Board of Directors


MTNA President Scott McBride Smith, NCTM, is a visionary leader in music education. He is the Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, a position he assumed in 2010 after teaching prizewinning students in Irvine, California, for 30 years. As CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians, he leads a summer program that trains gifted young performers from around the world. His philosophical and cognitive approach to music has resulted in appearances before teachers groups across the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia and South America. Smith is co-author of the college text The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher and associate editor of Clavier Companion. He is co-author and editor of the groundbreaking series American Popular Piano and co-author of Christopher Norton’s Guide to Microjazz. He is a chamber music coach as well as a piano teacher. The Wakarusa Trio, a university-level group coached by him, were the 2013 MTNA Chamber Music String winners. His pre-college trio, Trio Aer, made its Merkin Hall debut in New York as the Grand Prize winners of the National Young Artist Chamber Music Competition in 2013. Smith received his doctorate from the University of Southern California, where he was co-winner of the Outstanding Graduate in Piano award. He is a past president of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers and a former member of the Music Teachers National Association Board of Directors.


MTNA President-elect Martha Hilley, NCTM, professor of group piano and pedagogy at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, also served for five years as associate director of the School of Music as well as director of Undergraduate Studies, a position she assumed again in fall of 2013. She has been an active participant in workshops and conferences on the international, national, state and local levels. She was co-curriculum coordinator with Lynn Freeman Olson for the International Pedagogy Workshops in Italy and Belgium and served as faculty in Norway, Australia, Austria and Hawaii. Hilley taught at Tunghai University’s Summer Keyboard Institute in Taichung, Taiwan, in 1988. She was the 2012 Keynote Speaker and presenter of conference sessions for the Encontro Internacional de Piano ed Grupo in Goiania, Brazil. She will be a co-presenter with Margaret Young and Cynthia Himonides at the 2016 ISME Conference in Scotland. Hilley has been in the UT Academy of Distinguished Teachers since 2005 and was given the MTNA Distinguished Service Award in the spring of 2008. She was named recipient of the University of Texas at Austin Civitatis Award for 2011–2012 and was awarded MTNA 2014 Teacher of the Year. In 2015, Hilley was invited to be an inaugural member of the Provost Teaching Fellows at UT Austin. She serves as a Senior Teaching Fellow. Hilley is co-author of Piano for the Developing Musician and Piano for Pleasure. The publications were the first to provide dedicated websites for each text.


MTNA Vice President and Irish pianist Peter Mack, NCTM, makes his home in Seattle, Washington, where he runs a private studio, as well as being professor of piano at Cornish College of the Arts. He is a nationally known performer, clinician and convention artist. A choral scholar at Trinity College Dublin, he has a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington. His students are frequent winners of local, national and international competitions. He is the teacher of 19 MTNA Competition national finalists and three MTNA national first-place winners. For MTNA, Mack served as the Northwest Division director from 2010–2012. He chaired Pedagogy Saturday for the 2012 Conference and led the national planning committee for the 2014 Conference. In 2015, he was honored as an MTNA Foundation Fellow. For Washington State he has served as district vice president (sitting on both the main and education boards.) In his five-year term as adjudicator chair, he organized two adjudicator conferences, as well as two district II conferences. He is co-planning the 2017 Washington state conference. The MTNA state foundation chair, he also administers the needy student adjudications subsidy program. He has been an adjudicator for Washington state’s adjudications program for the past 20 years.


MTNA Secretary-Treasurer Debra Florian, NCTM, has maintained a large independent piano studio since 1978, teaching students of all ages and levels. She holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Pacific Lutheran University, and the MTNA Permanent Professional Certification designation. A 35-year member of MTNA, Florian has served in numerous local and state offices, including Washington State MTA president, and has chaired Washington’s Education Board, Leadership Seminar and MTNA Competitions. At the national level, Florian served on the MTNA Board as Northwest Division Director from 2008–2010. During that term, she chaired the MTNA Collegiate Chapters Forum and was instrumental in establishing several new collegiate chapters. She served as MTNA Vice President for the 2013–2015 biennium. In addition to Board functions, her primary responsibilities included chairing the Membership and One for All committees, and serving on the Finance Committee. She served as chair of the 2017 MTNA Conference Planning Committee. Florian remains actively engaged in her state and local Kitsap MTA, chairing KMTA’s investment committee as well as the KMTA Music Carnival, which incorporates state musicianship examinations in anevent for more than 200 students. Outside of the teaching studio, Florian has been an active member of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra for 30 years, appearing as featured soloist on numerous occasions and also serves as a church musician.


MTNA Immediate Past President Rebecca Grooms Johnson, NCTM, is a nationally respected leader in the field of piano pedagogy. She holds a PhD degree in music education, specializing in piano pedagogy from The Ohio State University. Johnson is an experienced independent piano teacher of all ages and levels of students and has taught piano, class piano and piano pedagogy for many years at the university level. A member of MTNA for more than 30 years, she holds the Permanent Professional Certification designation. Johnson has served MTNA in numerous local, state and national leadership positions. At the national level, she served as vice president of the Board of Directors; Conference Chair of the 2012 New York City National Conference and the 2013 Anaheim California National Conference; and president-elect. She currently serves as MTNA immediate past president for 2017–2019. Johnson chaired the MTNA National Certification Commission from 2008–2011, and worked with commissioners to write and implement a new certification process. She was honored to be inducted as an MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2009. A widely published writer, Johnson contributes a tri-annual feature titled “What’s New in Pedagogy Research” in MTNA’s journal American Music Teacher. She is an associate editor for Clavier Companion magazine, and produced a two-year series of 12 articles exploring current piano methods. An active clinician, Johnson has presented numerous workshops at State and National Conferences.


