Ozzie Johnson, a doctor of arts student in piano performance from Arlington, Virginia.
“I have been playing piano since the tender age of 5-ish, with my mother first teaching me how to play. My passion for piano music, however, did not happen until high school, when several events occurred that lit the fire inside: sitting in the first row at a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto and seeing the movie Shine. Seeing that piano playing could be so epic led me down the rabbit trails of recordings of famous pianists – Horowitz first, then everyone else from Argerich and Zimerman to Hough and Hamelin – and that more or less leads us to the present, where I am knee-deep in my third piano degree. I like lots of other things, but piano seems to be standing the test of time.
“Ball State is hosting the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Symposium on January 10-11. I am involved in various small ways, from assisting Rachel Riddle in coordinating volunteers to providing a map that details dining options on- and off-campus (there are so many little things that go into making a conference happen). I am so excited for this Collegiate Symposium, especially for any first-time attendees! Things to look forward to include experiencing several dozen sessions over 2 days on topics ranging from performance issues, musician wellness, pedagogy, community outreach, technology, and more. There is also opportunity for networking with other collegiate members from around the country. There really is something for everyone at this conference, so I encourage you to attend – especially if you ever plan to teach any sort of private music lessons in your future!”