Endorsements & Testimonials

It’s a great honor to be elected MTNA President, and an even greater distinction to be supported by so many fine teachers and leaders. I appreciate their willingness to speak out on my behalf, and am humbled by their confidence in my ideas, interpersonal abilities and leadership skills.

Thank-you for your support, everyone!

Do you have a memory or experience with Dr. Smith?

MTNA Leaders

  • Arlene Gray — Former President, NDMTA

    My first impression of Scott McBride Smith came attending one of his workshops at an MTNA national conference. His attitude appealed to me immediately—he was congenial and approachable. After another conference and workshop of his, I felt prompted to ask Scott to consider coming to North Dakota. It took a few years planning, but Scott presented workshops for teachers at the 2008 Bismarck, North Dakota MTA Conference. Scott is personable, professional and well organized. Scott took time to talk with teachers and offered advice when requested. He has a strong sense of how students learn and what appeals to them. Scott is also a businessman, co-author of a fine series, “American Popular Piano”.

    Arlene Gray
  • Elise Beckett Russell
    Founder, The Piano Curriculum Series, LLC
    Developer, PCS Piano Proficiency Examinations
    Former Trustee Teacher Enrichment Conference Chair, TMTA

    I have known Dr. Scott McBride Smith for many years and was thrilled to learn he was running for MTNA President. As a well-respected pianist and pedagogue, I believe Scott will bring to the table a blend of innovative techniques and ideas to enhance our national association. Dr. Smith has a genuine talent for listening to others, assessing the situation and producing pragmatic solutions. MTNA is fortunate to have Scott willing to work for all its members.

    Elise Beckett Russell
  • Deborah Freeman — Past President, SCMTA

    I first met Scott McBride Smith in 2004, when serving as President of South Carolina Music Teachers Association. Scott has an exuberant personality, innovative and progressive ideas, and the innate ability to listen. I am happy to endorse him as our next MTNA President. It’s about time!

    Deborah Freeman
  • Sue Field
    Former President, CAPMT
    Director-Elect (2014-2016), MTNA Southwest Division

    I am voting for Scott for MTNA President because not only does he have a vision and wonderful ideas for the future of music teaching, he has experience of decades of highly successful private teaching in addition to university teaching to draw from, as well as extensive experience in publishing, coaching and presenting.

    However, far more important is that, (having served on the CAPMT Board with him as Recording Secretary and later as his President-Elect) I know that he is a truly, nice guy who takes the time to listen to others and possesses that unique ability to make people feel appreciated for their contributions. The ability to interact, engage, listen and collaborate with others is a critical skill, essential to the Boardroom, very especially a non-profit Board.

    I am honored that he asked me to be CAPMT President Elect, back in 2009 when this thought was very far away from my horizon and when I was President, in those bleak moments when I faced countless dilemmas I was always warmed by the knowledge of his confidence in me.

    Sue Field
  • Minji Noh
    District Coordinator, CAPMT
    Teacher & Director, Piano Academy — St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

    I first met Dr. Smith when I attend IIYM (a great summer festival headed by Dr. Smith) as a high school student. The festival was so organized and well-run that I attended again the next summer! Now fast forward about 15 years… I returned to California after 8 years of being away for music schools. Being in a transitional period, I was naturally hungry for career advice from mentor figures and sought out former teachers. Dr. Smith was one of them. He could have easily said he was too busy! I would never forget how he made time to see me personally in midst of his very busy schedule. Thank you for your insightful comments and for making time for “little people”, Dr. Smith!

    Minji Noh
  • Sharon Townsend
    Member, MTNA Development Committee
    CEO, Glendale Healthy Kids
    Former Executive Director, IIYM

    Scott and I have worked together on many projects, from summer music programs to major conferences. He is a dynamic leader, and a wonderful colleague and friend.

    Sharon Townsend
  • Yunbo Cassady — Scholarship and Workshops Chair, Eastside Chapter, WSMTA

    Visionary, innovator, educator, leader, communicator, and piano pedagogue. These are the diverse and valuable roles Dr. Scott McBride Smith encompasses on a daily basis. It has been a true privilege to get to know Dr. Smith as a piano competition judge, adjudicator, master teacher, and a wonderful mentor to students. Dr. Smith is an inspiration to all our music teachers. He has shown excellent commitment to our music education community through his teaching, music educational publications, and founding and vision of music festivals for teachers and students.

