2019 Sessions

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The following sessions were presented at the 2019 Saskatchewan Music Conference. Sessions for next year's event will be posted in the spring/summer of 2020.

Samuel R. Hazo
Proof That Music is Earth’s Common Denominator
At times, we believe that our paths will have us teach children music; a very noble and sweet profession. However, what we are truly doing is providing future generations with a language, an appreciation, and a new layer of emotional depth with the ability to bond the world. This keynote will provide both common sense and scientific observations of this theory as well as strengthen us in our purpose as ambassadors of music.

Additional session led by Samuel R. Hazo:
Rules of Hazo - Rehearsal Techniques that Work
Similar to every teacher here, I have developed my go-to bag of tricks for ensemble rehearsals. In the early 2000’s, when my guest conducting invitations began, I had to revise my bag of tricks to only include those that produce immediate results. (After all, provincial and all-state honor groups meet for just two or three days.) At these festivals, I would ask each student to list the strange yet musical “Rules of Hazo” on the back of his/her name sheet, and then apply the rules to every piece on the program. Almost immediately, attending directors began asking for a copy of what their students were carrying around and from which they were quoting humorous lines. Then, these quirky musical rules turned into a clinic, and here we are!!! Hope to see you!


Marlene Hinz
Dance Unexpected
Be inspired to explore and create two very different choreographies based on common, every day activities.

In the first choreography, Sleep Interupted, we will use the very ordinary act of sleeping as the inspiration for dance. Here we want to focus on allowing the students to create their own interpretation and exploration within the piece. As we work through the choreography process, students will be encouraged to expand on the basic movement and make it their own.

How much time in our day do we spend waiting? Waiting in a grocery line; waiting for a light to change; waiting for our supper to cook; waiting for our students to settle in. Let’s take this time to turn the waiting into something unique and creative. The second choreography will be done from a chair – now that should peak your interest! I call this piece While I Wait.

Jammin’ on Djole Drum Circle
This session will have participants jammin’ Djole - a traditional African celebration rhythm. We will include the accompanying song as well. The session will conclude with a drum circle based on ‘rolling to the one’ rhythm. We will use this as a spring board to create a composition where we will be able to incorporate several facilitating techniques to create an amazing musical experience for all participants.


Wayne Rollack
The Dances of Universal Peace
The Dances of Universal Peace are a joyous, multicultural way to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves and others. The Dances use sacred phrases, chants, live music, and movements from many spiritual traditions from around the world to promote peace and create an integrated experience of body, mind and spirit. There are no performances or audience: new arrivals and old hands form the Dance circle together. All are welcome. Dances are easy to learn and are taught to the whole group each time. Participants should come open to singing the words of many spiritual traditions (Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Hebrew, aboriginal, etc.) and be on their feet for a least an hour and a half. This session is experiential in nature and not a lecture and will be lead by Wayne Rollack, a mentored leader in the Dances of Universal Peace. Wayne has been leading The One Light Chant and Dance gatherings in Saskatoon for the past four years. He has also been a guest leader with the Dances of Universal Peace community in Nelson, BC.


David Row
Divide and Conquer: Learning Centers in Elementary Music
Learning centers can be fun and educational – a place where students get to explore and work with friends to complete objectives. There is so much potential for everything to go right and for students to learn at their own pace and expand their knowledge of a topic while feeling independent.  Learning centers can also be a massive headache. Everything can go wrong and kids can lose focus, start to act out, ruin the centers you spent so much time creating, and devolve into chaos.  With careful planning, centers can be an exciting opportunity for growth that both students and teachers enjoy.

In this session we will seek to answer some of those difficult logistical questions: how many centers, what’s the objective, how much time should each one take, when will students know to rotate to a new place, how do you group students, etc. Participants will see tangible examples of different types of learning center: rhythmic, melodic, instrument exploration, listening, etc. An emphasis will be placed on how to use center resources in multiple ways to save time and money.  Participants will also explore ideas about material organization, student grouping, and time management. There will be a focus on integrating assessment and evaluation in simple, stress-free ways. Each participant will walk away with ideas for making centers more successful as well as the activities and resources to make that happen.

The Art of Possibility: Expanding and Exploring Our Horizons
There are hundreds of ways to teach a song! In this workshop we’ll take some of our favorite folk songs and look at them from all angles, exploring the possibilities in each lesson. Could we add instruments? Could we modify the song’s form? Could we incorporate movement? You’ll walk away with some new songs and lessons and the skills and resources to revitalize old favorites.


Janet Weaver
Cookin’ up a STEAM in the Music Room!
Are you looking for more ways to connect Music with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math? Do you want to turn up the heat on your study of instruments?

Add some A (for Arts) to the STEM curriculum and you will get STEAM! The newly developed OrgelkidsCAN* project with its natural fit to STEM curriculum brings the Art of the pipe organ to elementary children and appeals to their natural sense of curiosity and hands on approach to learning. With its historical roots, the “King of Instruments” also connects students to music of the past and blends beautifully with the elemental music from around the world.

In Weaver’s session, you will build and play the organ (no keyboard experience needed!), and learn (almost) everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about the instrument that has pushed science, technology, and engineering to meet the demands of composers and organists over the last 500 years. She will guide you through her teacher-friendly, curricular-linked lesson plans and resources geared for grade 3-5 students. (If time permits, take part in an “organ-crawl” to see and hear Regina’s unique instruments just blocks away.)