Gary L. Ingle is Executive Director and CEO of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the oldest music teacher association in the United States. Founded in 1876, MTNA is a professional organization of 22,000 studio music teachers who teach in independent and collegiate settings worldwide. MTNA’s mission is to advance the value of music teaching and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers.

In addition to his work with MTNA, Dr. Ingle holds multiple volunteer leadership positions in organizations throughout the world. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board and President of the National Music Council of the United States (NMC). Founded in 1940 and chartered by the 84th U.S. Congress in 1956, the NMC acts as a clearing house for the joint opinion and decision of its 47 member organizations and is dedicated to strengthening the importance of music in the life and culture of the United States. In this role, he represents the NMC to the International Music Council, headquartered in Paris.

The International Music Council (IMC), which was founded in 1949 at the request of the Director General of UNESCO to advise it on musical matters. The IMC is the only international non-governmental organization in the field of music in formal associate relations withUNESCO. From April 2008 until November 2013, he served on its 9-member Executive Board. In October 2011 at its biennial General Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia, Dr. Ingle was elected Executive Vice President of the IMC, its second highest volunteer position. As Executive Vice President, he was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the IMC’s Biennial Activity Plan and the work of the Secretariat in Paris, France. In October 2007 at its biennial General Assembly in Beijing, China, he was elected to the IMC’s Finance Commission. He also served on the Steering Committee for the IMC’s First World Forum on Music held in Los Angeles, California in 2005.

Dr. Ingle also serves as Vice President of the Music Council of the Three Americas (COMTA), one of five regional councils of the International Music Council. COMTA represents musical organizations across North, Central, and South America, fostering , understanding, cooperation, and interaction among its various cultures and citizens. From 2009-2013, he served as Co-President of COMTA during its organizational phase.

Dr. Ingle serves as Chair of the Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). The mission of the Forum is to inform the work of studio instrumental and vocal music teachers around the world who provide individualized or group instruction in keyboard, wind, string and percussion instruments, and voice.

Dr. Ingle is a member of the Advisory Board of From the Top, the public radio program dedicated to encouraging, supporting and celebrating the commitment of young people to music and the arts. He is on the Advisory Board of the Chopin Foundation of the United States and the Editorial Advisory Board for the magazine Making Music: Better Living Through Recreational Music Making, a publication devoted to the health and wellness benefits of music making. From 1998 until 2012 he served on the Board of Trustees of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, during which he held the position of Secretary of the Board from 2000–2003, was the Chair of the Professional Organizations Advisory Council, and was a member of its National Artistic Council.

A frequent speaker and panelist, Dr. Ingle has given addresses in all 50 states as well as to music groups in Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Eastern and Western Europe, South America and Africa, including the International Society for Music Education, the European Music Teachers Association, the International Music Council, the Music Council of the Three Americas, the National Association of Schools of Music, NAMM: The International Music Products Association, the College Music Society, Piano Technicians Guild, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations, the Global Summit of the Music Products Industry, the Music Publishers Association, among others.

Widely regarded for his advocacy efforts for music study in all its settings, Dr. Ingle has been interviewed on numerous TV and Talk Radio programs across the United States. He was featured on the award winning television program Profile Series for a segment on music education in the United States. Hosted by the Oscar winning actor Lou Gossett, Jr., the Profile Series is dedicated to showcasing the most important issues of the day, from the latest business and technology stories, to revolutionary medical and health issues, to current educational breakthroughs. Dr. Ingle’s message that music study with a qualified music teacher is for everyone was broadcast over such channels as Bravo, Lifetime, CNN, Fox News, and Voice of America. In 2007, Dr. Ingle was featured on Sky Radio, the in-flight information and entertainment channel, which was broadcast on all Northwest and American Airlines flights for a three-month period. His segment encouraged adults to take music lessons for musical, social, and health reasons.

Prior to his December 1996 appointment to MTNA, he was Executive Director of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity in Evansville, Indiana. At Phi Mu Alpha, he was responsible for the fraternity’s work with more than 200 collegiate chapters across the country, as well as the activities of the Sinfonia Foundation of America.

Dr. Ingle’s academic career spanned 10 years with Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. During his tenure, he attained the rank of full professor of music and served as Chair of the Department of Music, later as Dean of the Casebolt School of Fine Arts, and ultimately as Vice President for Enrollment Management. As a conductor, he directed his choirs on four international tours: to continental Europe, to Great Britain, and two tours to the Far East. While in Asia, his choirs sang for the Far East Broadcasting Company and in Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

Dr. Ingle is listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in America, Outstanding Young Men of America, Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans, the Dictionary of International Biography and other prominent biographical resources.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Ingle holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with emphases in conducting, voice, and higher education administration from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Additional studies include the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham.