The College of Arts and Architecture
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Accomplished piano students receive private instruction along with masterclasses, special topics classes, performance opportunities and practice time.

The maximum number of students selected to participate in the discipline of piano is limited to 24.

Click on "How to Apply", found on the left side of this page, for audition video and application information.

The daily schedule for piano students will include the following:

  • Masterclass (students may be chosen to perform in Masterclass)

  • Special topics classes (keyboard technique, harmonization, sight reading, history, conducting, keyboard literature, and theory)

  • Common Hour (featuring a different musical topic or opportunity each day, TBA)

  • Practice time (three to five hours per day of monitored practice time in preparation for lessons)

  • Evening recitals

  • Each student will receive two 45-minute lessons during the week.

Timothy Shafer, Professor of Piano

Tim Shafer

Timothy Shafer, professor of piano at Penn State, is recipient of the 1997 Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year Award and has twice appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, both as a soloist and as a member of Duo Concertant. In addition to maintaining an active solo recital and chamber music schedule in the United States, he has concertized, taught, and adjudicated in South America and Asia. With performance degrees and awards from both Oberlin and Indiana University, Dr. Shafer is the founding director of the keyboard option in Penn State’s High School Summer Music Camp in 1987. For more information about Dr. Shafer, please visit:

Kristin Stephenson, Piano Lecturer

Kristen Stephenson

Kristin Stephenson has won numerous awards, including first prize in the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington, D.C.  She has performed in Spain and Germany and appeared in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and in numerous concerts throughout the Northeast. She frequently serves as an adjudicator and presents on music literature such as Bach’s Art of Fugue and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. An avid church pianist, she hones her skills in accompanying and improvising on traditional church hymns.

Stephenson has studied with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, Christopher Guzman at Penn State, and faculty of the Golandsky Institute.  She was the recipient of a University Graduate Fellowship at Penn State.

Stephenson has taught on the faculties of Lycoming College and Bucknell University. Her students have won prizes at the Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition, Connecticut International Young Artist Competition, Granite State Auditions, Duquesne Young Artist National Competition, and Music Teachers National Association State Competitions.