Los Angeles California, MTAC State Convention, online piano lessons

Scenes from MTAC Los Angeles! What you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask!

I’m safely nestled, if not sequestered, “Under Surveillance,” in my all-purpose, webcam-wired piano room following a two way Mega-BUST ride between West Oakland and Union Station, L.A.

me under overhead cam

Quite unexpectedly, my daughter and I were stranded on the Freeway, 20 minutes from destination, with our bulging baggage, roadside, after a double decker demise. (Transmission shutdown) And from the dust-ridden, smog zone, (following a dung heap passage through the Central Valley)dung zone it was a pricey $50 cab ride to the Airport Hilton in rush hour traffic!

Seven hours earlier, I’d texted my piano students that I was seated in the LAP of LUXURY with Wi-Fi perks and push back seats.wi-fi bus

Go figure!


The journey south was sparked by my scheduled appearance at the MTAC State Convention in a High-Tech, break-the-barriers, ONLINE music lesson framing. I was slated to “BRAVE” the cyber-energized SKYPE and FACE-TIME MUSIC-learning cosmos with its techno-bundled trimmings, in an encapsulated ONE HOUR. This demanded significant NIP and TUCK in the illustrious MAKE-OVER capital.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 8.08.40 PM

Once settled into the Airport-based Hotel room with its amazing 9th floor panoramic view of plane landings and take-offs, I headed to the LOWER LOBBY for a gym workout in prep for my 12-hour intense program review.


me at gym


As it turned out, the set-up in the Carmel Room was perfect: The computer podium, Steinway piano and Big Screen were nicely arranged, with outstanding access to tech support. I couldn’t have asked for more!

setup in Carmel room

Aviva, my traveling companion and assistant (daughter), scoped out the space for nifty hand-held Camcorder angles before she stopped off at the Steinway piano for a test run.

Aviva at the piano

The Hotel glittered with colorful exhibits: a repository of sheet music displays, YAG RECITAL POSTERS, PROGRAM highlights, instrument galleries, and hands-on electronic keyboard stations to drive sight-reading improvement.

Exhibit Hall

I made sure to whiz over to the Frederick Harris exhibit to peruse its new Preparatory samplers, while I chatted amiably with Editor, Nancy Rusk.

Frederick Harris

I couldn’t skip the Steinway Pianos display in the adjacent room. After breezing over the keyboard of a resonant Steinway ‘B,’ I collected the business card of Beverly Hills Sales Rep, Nancy Dovan. She was an over easy connection to Justin Levitt at the Walnut Creek Steinway Gallery. (It’s a small musical world!)


Following an early Friday morning spree through the Exhibit Hall, I made final preparations for my 4 p.m. presentation! (It had been about 24 hours since the grueling MEGA-bus calamity with its lingering after effect.)

For the trip to L.A., I had encased my big iMAC 21 computer in a newly bought hard shelled, Chinese-imported BRIGHT RED expandable piece of luggage, and with its revolving wheels, I schlepped the monster to the second floor for unloading. (Don’t ask how many elephant-size elevator excursions I took, and why the heck the room key card was not working?!) Repeated staccato strokes in the narrow slots skinned my fingers!

red luggage

After TWO intensely concentrated PROGRAM DRESS REHEARSALS, I placed dozens of hand-out packets on a music stand by the Carmel Room entranceway, hoping these would be taken by Program attendees. A few people ran off with them, before being apprehended. I guess they were trying to be at more than one event at a time.

Still, despite competing program offerings, we had a GOOD turnout with the inharmonious drone of two blasting pianos seeping through thin walls.

What emerged in the aftermath of my event was an abridged 15-minute filmed overview without many of the sample lessons-in progress that I’d inserted. Just the same, the footage well-summarized the effort.

**NOTE: For reference, these two blogs below contain an outline of what played out during my presentation.




….Finally, it was nice to meet up with Facebook Friend Sophie, from Australia, who was my Online cheerleader. We posed together for this wonderful OFFLINE photo!

Crop Sophie and I

Such a warm and fuzzy musical connection ushered in a Social Hour in the Hotel Courtyard that was the evening finale to a long, but satisfying day.

courtyard reception

reception panorama

reception filled

Thank you, MTAC for great hospitality, planning, and inspired events!

Convention booklet

Post Script:

I was sad to leave before the Convention’s end, but the Mega-Bus ride back home trumped my attention, and as feared, the journey North was anything but smooth.

As foreboding, the bus driver announced:
“I have nothing to do with the A/C or Wi-Fi.”

Good thing I brought my winter coat, mittens, and a muffler or I would have froze to death!


It’s always great to be back home!

Shirley Kirsten guest artist

3 thoughts on “Scenes from MTAC Los Angeles! What you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask!”

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