of the intelligent music display app, SuperScore, and other software products from TimeWarp Technologies.

Hannah Marple

Making Music Relevant in the Life of a Child

Hannah Marple (ATCL, MYCC, RMT) is a Saskatoon pianist and elementary piano specialist, teaching Music for Young Children and private piano lessons at her home studio and in public schools. She believes in creating an environment for students to discover how music is a relevant part of everyday life.

Doug McGarry

21st Century Technologies for 21st Century Students

Doug McGarry is the Vice-President of Business Development at Roland Canada. Since starting with Roland in 2002, Doug has nurtured and grown Roland's relationship with Music for Young Children. This has included offering special rental and purchase programs for MYC teachers and their student families as well as sponsoring the MYC International Composition Festival for over 10 years. Over the years Doug has attended most MYC International Conferences as well as numerous regional meetings across the country sharing the latest in instrument and education technologies with hundreds of teachers.

Christopher Norton

Around the World in 80 Days!

Christopher Norton is well-known throughout the world for his compositions for piano, particularly the Microjazz series, published by Boosey & Hawkes, and Connections for Piano, published by CN Connections Music. His music is popular with piano students as well as professional performers, because he writes well for the piano, has a subtle blend of jazz, pop and classical influences and has a distinctive style of writing that appeals to a wide range of audiences. Christopher recently was awarded an honour licentiate from Conservatory Canada.

Derek Oger

Getting to Know Conservatory Canada

Derek Oger divides his time between teaching piano privately and as a contract lecturer at Lakehead University and has held the position of Executive Director for Conservatory Canada since 2014. While overseeing the Conservatory’s operations, Derek has focused on a complete academic renewal of CC’s core syllabi to contemporize its domestic programs while also engaged in a partnership with the United States Music Certification Exams, led by American pedagogue Dr. Scott McBride Smith, to bring music exams to the US, China and other Asian countries. He is also host of Conservatory Canada Radio, a podcast series which interviews pedagogues, composers, and researchers relevant to studio music teaching.

He regularly adjudicates at music festivals, gives teacher workshops across Canada and occasionally works as a collaborative pianist. In his spare time, he is keenly absorbed in the burgeoning fields of functional medicine, health coaching, biohacking and craniosacral therapy.

Olivia Riddell

Improvising Can be Fun!
The New Moonbeams 3!!

Olivia Riddell (BA, MYCC, RMT) is the President and International Director of Music for Young Children (purchased MYC with husband, David Riddell, in 2010). She is past President of Ottawa Region Branch (ORMTA), and is the past Chair of Conservatory Canada. Olivia began her music studies in Sunshine® 1 and was one of the first MYC students. She began teaching piano privately under the guidance of Frances Balodis at 13 years old, and began teaching MYC when she was 16 years old.

Her private piano teachers have been Frances Balodis, Jiri Hlavacek, John Perry and Antonin Kubalek (RCM). Olivia initially started her post-secondary studies in performance piano and pedagogy with Jim Callahan at St. Thomas University (Minnesota), then upon transferring to the University of Ottawa, studied piano performance with Douglas Voice. Olivia changed degrees to Business achieving her BA in Business and Arts Administration.

Olivia also studied voice with Judy Ritchie, Vickie Iles and Charlotte Stewart (achieving level 9 voice) and flute with Cathy Rollins (achieving level 8 flute). Having also completed her level 10 piano all theory required for the Associate level, Olivia has a well-rounded approach to teaching, and is passionate and dedicated to teaching young children to intermediate levels, ensuring the strongest foundation and love of music she can within her students.

Beth Schloo

Teaching Children with Exceptionalities

Beth Schloo has experienced music since she was very young! She started piano lessons at the age of 6 or 7. It has become a passion for her. As she grew up she knew she wanted to help people. Without realizing it she learned to assist people with exceptionalities. She recently finished her Educational Assistant program at MacEwan University in Edmonton. She has taught MYC for 10 years. Combining her passion of music and her desire to aid those with exceptionalities has come together over the past few years.

Beth has been married for 30 years and has two teenagers who keep her on her toes.

Emma Skeete

“Growing” Your Studio: A Two Year Wait List

Emma Skeete is a certified MYC teacher and has her B.Mus (Dalhousie University). Emma has taught MYC for 15 years. At first co-teaching the MYC program with her mother Lorna in pre-schools in the Halifax area and in Lorna’s studio, she now currently runs her own private studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Glory St. Germain

Ultimate Music Theory Teacher Workshop – Discover How Powerful Transformational Vocabulary Impacts Learning Success!

