2017 CSMTA State Conference

October 14, 2017

Cultural Arts Center
Whitney Center
200 Leeder Hill Rd
Hamden, CT 06517

Luxuan Elly Wen “Introduction to Chinese Music”
Aaron Butler “If You Can Move It, You Can Play It”
Joey Lieber “Improv Pedagogy for Beginners”
Performance by Dr. Manabu Takasawa

2017 Conference Poster
2017 Conference Sessions
2017 Conference Schedule


Luxuan (Elly) Wen completed her B.A. in piano performance at Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. After graduating in 2004, she joined the faculty at Guangdong Dance and Drama College, China. At the young age of 26, Elly was promoted to vice chair of the music department, the youngest chair in the history of the school.

In 2011, Elly was offered and accepted a full scholarship and tuition waiver to matriculate in the graduate piano performance program at West Chester University (WCU) of Pennsylvania. During this time period, she studied with national and international piano soloist and piano professor, Dr. Carl Cranmer. As part of her graduate studies, Elly was selected for a master class conducted by Dr. Malcolm Bilson, American pianist, musicologist, and professor at Cornell University. This event also included a dinner invitation where Elly spent more time with the piano master. As a graduate student, Elly was appointed by the university in a full-time role as graduate assistant. In this post, she was responsible for piano accompaniment for the vocal department within the school of music. In addition, Elly served as graduate student president for the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) of West Chester University.

Elly has been an active piano soloist with performances that have spanned the United States and China. As a performer, she has provided piano solo concerts, participated in chamber ensembles, accompaniment, and competitions. In 2006, Elly received an Outstanding Accompanist Award from the Department of Civilian Culture, Guangdong Province, China. In 2014, she was invited to perform as a soloist at the PMTA (Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association) state conference representing West Chester University, and later at the Lunar New Year Concert hosted by University of Pennsylvania. Also, in the summer of 2014, she judged as a substitute at the ninth Moscow Chopin Competition for youth held in Foshan, China. In 2015, she received the Connie Murray Scholarship awarded by School of Music, West Chester University. She gave a lecture-recital at conference 2017 of Pennsylvania Music Teacher Association about Chinese piano music.

Elly has taught piano for over fifteen years, and, most recently, received her Master’s in piano pedagogy from West Chester University, under the guidance of Dr. Patricia Powell, piano professor, consultant, and Assistant Chair of the Keyboard Department. Along with Elly’s proficiencies in performance and composition, she is a skilled piano teacher possessing a broad knowledge of teaching methods and learning techniques. From 2001 to 2006, she taught as a part-time piano faculty member at Foshan Liu Shi-Kun Music and Art School. In addition, Elly is a skilled and published composer. From 1999 to 2003, she was contracted by a Hong Kong publisher ‘Sky Walker’ to write piano transcriptions of popular music. During that time period, fifteen books were published. Most recently, Elly has published some of her own sheet music, which is available for on-line purchase through Sheet-Music-Plus.

Joey Lieber is a pianist / piano teacher who teaches privately in both Westchester, NY and in Connecticut. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Music from SUNY Purchase. He is a Steinway educational partner, and his Jazz blog has been recognized as one of the top 50 on the Internet. In addition, some of his work has been published in the popular method Piano Safari that is used by teachers all over the globe.

Joey has worked in education most of his life. He was Co-head of music at Camp Tevya in New Hampshire, and worked for Long Lake Camp for the Performing Arts as Head of Songwriting for two years. He also assisted in teaching private jazz piano lessons in addition to aiding coach ensembles at the New York State Music Festival.

From an early age, Joey knew he was meant to live a life of music and teaching others. Starting to play piano at the age of five, Joey progressed quickly and began playing in a variety of settings, ranging from private parties, music venues, to various ensembles. By the age of ten, he was performing in the Schubert Young Musician’s Festival, and playing in recitals and talent shows at venues like Curtain Call in Stamford, CT.

At sixteen years old, he won the Grand Prize for the C Note Recording Studio Songwriting Contest for his original song ‘Right at You.” A year later, at seventeen, he won 1st place in the Chaminade Club of Yonkers Piano Competition with a $1000 1st prize. Joey was invited to be a featured solo artist on Open Stage, a local TV Show featuring musical talent. At eighteen, he was a Young Arts Merit Award winner by the National Foundation of Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) for Jazz Piano Performance. Joey also was selected to perform as a soloist at the Jim Caruso Cast Party in Florida at the age of 22.

Aaron Butler is an active musical director, accompanist, and teacher in New York City. He is a specialist in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is the resident pianist for Mind The Art Entertainment, and is a founding member of Sound Narcissist. He is comfortable in a variety of musical styles— from baroque through contemporary classical, opera, Broadway, and improvisation. He has his Bachelor’s from Amherst College, Artist Diploma from Brandeis University, Master’s from Longy School of Music and Dalcroze Certificate from Longy School of Music.