Check out for more information on how you can be part of this exciting new educational venture!


Bernadette Kuturna, MA, FAMI, MTA
Why We Use Music With Students with Varying Challenges
This workshop will explore basic premises of what music therapy is and how the components of music are used intentionally with students. Current research in music therapy will be referenced. The workshop will have an experiential component.

Psychosomatic Workshop for Educators
This experiential workshop will give educators ideas on how to use music for themselves, for relaxation, for energizing and for reflection.


Terrance Littletent
Hoop Dancing
Description still to come...


Sherry Sproule and Carol Donhauser
Enrich lives by Exploring “The Art of Speech Arts”
We live in a digital world! Learning to speak clearly, expressively, in sentences, is more important than ever. The ability to speak with confidence is vitally important for a child’s development. Whether for a presentation at school, job or college entrance interview, a cause you believe in, or making a first impression with people who matter to you, the ability to speak well will help take you toward your goals.

Speech Arts make literature come to life! For those who love literature, this can be a joyful activity. For those less drawn to literature, turning it into a living-out-loud art can help them to understand its value. Children need to understand the power of their voice and that it is uniquely theirs and deserves to be heard.

Speech Arts nurtures creativity and artistic expression and provides a performance opportunity for students! It is another area, like music or sports, in which a student may pursue excellence – a discipline where the result depends on the effort exerted. This form of art can be done anywhere – to entertain your family and friends, at social events in your community, at events in your school (talent contest), and at your local music festival.

SMFA will present an “all in one package” to help teachers integrate Speech Arts into the curriculum. Do not miss the opportunity to enrich your student’s lives by attending this presentation.

Sherry Sproule, SMFA President, and Carol Donhauser, SMFA Executive Director, will present this session.

Brian Balmages
If You Play Something, Say Something!  
Everyone agrees on the importance of playing musically. But how is this accomplished? And what does it even mean to play musically? Getting the ensemble to understand its role in breathing life into a phrase is one of the most critical elements in any rehearsal or performance. Explore the difference between true musicality and the concept of “choreographed musicianship” as Balmages engages the audience through performance so attendees can actually experience the different tiers of musicality.

Rethink, Rediscover, Refuel:
Abandoning the Cliché of Educational Music and Bringing Inspiration Back to the Podium
It is time to shatter expectations that Grade 1 music cannot be as compelling as Grade 6 music. What elements do works of art have in common regardless of grade level? How do some composers approach composition with these elements in mind? How can conductors harness this knowledge to make informed repertoire choices? Gain insight into all of these questions and more with an intimate and personal discussion about the compositional process with Brian Balmages and how it informs his repertoire choices as a conductor.

Proudly sponsored by: The FJH Music Company Inc.


Kevin Hamlin
Beginning Band: Start Them Right!
When beginning to learn an instrument, the first few weeks are critical for developing proper technique and habits. This session will provide very practical solutions for the teacher to directly employ in their class; solutions that will look at each instrument and what is necessary to give your students the best start possible. After the session, you'll leave with a wealth of practical solutions that have been developed and refined over many years. Your bands will improve greatly, as will your enrollment/retention.

Proudly sponsored by:


Dr. Wendy McCallum
SMC Delegate Band
Using diverse well-crafted music suitable for students of all levels, the SMC Delegate Band ensemble will provide an energizing rehearsal and performance experience for participating instrumentalists.

Rehearsal Techniques: Enhancing Ensemble Facility and Musicianship
We all know that routines are an important part of our rehearsal structure, but what role does predictability play? By introducing new strategies to rehearsal routines, we can reduce time spent "off task," increase student engagement, and reduce rehearsal predictability. Enhancing Ensemble Facility and Musicianship will include strategies to address the development of skills, knowledge, and understanding to motivate students, create a stronger sense of musical community, and increase individual listening skills. The SMC Delegate Band will serve as a demonstration ensemble as we address routines such as warm-ups, technical development, sight-reading, drill and repetition, and listening activities.

Gestures for Impact: Conducting Musically to Make a Difference
As ensemble directors, we can use our conducting gestures, efficient movements through space and time, to communicate a myriad of musical ideas. The clinic, Gestures for Impact, will provide hands-on experience experimenting with five specific concepts related to the communication of musical ideas. Participants in this workshop are encouraged, but not required, to bring their own conducting batons.


Jennifer Lang
Delegate Choir Ensemble Repertoire
All conference delegates are invited to sing in the Choir Ensemble in which a selection of advanced mixed-voice repertoire will be rehearsed and performed at the conference banquet. 

Finding Your Voice with Musical Futures Informal Learning Activities
This session will explore a number of singing activities based on the Musical Futures “Find Your Voice” resources. These vocal explorations are captivating, entertaining and educational, and they require your participation and imagination. Participants will also engage in vocal activities that explore the creation of songs, four-chord songs, and mash-ups. 

Stewart Wilkinson
Barbershop - Youth in Harmony
Music directors: are you getting enough boys out to sing? If not, this might be a solution for you. Since 2008, high schools across the US have successfully increased the number of boys involved in music through the Barbershop Society’s Youth in Harmony program. In this session, we will acquaint you with the intricacies of barbershop singing, locking and ringing chords and outline some optional programs designed to encourage boys to sing. You will receive free music and learning tracks for a number of songs suitable for youth singing, as well as a music director’s guide to help you get started. Come join us for an hour of fun and chord ringing.