Spring Piano Workshop

The Spring Piano Workshop will be held Saturday, April 8, 2016 - UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The 2017 workshop will feature guest pianist/clinician Dr. Jessica Johnson.


Students will have the opportunity to perform in a master class presented by Guest Artist Jessica Johnson or by a UNK piano faculty member. All solo pieces must be memorized. Registration forms may be duplicated. Please use separate Student Registration forms for listing of performance repertoire.

Student Registration Form

Teacher Registration Form

*Jessica Johnson Master Class Performers: Three students will be selected through audition recording (mp3 or CD/DVD) to perform on the Johnson master class. Recordings and registration must be postmarked by March 24, 2017. Selections will be made by quality of performance and choice of repertoire as determined by Dr. Johnson.

Parents may also join the students and piano faculty for lunch in the Nebraskan Student Union for $10.  Please submit payment with student/teacher registration.

Workshop/Luncheon/Reception Fee: $15.00
Checks payable to:
UNK Dept. of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Memo: Spring Piano Workshop

Mail completed form and fee (and Johnson audition recordings) to:
Katherine Shinn, Office Associate

Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849

April 8, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Session I - 9:00 to 10:00
“Feeling the Sound:  A Guide to Multi-Sensory, Whole-Brain Practicing”
Jessica Johnson

Session II - 10:00 to 11:00
“The Art of Listening with Depth, Understanding, Flow and Imagery”
Jessica Johnson

Guest Artist Master Class - 11:00 to 12:00
Jessica Johnson (students selected by audio audition recording)

12:00 to 1:00 - Luncheon with UNK Faculty/Students

UNK Piano Faculty Master Classes - 1:00 to 2:00
All participants will have the opportunity to perform at least one piece in one of three special master classes with piano faculty: Nathan Buckner, Valerie Cisler, and James Cook.

Session III - 2:00 to 3:00
“Exploring Rhythmic Groove and Flow:  New Music for Piano and Percussion Duo”
Jessica Johnson, piano and Tony Di Sanza, percussion

Reception - 3:00 to 3:30



Concerts-on-the-Platte:  Guest Artist/Faculty Recital Series

April 6, 7:30 p.m.

Drs. Johnson and Di Sanza will also perform a full-length piano/percussion recital as part of the UNK Concerts-on-the-Platte Series, Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Guest Artist – Dr. Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson
serves on the piano faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and Director of Graduate Studies.  In 2006, she was the recipient of UW-Madison’s prestigious Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. Johnson has formerly been on the faculties of Augustana College (Illinois), Sterling College, and the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts.

In addition to her love for the standard keyboard repertoire, Johnson frequently commissions and programs contemporary solo and chamber works. She regularly performs with Sole Nero, a piano and percussion duo with Anthony Di Sanza, percussion. In an effort to contribute to the repertoire of this diverse medium, the duo has engaged in an extensive commissioning project resulting in many new works by composers such as Laura Schwendinger, Les Thimmig, Evan Hause, Dave Hollinden, Joel Naumann, Joseph Koykkar, Serra Hwang and Michael Kallstrom. In 2004, the duo released its first compact disc recording on the Equilibrium label titled Music per Due. An advocate for the adoption of the DS Standard™, established by the Donison-Steinbuhler Foundation, Johnson is a leading researcher investigating performing and teaching on alternately-sized piano keyboards for the benefit of pianists with smaller hand-spans.

An active clinician, she has given workshops and presentations at the European Piano Teachers Association International Conference, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, ISME International Conference, MTNA National Conferences, Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), Portland International Piano Festival, as well as held residencies at major universities and colleges throughout North America, Europe and China. Johnson has articles published in American Music Teacher, Piano Journal of the European Piano Teachers Association, Clavier Companion, Piano Pedagogy Forum and Piano Adventures Teacher Newsletter. She is a two-time winner of American Music Teacher’s Article of the Year Award  for “Feeling the Sound: Reflections on Claiming One’s Own Musical Voice (2014) and “The Art of Listening with Depth, Understanding, Flow and Imagery” (2007).

A devoted teacher, Johnson’s students have secured teaching positions in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Passionate about community engagement and arts outreach, she serves as Director of Piano Pioneers, a program that brings high quality piano instruction to low-income community members and high-risk youth in Wisconsin. Piano Pioneers has received generous support from the Evjue Foundation, the Morgridge Institute, the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, and the Billings Piano Gallery. Johnson received the MM in Piano Performance and DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Michigan. She holds the BM in Piano Performance, magna cum laude, from East Carolina University. Her principal teachers include Arthur Greene, Charles Fisher and Donna Coleman, and piano pedagogy studies with Joanne Smith and Kerry Carlin. She lives in Madison with her husband, Anthony Di Sanza (UW-Madison Professor of Percussion), and her daughter Maggie. 

Guest Artist – Dr. Anthony Di Sanza

Anthony Di Sanza
has performed and presented master classes throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 50 colleges, universities, and conservatories and has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in some of the world’s most important concert halls. Active in a variety of Western and non-Western percussive styles, he can be heard on many internationally distributed CD recordings with various artists. In review of his 2011 solo CD release, On the nature of…, All Music Guide writes; “Di Sanza dazzles not only in the assurance and polish of his playing but in his tremendous vitality and spontaneity.”

Di Sanza currently serves as principal percussionist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and his percussion compositions (published by Tapspace, Alfred & HoneyRock) have been performed internationally. Anthony has a signature line of marimba mallets distributed by Encore Mallets and Black Swamp Percussion produces the Di Sanza Triangle Trigger, which he designed in collaboration with Black Swamp.

Anthony holds degrees from Youngstown State University (BME) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA). Currently Professor of Percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Anthony is an endorser of Encore Mallets, Black Swamp Percussion, Sabian Cymbals and Remo Drumheads, as well as an educational endorser of Pro-Mark Drumsticks.

Partial funding for this workshop has been provided by:
UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee
Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
NU Foundation Concerts-on-the-Platte Fund