Dr. Michael Rushing        Syllabus

mrushing@mc.edu        MUS 425 – Undergraduate Piano Pedagogy

Aven 203        Fall 2016

601.925.3230        Credit Hours: 2


        Junior or Senior standing.

Required Texts:  


Music students are preparing for careers that will most likely include music instruction and these students must have a basic understanding of the methods and literature for teaching piano at elementary through advanced levels. They also must gain knowledge of teaching techniques through reading about, observation of, and participation in group instruction. Therefore, this course is designed to give students a practical working knowledge of a profession which is in constant demand.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To make consistent improvements in teaching based on the pedagogical knowledge and skill level of the individual piano pedagogy student.
  2. To stimulate thinking concerning the process of teaching, especially as it relates to learning music via the keyboard.
  3. To develop knowledge, technique, and skills required in teaching keyboard to a beginner of any age.
  4. To develop a working knowledge of at least one published piano course for beginners 7 to 11 years of age, and an intellectual knowledge of the first year of other selected courses.
  5. To develop basic knowledge of business practices necessary for successful management of an independent music teaching studio, contributing to encouragement of social entrepreneurship skills.
  6. To develop a basic familiarity of recent technological developments in music teaching.
  7. To develop musicianship skills to teach students to perform in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
  8. To guide piano pedagogy interns to encourage their own students to serve the community with cultural enrichment.


Academic Integrity

“Mississippi College students are expected to be scrupulously honest. Dishonesty, such as cheating or plagiarism or furnishing false information, including forgery, alteration or misuse of College documents, records or identification, will be regarded as a serious offense subject to severe penalty, including, but not limited to, loss of credit and possible dismissal” (MC General Bulletin).  See MC Policy 2.19 for official policy.

Outline of Topics

  1. Observation of piano instructors
  2. Personal philosophy of teaching
  3. The business of operating a piano studio
  4. Elementary piano series
  5. Methods of instruction
  6. Technology in the piano studio
  7. Other areas within piano instruction as time permits

Methods of Instruction:

  1. Lectures
  2. Assigned Readings
  3. Performance of keyboard assignments
  4. Observation of piano instructors
  5. Individual projects

Required Practices:

  1. Reading of assigned text
  2. Completing written and oral projects
  3. Observing piano instructors

Methods of Evaluation:

Last day to drop a class:

        October 28

Early Alert System:

Mississippi College has adopted the practice of finding students early in the semester who may be exhibiting behaviors that could ultimately have a negative impact on their academic progress.  These behaviors are often called “red flag” behaviors and include, but are not limited to, excessive absences, poor test grades, and lack of class participation or evidence of non-engagement.  Identifying these behaviors early gives the instructor the opportunity to raise the “red flag” on behalf of a particular student so that the student can take the appropriate action to redirect his/her progress.  The system alerts the student, the student’s advisor, and the Office of Student Success.


These messages are intended to help a student recognize an area of concern and to encourage him/her to make some choices to improve the situation.  When a student receives an Early Alert message, the student should quickly make an appointment to talk with his/her professor about the situation.  Also, students can make full use of the Office of Student Success to set academic goals and connect to campus resources.

Disabilities Accommodations: 

In order for a student to receive disability accommodations under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, he or she must schedule an individual meeting with the Director of Student Counseling Services immediately upon recognition of their disability (if their disability is known they must come in before the semester begins or make an appointment immediately upon receipt of their syllabi for the new semester). The student must bring with them written documentation from a medical physician and/or licensed clinician that verifies their disability. If the student has received prior accommodations, they must bring written documentation of those accommodations (example Individualized Education Plan from the school system).  Documentation must be current (within 3 years).