Courses

Undergraduate Courses

PI297 Fundamentals of Piano Pedagogy I (3)
The first semester is devoted to study of techniques, methods, and materials suitable for pre-school and elementary school level students. Other areas of study include motivational strategies, establishment of effective practice habits, recital preparation, technique, and elementary duet materials. Students analyze and demonstrate teaching from three different beginning piano methods. Observation of professional teaching is done in the context of class and private lessons at the Westminster Conservatory.

PI298 Fundamentals of Piano Pedagogy II (3)
In the second semester students continue to apply their experience with beginning piano methods to the teaching of beginning piano students. The second half of the semester is devoted to study of materials from all style periods for upper elementary and intermediate level students. Students observe private and group lessons appropriate to these levels. The course culminates in an individual lecture recital on a pedagogical subject.

PI397 Fundamentals of Piano Pedagogy III (3)
The third semester involves supervised private and group teaching of beginning students. Emphasis is placed on lesson planning, presentation of concepts, use of technology, and the relationship between technique and musicianship skills. Also included is an overview of materials for the adult student. The course further addresses the different psychological and methodological approaches to teaching adults and children in class and private settings.

PI413 Accompanying Class (2)
This course is designed with the twofold purpose of allowing undergraduate pianists to fulfill their piano ensemble elective requirement within the professional studies area as well as providing an opportunity for voice primary students to further their piano study in a challenging forum in situations directly related to their repertoire. The students in the class will receive instruction in the stylistic, technical, analytical and linguistic aspects of vocal literature. The many issues involved in vocal collaboration will be discussed along with in-depth study of the pianist’s role in musical partnerships. Issues of musical freedom, language, and the varieties of sonic treatment unique to vocal literature will be discussed. Italian, French, German and English song repertoire from various style periods will provide the assignments for performance and discussion.

PI435 Survey of Piano Literature I (3)
A study of representative works from 1650-1800 by J. S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Prerequisite: MH248.

PI436 Survey of Piano Literature II (3)
A study of representative works from 1800 to the present by Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Bartok. Prerequisite: MH248.

Graduate Courses

PI512 Chamber Music (2)
Emphasis is placed upon rehearsal and performances of representative collaborative literature for strings and piano and woodwinds and piano. Students will be assigned movements from major chamber works selected from different style periods. Professional instrumentalists will join them for rehearsals and performances in class. An overview of the development of this repertoire will be presented and listening assignments will augment the study of specific works. A project involving the study and presentation of a piano quintet will be included. Attendance at three concerts of instrumental chamber music is requiredd. Permission of applied teacher and instructor is required.

PI513 Jazz Keyboard Improvisation (3)
This course will enable pianists and organists to become familiar with the theory, harmony, and improvisational techniques of jazz piano. Emphasis will be placed upon getting each student to create spontaneous improvisations. The fundamental goal will be that of enabling students accustomed to following a score to move beyond it. Extensive exposure to material from the “Great American Songbook” as well as to jazz standards will provide a structural basis for the course. Prerequisites: TH142 and PI201 or equivalent knowledge and technical proficiency.

PI516 Physical and Psychological Aspects of Piano Playing (2)
A course with three emphases: (1) the pianist as athlete/technician, including the understanding of anatomy and physiology as they relate to piano technique with implications for injury prevention and how to deal with injuries, should they occur; (2) the pianist as performer, including the reading process, memorizing techniques, physiological, cognitive and behavioral approaches to secure, anxiety-free performances, and ways of managing manifestations of performance anxiety; (3) the pianist as musician, including the integration of physical with musical gestures.

PI540 Keyboard Skills (3)
This is a detailed study of the broad issues of musicianship for pianists. Topics include technique, practice strategies, and approaches to memorization, sight-reading, improvisation, and reading from a lead sheet.

PI585 Piano Ensemble (1)
Study and performance of piano duets, two-piano works, and works for combinations of three or more pianists. The emphasis is on ensemble techniques for rehearsals and performance.

PI609 Graduate Piano Review (0 credits, 2 hours per week)
A functional course concentrating upon sight reading of simple piano accompaniments and open score reading. Required for graduate students with deficiencies in these skills.

PI611 Piano Pedagogy Lab (0)
Problem-solving related to piano teaching, discussion of observations, supervised and independent teaching, questions relating to repertoire, materials, and technique. Comparative philosopies and psychologies and their applications, group and private teaching, business issues, professional organizations and publications, technology, career planning, recital and audition planning. Preparation for graduate oral examination is included.

PI622 Evaluation of Piano Teaching Literature (3)
This course provides a critical survey of piano teaching materials,including standard teaching literature, approaches to piano technique in writings and music exercises, and repertoire for the elementary, intermediate, and early advanced student. All music is analyzed from the perspectives of performance, technical demands, strategies for teacher presentation, and student practice. Applications and demonstrations of technology are included. Graduate students demonstrate teaching and performance strategies in class and carry an assigned teaching load at the Westminster Conservatory.

PI633 Piano Literature Seminar (3)
A major area of piano repertoire is selected for intensive study. The emphasis of the seminar changes from semester to semester. Possible topics include the development of the Mozart concerto, keyboard works of J.S. Bach, piano writing of Debussy, and 20th century piano music.

PI635 Survey of Piano Literature I (3)
Same as PI435, with additional requirements for graduate students. This course may be presented in fulfillment of “Electives” requirements but does not constitute a “Piano literature elective” for purposes of “Major Area” requirements.

PI636 Survey of Piano Literature II (3)
Same as PI436, with additional requirements for graduate students. This course may be presented in fulfillment of “Electives” requirements but does not constitute a “Piano literature elective” for purposes of “Major Area” requirements.

PI661 Piano Pedagogy (3)
This course serves as an intensive study of theoretical and practical aspects of piano study, through examination of instruction materials and developing a well-defined philosophy and approach to piano teaching. Students are challenged to increase their ability in connecting advanced and intermediate music study to the foundation of what should take place in the first weeks of piano lessons. The focus of the course lies in developing one’s own curriculum, on its own terms, or associated with instruction materials already in publication. Various methodologies and significant areas of thought in the field of piano pedagogy are explored and compared. The course involves private and group lesson observations at all levels of teaching. Class members are assigned readings, written reports, and are integral participants in discussions. Practical application of educational theory to music lessons at the piano is done through demonstration and practice teaching through the Westminster Conservatory or the College.

PI663, 664 Piano Pedagogy Internship I, II (3, 3)
The two-semester internship includes weekly teaching each semester, faculty observation of this teaching, and private discussion with the faculty observer. In addition, students themselves observe group and private lessons and are given readings, written assignments, and/or projects associated with their own teaching. Internships may include private and/or group reading for children, college, adults, piano minor, gifted students or traditional studio of all ages and levels.

PI713 Accompanying Class (3)
Students will investigate aspects of ensemble in vocal accompanying. Discussion topics will include rubato and its connection to language, stylistic concerns, musical preparation as well as practical issues such as recital programming and balance. Students will be expected to absorb extensive repertoire through attendance and performance. Class format will include both student presentations and lecture sessions.

PI714, 715 Techniques of Coaching I, II (2,2)
A practical course designed to furnish information and experience in
all aspects of vocal coaching, including diction coaching, ornamentation and realization, issues of drama and presentation, stylistic considerations, stage deportment and specialized accompanying skills. Students are observed in the process of coaching singers. Semantics and pedagogical techniques are stressed and polished. Factors involved in translations of Italian, French, German and other non-English texts are studied. PI714 is a prerequisite to PI715.