    Yunbo Cassady


  • Claire Wachter — Professor of Piano, University of Oregon

    I have known Dr. Scott McBride Smith for over ten years and he is a professional in every possible way — as a pianist, author, professor, and administrator. He believes in the future of MTNA and music education. In addition to his great talents and gifts in so many areas, Scott is highly intelligent and knows how to get things done. He would be an outstanding president for MTNA.

    Claire Wachter
  • Edna Golandsky
    Leading exponent of Taubman Approach
    Founder and Artistic Director, The Golandsky Institute

    Scott Smith is a very strong leader in the world of music education and piano instruction. He also gets along well with people and is open to new ideas that can advance and improve piano instruction. He would be wonderful as the head of the MTNA and will further help advance its standing and relevance in the world of music.

    Edna Golandsky
  • Fung Ho
    Violin & Orchestra Faculty, Cal State University, Los Angeles
    String & Chamber Music Faculty, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
    Music Director & Conductor, CalStateLA Symphony Orchestra/Olympia Youth Orchestra

    Working with Dr. Scott McBride Smith as my colleague at the International Institute for Young Musicians has been a most positive experience. His vast knowledge and dedication to music education brings out the best in his efforts to incorporate new ideas into his ways of teaching.

    His vision in music education not only emphasizes on the training of advanced students, but also applies to the promotion and education of music to the general public. This proved very successfully through the results of the institute. I am impressed with the change in attitude in all of the students after going through his program, besides the improvement amongst the higher level students, also the obvious increase of interest in music throughout the student body.

    Fung Ho
  • Ingrid Clarfield — Professor of Piano & Coordinator of Piano Department, Westminster Choir College

    My only question is: “Why did it take so long?” With Scott’s many years of consistent commitment to MTNA, one would have expected Scott to have served as President, MANY years ago!! I have had the pleasure of being Scott’s friend and collaborator on numerous projects for over 30 years. He is always the consummate professional. With his incredible knowledge of our profession and music in general, he is definitively one of the true leaders in our profession. Having Scott as President would enhance the stature of MTNA nationally and internationally.

    Ingrid Clarfield
  • Kristin Yost — Founder, Centre for Music Minds

    I am excited about the possibilities of Scott McBride Smith as the new face of MTNA leadership. Scott’s long-view vision and passion for music education is inspiring, uplifting and one that I stand behind with admiration. We have an opportunity to elect one of the strongest advocates of music education that I have had the pleasure of working with, and I personally look forward to the increased level of participation and strength Scott will bring to music education in America.

    Kristin Yost
  • Lee Galloway — Past President, Music Teachers Association of California

    Scott McBride Smith is a true visionary. When Scott was State President of CAPMT, he was proactive in efforts to work with the independent Music Teachers’ Association of California (of which I was State President) and we worked together in attempts to develop projects for the good of music education in California. This demonstrates his commitment to a successful future of music education. Having one foot in the world of University teaching and the other foot in the world of the entrepreneur/private music teacher, he is the perfect choice for leading MTNA into the future.

    Lee Galloway
  • Lieschen Bierstedt — Former President, Music Teachers Association of California

    Scott McBride Smith served with me on the Music Teacher’s Association State Board for several years. We worked together on the Finance Committee and I learned to admire his level headed pragmatism and his clear sense of setting goals and consistently working towards accomplishing these goals. He is professional and yet warm and open to new ideas in dealing with fellow board members. I know that Scott will be an exceptional leader for MTNA.

    Lieschen Bierstedt
  • Pavlina Dokovska
    Head of the Piano Department, Mannes College The New School for Music
    Artistic Director, Mannes Annual Festival

    I have known Dr. Scott McBride Smith for many years through the Master Classes and lectures he has given at Mannes College The New School for Music on numeral occasions.
    In addition, I have participated as a jury member at the competition at the International Institute for Young Musicians, whose Artistic Director and founder he is, and had the opportunity to observe the extraordinary activity at this festival and interact with him on a daily basis.

