The University of St. Thomas


Keyboard Studies Program

Keyboard Studies Program

Keyboard Studies

Pictured: Dr. Vanessa Cornett, Ora Itkin, Dr. Andrew HiseyDr. Suzanne Schons
Not Pictured: David Jenkins, John Jensen

Certificate in Piano Pedagogy
Master of Arts in Music Education, Piano Pedagogy

Welcome to the Keyboard Studies Program at St. Thomas, a tradition of outstanding instruction in piano, jazz piano, organ and harpsichord.  Our low student-faculty ratio offers all students the benefit of close personal contact with their teachers and with the other music majors, as well as ample performance opportunities within a strong liberal arts curriculum.  We place primary emphasis upon the individual student, encouraging each to become a mature, creative, independent musician.

The University of St. Thomas houses over 50 keyboard instruments, about half of which are grand pianos.  For recitals, the superb Steinway concert grand has been newly rebuilt and is of exceptional quality. The many classroom and practice instruments, both grand pianos and studio uprights, are well-maintained by master technicians.  The four organs on campus include the outstanding Gabriel Kney organ in the St. Thomas Chapel, and the Fritz Noack organ in St. Mary’s Chapel.

In addition to outstanding student and faculty recitals, keyboard students have the opportunity to hear world-class pianists perform in the Twin Cities area.  Concerto soloists appear regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Frederic Chopin Society sponsors a distinguished solo piano recital series.  Artists from recent seasons include Emanuel Ax, Alfred Brendel, Yefim Bronfman, Imogen Cooper, Simone Dinnerstein, Richard Goode, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Garrick Ohlssohn, Jon Kimura Parker, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Peter Serkin, Yevgeny Sudbin, Jean-Ives Thibaudet, Miksuko Uchida, Yuja Wang and André Watts.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is home to several active musical organizations, many of which sponsor competitions and other enrichment opportunities for students.  These include the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, Schubert Club (which houses a fine collection of historical keyboard instruments), Minnesota Music Educators Association, Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs, Thursday Musical, and the Twin Cities American Guild of Organists.

Once again, we welcome you to this rich cultural environment, and invite you to join our academic community.



Vanessa Cornett-Murtada, DMA
Director of Keyboard Studies