Barbara Fast serves on the piano faculty at the University of Oklahoma as Director of Piano Pedagogy and Piano Area Chair, where she coordinates the group piano program as well as teaches graduate and undergraduate piano pedagogy. Dr. Fast was the 2020 recipient of OU’s prestigious David Ross Boyd Professor Award for excellence in teaching, and in 2014 OU’s Regents Award for Superior.
Her lifelong interest in effective teaching eventually led Dr. Fast to researching and discussing the practical applications of educational research for teaching in the private lesson and group class. A culmination of her interest in effective learning and practicing, and their integration with current and future technology, resulted in the book iPractice: Technology in the 21st Century Music Practice Room (Oxford, 2018). Recently, Dr. Fast has presented at numerous webinars and online town halls focused on practicing, teaching group piano, and issues in higher education related to the pandemic. Her webinar Overcoming the Brain’s Negativity Bias is available on the MTNA website. Frequent workshop topics led by Dr. Fast include efficient practicing, technology related to practicing, sight-reading, the brain and learning, overcoming performance anxiety, teaching ensemble music, newly published music, and historical keyboard pedagogy.
An active clinician and adjudicator, Dr. Fast has presented at Music Teachers National Conferences, International and National College Music Society Conferences, ISME International Conference, The Classical Music Festival Eisenstadt, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, NCKP National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, EPTA International Conference, and MTA state conferences. Dr. Fast’s articles and reviews have been published in Music Performance Research, American Music Teacher, The Piano Magazine, and the New School for Music Study blog. Additionally, she has performed in chamber settings in England, Russia, Japan, and India as well as presented lecture recitals and master classes throughout the United States.
A devoted teacher, Dr. Fast’s students have won numerous awards and secured teaching positions nationally and internationally, including in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. The OU collegiate chapter won the MTNA national Chapter of the Year award in 2017, 2009, and 2007. In recognition of her guidance and mentoring of students, Dr. Fast was the recipient of the Oklahoma Music Teacher of the Year award and OU’s Irene and Julian Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts.
Dr. Fast co-founded the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3) in 2000, a biannual conference affiliated with MTNA that focuses on group piano and piano pedagogy teaching. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association, she serves on the GP3 executive committee and currently is Immediate Past-President of the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association. She has served in numerous national and state MTNA and NCKP piano pedagogy related positions, including the Editorial Board of the MTNA E-Journal, and as Associate Editor of Piano Pedagogy Forum.
Former faculty appointments include the University of Northern Iowa, Hesston College, and Woodstock International School in India. Her broad interests are represented in her undergrad degree with a double-major in piano and flute, paired with a minor in English. When she is not teaching, presenting workshops, or engaging in research, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and interacting with family and friends.
Watch Dr. Fast's Workshop Overcoming the Brain's Negativity Bias, presented as a webinar on the MTNA member site:
Read her article on practicing in the Summer Issue of the Piano Magazine: "Change it Up!: Interleaved practice - What it is, Why it works"
Read her teaching article Questions About Teacher Observation
Read her research about practicing in Music Performance Research (co-author, Dr. Jennifer Mishra)