    Dr. Smith is one of the greatest teachers I have come across. What makes him particularly valuable in our field is that he works with the same ease and tremendous competence with students of all ages: from the very young to the college age professional student. His works on pedagogy have become some of the most sought-after books.

    He has a genuine passion and profound interest in the art of pedagogy and teacher training. His accomplishments as pianist and teacher, his vision of improving the state of piano and music education, all this in combination with his organizational talent and experience, make him the perfect candidate for the President of MTNA. Dr. Smith has great leadership qualities and if elected, he will bring the MTNA to new heights.

    Pavlina Dokovska
  • Vladimir Valjarevic — Piano Faculty & Head of the Piano Department, Preparatory Division, Mannes College

    I have invited Scott McBride Smith to give a piano masterclass at Mannes Prep and pedagogy lectures at Mannes College. In addition, we worked together at his International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) in Kansas, a prime performance venue and learning opportunity for young pianists. I am most impressed with his vast knowledge, impeccable organizational skills, and fairness in executing the IIYM Piano Competition. Dr. Smith has made a profound impact on contemporary piano pedagogy through teaching, lecturing, and writing. His balanced personality, superb leadership skills, and substantial experience make him an ideal candidate for MTNA presidency.

    Vladimir Valjarevic

Music Industry

  • Christopher NortonAward-Winning Educational Composer

    I have known Scott McBride Smith professionally since 2005. We have collaborated closely on a number of publications and have also toured and presented together many times. He is a natural-born leader and a great communicator. His fierce intelligence is tempered by a ready wit. I thoroughly recommend him for the role as President of MTNA.

    Christopher Norton
  • Clarke MacIntosh — President, Novus Via Music Group

    Dr. Scott McBride Smith is a unique force in music education in America. He is not only one of the elite teachers, developing world class performers through his studio year in and year out, but he is also keenly aware of the need for our approach to music education to keep up with the times, at all levels! Dr. Smith has shown an understanding and commitment to keeping music making relevant in the 21st century: from the challenges facing teachers with absolute beginners studying near home, to young artists on the cusp of a career in music. At this unprecedented time of change and uncertainty regarding the role of music lessons in our society, I can’t think of anyone better suited to leading the way forward than Dr. Smith!

    Clarke MacIntosh
  • Michelle Sisler — Chief Manager, Keys to Imagination, LLC

    It has been my pleasure of having Scott as a presenter for MusicEdConnect.com and presenting with him at conferences. Scott is a gifted teacher and leader with the vision and foresight to take MTNA into the future where music education is rapidly changing in our ever developing society. I am excited for him to bring his experience, ideas, communication skills and sense of humor to lead MTNA.

    Michelle Sisler


  • Massimiliano Baggio (Milan, Italy) — Professor of Piano, Verdi Conservatory (Conservatorio di Musica di Milano)

    I strongly believe the President of an Institution such important as MTNA should be, first and foremost, a very good teacher and Scott definitely is. I had a clear demonstration of this when he came to conduct a Master Class at the Conservatorio of Milan, a couple of years ago.

    Some very talented young pianists, aware of the great experience of the teacher they had in front of them, were very eager to receive some good advice on their pianism. After each of them ended playing, Scott, sitting on his chair, wearing his glasses and with the score on his lap, put forward few and to-the-point suggestions aimed at improving the performances both from the technical and the interpretative standpoint.

    Few words expressed with his innate kindness and elegance that have had a huge impact not only on the young pianists but also on an enthralled audience, composed of students and teachers, that was filling the hall. This is personality, this is charisma.

    This one of the many reasons why I do think Scott will be a great President of the MTNA

    Massimiliano Baggio
  • Miao Li (Shenyang, China) — Wind Faculty, Shenyang Conservatory

    Dr. Smith is a very accomplished teacher, both of piano and chamber music. His masterclasses and lectures benefit our conservatory and have a great impact on students. Dr. Smith’s rigorous, detailed and humorous teaching has left a deep impression.

