MUS 6529 – Graduate Piano Pedagogy III

Spring 2014

Dr. Michael Rushing

Aven 203


Prerequisite:  Graduate standing with instructor’s approval

Credit hours:  2

Location:  Aven 203

Day/Time:  TBA

Required Materials        


This course is designed to meet the advanced and group teaching requirements of the Master of Music Degree in Piano Pedagogy.


(from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy 2004 Task Force on Pedagogy Curricula) – By the end of this course, students will gain

  1. The ability to teach effectively advanced skills of making music at the piano:
  1. Stylistic and expressive repertoire performance
  2. Technical foundation and development
  3. Fundamentals of music theory as applied to the keyboard
  4. Sight playing
  5. Ear training
  6. Ensemble music-making
  7. Improvisation
  1. The ability to prepare well-balanced and well-sequenced lesson plans and longer-term programs of study for students of various advancement levels within individual and group lesson settings.
  2. The ability to demonstrate acuity in assessment and diagnostic skills.
  3. The ability to use current keyboard technology and resources effectively to enhance learning in studio, piano lab, or practice room.
  4. The ability to cultivate professional associations and an awareness of resources for continuing education (publications, professional organizations, workshops, conferences, syllabi testing procedures, adjudication).
  5. The ability to use library and other resources to research teaching-related topics.
  6. Familiarity with advanced technical studies, repertoire, and other educational materials.
  7. Familiarity with and expressive performance of advanced works of master composers.
  8. Ability to plan and teach a keyboard skills class curriculum for non-keyboard music majors.
  9. Ability to plan and teach class piano and private lessons for non-music majors and adult students of various advancement levels.
  10. Familiarity with and in-depth analysis of selected current adult methods and supplementary materials.
  11. Age-appropriate communication skills.
  12. An awareness of issues pertinent to developing and maintaining a professional independent studio.
  13. Observation skills in analyzing advanced and college group piano student characteristics, lesson content, teacher behaviors, and student interaction.


“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.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  1. Advanced piano skills
  2. Lesson and syllabus planning
  3. Assessment and diagnostic tools
  4. Technology in the piano studio and the college group piano classroom
  5. Professional associations
  6. Analysis of advanced piano literature
  7. Advanced technique, repertoire, and other educational materials
  8. Communication skills and behaviors
  9. Expressive performance techniques
  10. Adjudication
  11. Class piano instruction for non-keyboard music majors
  12. Class piano instruction for non-music majors
  13. Materials and instruction for adults of various advancement levels
  14. Observation


  1. Lecture
  2. Reading assignments
  3. Group and individual projects
  4. Teaching assignments


  1. Attending all classes/lectures
  2. Reading and discussion of all assignments
  3. Completing all group and individual projects
  4. Observing professional piano instructors and college group piano instructors
  5. Teaching college students in specific settings (group piano for non-keyboard music majors, non-music majors)


Discussion of reading assignments, discussion of lectures, group and individual projects, teaching assignments, and observation comments will be graded. Performance quizzes will be administered in which the student is expected to perform assigned literature at a high musical level.


Class attendance is an essential part of university education, and students are expected to attend regularly and punctually all classes and laboratories for which they are registered. Cumulative absences may result in a lowered grade or loss of credit for the course. Tardiness is also subject to penalty, as is any failure to complete required class work on time.


Graduate students should read the Graduate Orientation Manual in its entirety. This is an important part of the orientation for graduate students. Please get your hard copy from your department or from the Graduate Office in Nelson 202. You may also view the manual on the web at this address: