The University of St. Thomas offers high-quality continuing education opportunities for pianists and piano teachers. These experiences will give you new ideas that will support and revitalize your teaching. They may count toward a Certificate in Piano Pedagogy or a Master of Arts in Music Education degree with a concentration in piano pedagogy– or you may sign up to take classes or lessons without committing yourself to either program. These courses and lessons also will prepare you for national and state certification, and will count toward re-certification. In addition, Graduate Programs in Music Education offers a week of Summer Workshops in Piano Pedagogy with nationally-renowned presenters. Credits from these workshops may apply towards the certificate.
The Certificate in Piano Pedagogy is a program designed for professional teachers and those wishing to enter the profession who would like to formally pursue studies in piano pedagogy, but who do not wish to attain a graduate degree. Certificate students will receive academic credit through the Graduate Programs in Music Education as non-degree students,
Those who wish to work toward the certificate may do so regardless of academic background or teaching experience; however it is assumed that students will have sufficient background in piano study and preferably some teaching experience. An application, interview, and (when appropriate) academic transcripts will determine eligibility for the certificate. There are certain requirements for those who do not have an undergraduate degree or a music degree:
Those students wishing to enter the certificate program who have not completed a baccalaureate degree will have as a prerequisite the successful completion of either the Elementary Materials and Teaching Techniques or the Intermediate Materials and Teaching Techniques course before being accepted into the certificate program.
Students must complete at least one college semester of music theory and one college semester of music history. These may be taken from any college offering these undergraduate courses, and may be taken at any time, but must be completed before the certificate can be awarded. It is highly recommended, however, that students take them as soon as possible, as the knowledge gained will provide an important background for other courses in the program.
Course Requirements (19 credits total)
Students but are encouraged to perform in a recital.
Students must be enrolled as nondegree or graduate students in order to have courses apply toward the certificate.
The following courses are offered as part of both the Master of Arts in Music Education and the Certificate in Piano Pedagogy. Students from both programs will participate in the courses together, and will be expected to fulfill the same requirements in each course. Visit our Graduate Course Offerings page for scheduling information.
GMUS 771 Elementary Materials and Teaching Techniques (3 cr.)
Discussion of teaching materials for the beginning student and issues relating to the development of musicianship in early studies on the instrument. Learning theories and their relationship to the various aspects of piano study are explored. The course includes consideration of the business aspects of running an independent studio. Seminar participants will develop some familiarity with the various electronic keyboards available for studio and student use.
GMUS 772 Intermediate Materials and Teaching Techniques (3 cr.)
An in-depth study of materials and teaching techniques for the intermediate student. Learning theories and their relationship to the various aspects of piano study at the intermediate level are explored.
GMUS 773 Advanced Teaching Techniques (3 cr.)
Topics will include those that are applicable to all students, as well as addressing the issues that are specific to the advancing student. Subjects include: planning repertoire that takes students from the intermediate level to the advanced level; developing advanced technique; how to devise practice strategies to solve specific technical problems; how to recognize and avoid physical injuries; performance anxiety; interpretation and analysis; history of piano pedagogy and current pedagogical theory; how to practice; memorizing and preparation for performance.
GMUS 613 Theory for Pianists (3 cr.)
The study of harmonic language, rhythm, texture, formal and contrapuntal procedures, chosen from a broad range of examples derived primarily from literature for piano.
GMUS 615 Performance Practices (3 cr.)
An in-depth study of performance practices associated with stylistic interpretation of piano music from the 18th century to the present, including issues of phrasing, articulation, rhythm and tempo, dynamics, pedaling, and ornamentation correlated with the evolution of the instrument.
GMUS 619 Keyboard Literature (3 cr.)
Study of the keyboard literature from the beginning of the 18th century to the present.
GMUS 571 Applied Piano Studies (1 cr.)
Twelve 50-minute individual lessons.
GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching (2 cr.)
Faculty direction and observation of each student’s teaching. Students will videotape their own piano pupils for the basis of the class. Prerequisite: completion of pedagogy courses.
MUSW 501 Topics in Contemporary Music Education (1 cr.)
Students may earn credit by attending piano pedagogy workshops sponsored by the University of St. Thomas, including the Summer Workshops in Piano Pedagogy.