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. In 2014, she was the recipient of OU’s prestigious Regents Award for Superior Teaching for excellence in teaching.
Her lifelong interest in effective teaching eventually led Dr. Fast to researching and discussing the practical applications of educational research to teaching in the private lesson and group class. A culmination of her interest in learning, practicing, and the integration with current and future technology, resulted in the book, iPractice: Technology in the 21st Century Music Practice Room (Oxford 2018). Frequent workshop topics include efficient practicing, technology related to practicing, sight-reading, and the brain and learning. Her webinar, Overcoming the Brain’s Negativity Bias, is available on the MTNA website. Workshop topics also address overcoming performance anxiety, teaching ensemble music, newly published music, and historical keyboard pedagogy.
An active clinician and adjudicator, Dr. Fast has presented more than one-hundred teacher workshops at local, regional, national, and international conferences that include the Music Teachers National Conference, International College Music Society Conferences, ISME International Conference, London International Piano Symposium, NCKP National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and MTA state conferences. Her articles and reviews have been published in Music Performance Research, American Music Teacher, Keyboard Companion, 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.
Dr. Fast is also a devoted teacher whose students have won numerous awards and secured teaching positions nationally and internationally, including 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. She is also an active member of the Music Teachers National Association who serves on the GP3 executive committee and as MTNA Divisional Director-Elect. She has served on 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. She also holds the credential of Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) with MTNA.
Former faculty appointments include the University of Northern Iowa, Hesston College and Woodstock International School in India. 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)