    Miao Li
  • Patricia Frehlich (Ontario, Canada)
    Past President, Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA)
    Chair of the Board, Conservatory Canada

    As an international member of MTNA, it is with great pleasure that I endorse Dr. Scott McBride Smith in his bid to become the next MTNA president.

    I first became aware of Scott’s tremendous talent as a master teacher and pedagogue at the 2007 MTNA- CFMTA Collaborative Conference in Toronto, Canada. Needless to say, I, along with many of my Canadian colleagues, have been huge fans ever since!

    I have witnessed his abilities as a gifted teacher during master classes and attended numerous presentations where he shared his immense knowledge on the art of teaching. Further, his vast experience serving on boards of numerous music organizations and faculties over the years would be a tremendous asset to MTNA.

    Dr. Smith brings a unique, all encompassing perspective to understanding music education and the challenges it faces today. I believe MTNA will have an exciting future under his leadership!

    Patricia Frehlich
  • Roxana Anklesaria (Pune, India)
    Director, The Academy of Music
    Convener, MusiQuest

    Dr Scott McBride Smith was our advanced division adjudicator for MusiQuest 2011 (our national festival held biennially). Our Festival was incredibly honoured and privileged to have him in our midst. His invaluable pedagogical insight and experience will remain with our participants forever. He was truly an inspiration to our young participants who have so few such opportunities in India.
    Moreover Dr Smith has generously supported our Festival by donating a part IIYM scholarship to the advanced division first prize winners offering them a vital stepping stone to their musical careers.

    My student Aditya Deshpande was also taught by Dr Smith at IIYM in 2011 and 2012. This was an incredible opportunity for him and since then Aditya has been guided by Dr Smith in his further studies upon his move to the USA.

    It has been my pleasure to work with Dr Smith and I look forward to our continued association.

    Roxana Anklesaria
  • Xia Shi (Shenyang, China) — Piano Faculty, Shenyang Conservatory

    Dr. Smith’s leadership excites our students, and his master classes and lectures are inspiring. He is serious, careful and very patient. Every phrase, interpretive point and pedal marking receives a detailed explanation. He has a broad knowledge of music and teaching. We also enjoy his sense of humor and his excellent communication with faculty and students.

    Xia Shi


  • Kai Yin Crystal Lam
    Member of Wakarusa Trio (First Place, 2013 MTNA Chamber Music—Strings Competition)
    Faculty, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts

    Dr. Smith is a role model teacher and a person who inspired me life long. His teaching is always full of enthusiasm. He always cares about students with love. He inspired me a lot not only in music, but he also made me a better person. I am very lucky to have this wonderful my teacher in my life.

    Kai Yin Crystal Lam
  • Daniel Liu — Best Performer (Winners Recital, December, 2014), American Protégé Competition

    I studied with many teachers in Taiwan, Australia and America but I must say Dr. Scott McBride Smith helped me the most. The things I have learned from him are still influencing me deeply. As an educator, he knows how to communicate with students and to help students to achieve their goals. As a musician he shared his knowledge, his ideas of music and also has a great view and understanding on how important the music is to society. He has great visions on how to raise the standards of music teaching and performing. And I strongly believe that he can achieve his goals.

    Daniel Liu
  • Nathan Qi — Student, Preparatory Division, Mannes College

    Dr. Smith, it was a wonderful pleasure to meet you and hear your masterclass tonight! It was awesome! It sure was a pleasure for Mannes Prep as well!

    Nathan Qi
  • Puyin Bai — Member of Wakarusa Trio (First Place, 2013 MTNA Chamber Music—Strings Competition)

    Working with Dr. Smith was definitely an amazing experience for me. He not only provided insightful knowledge on the music my chamber music group played, but also helped us to grow more and more into maturity as professional musicians. I fully respect his expertise and trust him as my coach and mentor.

    Puyin Bai
  • Wanju Ho — First Place (Duo Division), 2014 Bradshaw & Buono Competition

    Working with Dr. Smith was definitely an amazing experience for me. He not only provided insightful knowledge on the music my chamber music group played, but also helped us to grow more and more into maturity as professional musicians. I fully respect his expertise and trust him as my coach and mentor.

    Wanju Ho
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