Continue your passion
Private piano lesson available for Music majors and non-majors. Continue your passion for making music at Penn State.
Information for Non-Music Majors
Piano study is available to non-major students at all levels. Below are the options for non-music majors, depending on level of experience:
- Group Piano class (Music 50 or 51) for beginning students with very limited or no background
- Private Lessons for more advanced students. Option 1: Keyboard 100 is a one half-hour lesson per week offered for 1 credit. These lessons are generally taught by graduate assistants or Option 2: Keyboard 110 is a weekly one-hour lesson offered for 2 credits, generally taught by a faculty member. An audition is required for entrance to either course; continued permission to take the course is determined by a letter grade of “C” or better in previous semesters.
- Major-level, jury-track piano study at the 100-, 200-, 300- and 400-levels is also open to non-majors by an extensive audition.
Group Piano for Beginning Students
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.
How do I register for group piano classes?
Register for these courses directly on LionPATH. Due to the limited number of keyboards available for the class, there is no possibility of overriding the enrollment limit, though a waiting list is created through Lionpath.
Should I register for Music 50 or 51?
Music 50 is for absolute beginners at the piano; no previous music background is required. Music 51 is the sequel to Music 50 and uses the same texts: “Keyboard Musicianship for the Adult Beginner” by Frances Clark and “Class Piano for Adult Beginners,” by Squire and Shafer. If you have questions about your suitability for Music 51, look at the text in the bookstore beginning at Chapter 10. This is where Music 51 begins; the course generally concludes around Chapter 18 by the end of the semester. If you feel your skills are beyond Music 51, you should apply for private lessons (Keyboard 100 or 110; see below).
What is the cost?
The fee for Music 50 is $100 (no extra fee for Music 51).
Contact Dr. Timothy Shafer at email@example.com for further information about Music 50 and 51.
Private Lessons: Keyboard 100 and 110
Private lessons are designed for more advanced students. Please see the audition repertoire requirements below to determine your suitability for private lessons.
Keyboard 100 is a one half-hour lesson per week offered for one credit. These lessons are generally taught by graduate assistants. Keyboard 110, 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.
Should I apply for Keyboard 100 or 110?
Please see the audition repertoire requirements below to determine your suitability for Keyboard 100 or 110.
How do I apply?
To apply for any level of private lessons, please complete the online application form every semester you wish to register for lessons. THE DEADLINE FOR PRIVATE LESSON APPLICATION SUBMISSION IS 5:00 P.M. ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY FALL AND SPRING SEMESTER. You will be contacted by email at the beginning of the semester with information about auditions.
Note: Although repeating students must complete the application form each semester, repeated auditions are not required for those who have previously earned a C or better in an applied piano course.
How do I register for lessons?
These courses are faculty controlled and registration is done by the faculty only. An audition is required for the first semester of all private piano study. Auditions take place during the first week of the semester. Sightreading and some scales may be required in the audition. After your audition, you will be notified of your application status. Upon a successful audition, registration and teacher assignment will be completed by a faculty member before the end of the first week of classes.
Note: It is the student’s responsibility to make contact by email with the assigned teacher immediately to establish a mutually convenient lesson time. Lessons begin in the second week of each Fall and Spring semester. Lessons are not offered during the Summer sessions.
What are the audition repertoire requirements for the 100 and 110 level private lesson courses?
Keyboard 100: 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 at Penn State. Keyboard 100 is a half-hour lesson per week, non-juried course for one credit. Note: Music majors do not need to audition for Keyboard 100.
Keyboard 110: 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 110 is a one hour lesson per week, non-juried course for two credits.
What is the cost?
The fee for one credit of study in any given instrument or voice is $175 per semester, and $250 per semester for two or more credits.* This fee will appear on the student’s semester bill. (*As of 2020-2021)
Contact Dr. Melody Quah at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information regarding Keyboard 100 and 110.
Major-level, jury-track piano study
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 studying at the major level prepare a juried examination at the end of each semester of study.
Please contact Dr. Melody Quah (email@example.com) directly to schedule an audition at the major-level.
Information for Music Majors
(Keyboard 100; 1 credit; one 1/2 hour lesson per week; no jury, but a proficiency exam is required for those who’ve not passed the piano proficiency in its entirety.)
- Required: Students who pass the fourth level of the piano skills class (Music 270), or who, after evaluation, place into private lessons, are required to continue their studies in private lessons (Keyboard 100) in order to complete their piano proficiency. Students must take the piano proficiency exam every finals week of every semester until it is completed.
- Elective: Music majors who have passed their piano proficiency and any/all curricular requirements and would like to continue their study for their own enjoyment can continue lessons in Keyboard 100. Please complete the online application form every semester you wish to register for lessons. No audition is required.
Application information for music majors
- THE DEADLINE FOR PRIVATE LESSON APPLICATION SUBMISSION IS 5:00 P.M. ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY FALL AND SPRING SEMESTER.
- If you are required to take lessons to complete your piano proficiency, you will be registered for lessons even if you do not submit an application form. Dropping these lessons from your schedule is a violation of SoM policy and may jeopardize your chances of graduating on schedule.
- No auditions are required for music majors, though prior approval through piano placement or passing Music 270 is a prerequisite.
- These courses are faculty controlled and registration is done by the faculty only. Registration and teacher assignment will be completed by the end of the first week of classes.
- It is the student’s responsibility to make contact by email with the assigned teacher immediately to establish a mutually convenient lesson time.
- Lessons begin in the second week of each Fall and Spring semester. Lessons are not offered during the Summer sessions.
updated 8/20/22 rlb16