Glory - ARCT RMT MYCC UMTC is the founder, CEO and author of the Ultimate Music Theory Series. Glory brings over 35 years of remarkably successful teaching experience to the development of the UMT Series and UMT Courses. Glory is a Registered Music Teacher, sought-after clinician and a Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner (NLP). She has served as President of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association, Canadian Coordinator for the MusicLink Foundation and Manitoba Coordinator for Music for Young Children (and contributed to the MYC program as a composer). Glory's passion for teaching excellence sets a new standard of achievement in Music Theory Education.

Avery Swartz

Leveraging Social Media to Grow an Existing Brand

Avery Swartz is a Toronto-based entrepreneur, tech writer, digital marketing consultant, and speaker. She is all about helping businesses and charities use technology to achieve their goals. She is the founder and CEO of Camp Tech, the digital marketing training company for small businesses, non-profits, and those curious to learn more about technology.

Avery is a tech correspondent for the Canadian media. You may have seen her on CTV’s Your Morning, where she’s the resident tech expert, highlighting the latest tech gadgets and apps for a national audience. You may have heard her on CBC Radio stations across the country, giving expert commentary on the latest tech news, or you may have read her small business tech column in Canada’s national newspaper of record, The Globe and Mail.

Avery is the author of the forthcoming book See You on the Internet: Building Your Small Business with Digital Marketing (Page Two Books, March 2020).

Avery acts as a digital advisor to a number of charities (including the Art Canada Institute and Canadian Cancer Society). She serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian Stage. Avery hosts the Gather North retreat for people of marginalized genders in tech, and is #5 on the Top 50 Women in Marketing list by Search Engine Journal.

Dr. Lorna Wanzel

“Growing” Your Studio: A Two Year Wait List

Dr. Lorna Wanzel has taught piano and theory for over 40 years. She has her ARCT, M.A. (MSVU) Ed.D (UNISA) and is a Registered Music Teacher. She is currently the Head, Theory Department at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts and runs a very busy and successful private studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dr. Janet Lopinski

The RCM Teacher Portal: A Resource for All Teachers

Dr. Janet Lopinski has had a long and multi-faceted connection with The Royal Conservatory that includes teaching in the Conservatory School, Young Artists Performance Academy and Glenn Gould School; examining both practical and theoretical subjects; serving as Chief Examiner, author, workshop clinician, and currently as Senior Director, Academic Programs. Dr. Lopinski has represented The Royal Conservatory in over 200 presentations over the past three decades, including national, provincial, regional and local events, and encompassing every province of Canada, and much of the United States. As an examiner, she has assessed thousands of students from coast to coast, served as mentor to many new examiners, and now provides leadership for the College of Examiners.

Dr. Lopinski has performed as soloist and collaborative pianist, and has presented lectures and master classes across North America, in Europe and Korea. She is a graduate of The Royal Conservatory (ARCT gold medalist), University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music) and University of Cincinnati (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts). She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Chopin Society, an organization dedicated to celebrating the legacy of Fryderyk Chopin by promoting his music and nurturing the development of young artists.

Elaine Rusk

MYC to RCM: Pathway to Success!

Vice President of the Royal Conservatory Certificate Program Elaine Rusk is a well-respected business leader, with more than twenty years of experience in all aspects of The Royal Conservatory's academic and publishing divisions.

As Publisher of the Frederick Harris Music Company, Elaine oversaw the publication of the organization's flute, guitar, and voice series, as well as the award-winning Celebration Series® for piano. In less than a three-year period, she led the development and launch of repertoire, etudes, orchestral excerpts, and technique books and recordings for six new instrumental series including cello, clarinet, viola, violin, saxophone, and trumpet. Elaine is key to the development of new digital initiatives underway at The Royal Conservatory.

In addition, Elaine has more than forty years of experience as an independent studio teacher, specializing in piano and theory. In her 10-year tenure as Music Director at Knox Presbyterian Church in Milton, Ontario, Elaine directed the chancel choir a children's choir, and a four-part men's choir.

Elaine is an active contributor to the local, regional, and national musical community. She is a member of The Royal Conservatory College of Examiners, and has travelled across North America on its behalf. Elaine is also an active performer, accompanist, adjudicator, and guest lecturer on piano pedagogy.

Elaine graduated summa cum laude with an honours Bachelor of Music in History, Theory, and Performance from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and holds a Master of Arts in Music Criticism from the same university.

Amy Jo Vanden Brink

MYC Games

Amy Jo Vanden Brink has been teaching MYC since 2007 after graduating from Concordia University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband Chris, son Max and their dog Farley. Summertime can find their family out camping in many of Alberta's provincial parks, and during the year Amy is busy running her MYC studio of about 75 students.

Event Information

July 16 - 22, 2020


For more information

Mairéad Frizell