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Guest Clinicians

E. L. Lancaster 

Dr. E. L. Lancaster teaches keyboard musicianship, piano ensemble, and keyboard literature at California State University, Northridge. He currently serves on the board of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and is the author for the “What’s New” column for the American Music Teacher.

Dr. Lancaster holds degrees from Murray (KY) State University, the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. From 1979 until 1998, he was Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, where he taught courses in piano pedagogy and coordinated the group piano program. Dr. Lancaster established the masters and doctoral programs in piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and served as major professor for more than 50 doctoral dissertations in that field. He taught pre-college students in the Piano Pedagogy Laboratory Program, combining group and private instruction. In addition, from 1981 to 1996, he and his wife, Dr. Gayle Kowalchyk, operated a large independent piano studio in Norman, Oklahoma.

From 1997 until 2016, Dr. Lancaster was Senior Vice President and Keyboard Editor-in-Chief of Alfred Music. He drew upon his teaching experience ranging from pre-school through doctoral candidates, to direct the Alfred keyboard catalog.

Dr. Lancaster has served as National Chairman of Group Piano and National Chairman of Student Chapters for MTNA. He was the convention chair for the 2020 MTNA National Conference. He has held offices in the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, including Chair of the Administration/Pedagogy Liaison Committee. Dr. Lancaster has received numerous teaching awards from the University of Oklahoma, including the Regents Award for Superior Teaching (1984), Associated Distinguished Lectureship (1987), Provost’s Outstanding Academic Advising Award (1996), and Outstanding Faculty Award in the College of Fine Arts (1996). In 1991 he was awarded a David Ross Boyd Professorship, named in honor of the first OU president, given to faculty members who excel in teaching, counseling and guiding students.

In 2013, he was named a Signature Sinfonian by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, national music fraternity. This award honors members who exhibit high standards of excellence in representing the fraternity as an alumnus. Murray State University honored him in 2014 with a Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor granted by the University. At their 2016 convention, the California Association of Professional Music Teachers presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a 2019 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the Outstanding Alumnus in Fine Arts Award from Murray State University.

Dr. Lancaster has presented workshops for teachers throughout the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. He is the author or co-author of more than 400 publications designed for students of all ages including Alfred’s Premier Piano Course, Music for Little Mozarts, and Alfred’s Group Piano for Adults.

Gayle Kowalchyk

Dr. Gayle Kowalchyk teaches class piano, piano, piano pedagogy, and coordinates the BA piano program at California State University, Northridge. She also is a member of the piano faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp.

A graduate of Ohio University (BM), she received the Achievement in Music Award in 2003, presented by the Society of Alumni and Friends and the Ohio University School of Music. She also has degrees from Northwestern University (MM) and Teachers College, Columbia University (Ed.D.).

Dr. Kowalchyk was Senior Keyboard Editor for Alfred Music from 1988-2017. She was formerly on the faculty of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, where she coordinated the class piano program, directed the piano preparatory program, and taught piano pedagogy. She has taught piano pedagogy and class piano at Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, and the University of Oklahoma, Norman.

A frequent clinician and adjudicator, Dr. Kowalchyk has presented sessions for national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association and the Music Educators National Conference, as well as for the National Group Piano Symposium, the National Piano Teachers Institute, the International Pedagogy Workshops, the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference. She has presented piano workshops for teachers in Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea.

With her husband, Dr. E. L. Lancaster, she operated a large independent piano studio in Norman, Oklahoma (1981-1996). Together, they have co-authored more than 350 educational piano books.

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