Piano Pedagogy Overview
The Crane School of Music, with its strong commitment to educating music teachers, is an ideal setting in which to explore the field of Piano Pedagogy. Piano Pedagogy courses relate principles of music education to the teaching of piano and provide students with the skills and experience needed to successfully teach students from children to adults. Pedagogy students not only learn about methods, materials, and teaching techniques, but also learn about business aspects of running an independent piano studio.
The Crane School of Music SUNY Potsdam provides many exciting opportunities for students who are interested in teaching piano. All piano pedagogy courses include actual teaching and observation experience with students of varying ages and levels of advancement. Student teaching and observation experiences are available in the following settings:
- Group piano classes for children
- Private lessons for children
- Group and private lessons for adults
- Master classes and recitals for elementary, intermediate, and advanced students
- Group piano classes for college music majors
- Group Music Readiness classes
Students may complete a Concentration in Piano Pedagogy in conjunction with a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts, or Master of Music degree. The concentration helps prepare students to teach piano in an independent studio or community music school setting, and to pursue advanced degrees in Piano Pedagogy. Students may also elect to take some pedagogy coursework without completing the entire concentration.
Every two years, Crane hosts the Crane Piano Pedagogy Conference. Guest lecturers in piano pedagogy and performance present workshops and master classes and interact with the Crane piano students. Piano pedagogy students participate in the conference on numerous levels. Opportunities include:
- Poster presentations of student pedagogy work
- Workshops for teaching elementary, intermediate, and advanced students
- Master classes for elementary, intermediate, and advanced students
- Interaction with local piano teachers
The Crane Piano Pedagogy Library houses numerous volumes of current and historical pedagogical resources. Holdings include early-age, average-age and adult piano methods, group piano methods, repertoire from elementary to advanced levels, duet and ensemble repertoire, jazz, popular, and holiday music, pedagogical repertoire, journals, books and videos on piano teaching, music history and theory materials, flashcards, and games. All materials are available for use by piano pedagogy students at Crane.
- Dr. Randall Faber - performer, lecturer, and acclaimed author (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
- Dr. Mario Ajero - Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX)
- Dr. Rebekah Jordan-Miller - Shorter University (Marietta, GA)
- Ms. Sara Ernst - The New School for Music Study (Kingston, NJ)
- Prof. Marc Durand - University of Montreal (Montreal, QC)
- Dr. Lesley Sisterhen-McAllister - Baylor University (Waco, TX)
- Prof. Patricia DeAngelis - LeMoyne College (Syracuse, NY)
- Prof. Helen Smith Tarchalski - Clavier Companion magazine
Graduate students enrolled in the Master of Music Performance or Education programs at Crane can take piano pedagogy courses. In addition, graduate students in either of those Master of Music degrees can complete a Concentration in Piano Pedagogy; this program is similar to adding a minor to your degree. Admission to the Concentration is via interview (and audition for students who are not MM Piano Performance majors) with program coordinator Dr. Kathryn Sherman. Students complete the graduate Piano Pedagogy Concentration by completing three courses: MUCE 660 Piano Pedagogy I; MUCE 661 Piano Pedagogy II; and MUCE 663 Project in Piano Pedagogy.