The College of Arts and Architecture

Piano Study

Piano study is available to non-major students at all levels.

Beginners or students with very limited background should register for Music 50 or 51. This is a group lesson experience meeting twice a week for one credit using electronic keyboards. Register for these courses directly on elion. The fee for Music 50 is $100 (no extra fee for Music 51). Contact Professor Timothy Shafer at tps1@psu.edu for further information.girl playing the piano in a practice room

Private lessons are designed for more advanced students. Keyboard 100J is a one half-hour lesson per week offered for one credit. These lessons are generally taught by graduate assistants. Keyboard 110J, for two credits, is a weekly one-hour lesson generally taught by a faculty member. These courses may be repeated for additional credits, with faculty permission.

To apply for any level of private lessons, please complete the online application form every semester you wish to register for lessons. An audition is required for the first semester of all private piano study. Sightreading and some scales may be required in the audition. Repertoire requirements for auditions for the 100J and 110J level private lesson courses are as follows:

Keyboard 100J: one or two repertoire selections of your choice, representing your most recent study. These repertoire selections should be from classical music styles (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th, 21st century) since that is the focus of all applied study in piano. Keyboard 100J is a half-hour lesson per week, non-juried course for one credit.

Keyboard 110J: three repertoire selections, one of which should be memorized. These repertoire selections must come from the standard performance repertoire of classical repertoire (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th, 21st century).  One of these pieces must be a contrapuntal work by J. S. Bach (two or three-part invention, prelude and fugue, toccata, or movements from a suite). The others may be works of your choice from other standard performance practice eras. Keyboard 110J is a one hour lesson per week, non-juried course for two credits.

Major-level, jury-track piano study at the 100-, 200-, 300- and 400-levels is also open to non-majors by audition. This requires a more extensive audition in front of a faculty jury. (Audition requirements can be found on the piano undergraduate audition requirements page.) Students studing at the major level prepare a juried examination at the end of each semester of study.

Enrollment and Teacher Assignment

Complete the online application form. If you would like to study with a specific teacher, please make that request on the application.

If you feel that you may be qualified either for Keyboard 100J or 110J with a faculty member, please schedule an audition immediately at the beginning of the semester with that professor. If you have not made arrangements with a specific teacher by noon on the first day of classes, a teacher will be assigned according to faculty preference or department priorities.

Note: Repeating students must complete the application form each semester, but repeated auditions are not required.

Christopher Guzman

Jose Ramon Mendez

Timothy Shafer