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Find your own rhythm

MA in Music Education Piano Pedagogy Concentration

About the MA in Music Education Piano Pedagogy Concentration

The MA in Music Education Piano Pedagogy Concentration will provide you with the academic and practical knowledge you need to teach all ages and abilities. By studying the practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students, you will learn how to nurture the musicianship and technical skills of every person that enters your classroom.
Students participating in a class.

Life as a Student

Pursuing graduate study without interrupting their professional lives, music teachers study at St. Thomas where programs are designed for working professionals. An array of day and evening classes, which fulfill degree requirements, are offered during the summer term.

Curriculum Details

  • Program Overview
  • Core Courses
  • Piano Pedagogy Concentration Courses
  • Piano Pedagogy Elective Courses
  • Other Degree Requirements
  • Program Overview

    The Master of Arts degree with a concentration in piano pedagogy features a broad range of theoretical courses balanced by requirements that apply to piano teachers' work with students of all ages and abilities. This concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 credit hours and consists of three elements:

    • Core courses covering a variety of topics.
    • A concentration to develop specific skills.
    • A master’s thesis or final project to conduct applied research in music education.

    Core Courses

    Core courses provide opportunities for all master’s students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context.

    Required areas of study include (14 credits)
    • GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 750 Musicianship, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 876 Directed Research, 0 cr.
    • GMUS 890 Master of Arts Final Project, 1 cr.

    Piano Pedagogy Concentration Courses

    The piano pedagogy concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    Piano pedagogy concentration courses (14 credits)
    • GMUS 571 Performance Studies – Piano (three semesters of 50-minute lessons), 3 cr.
    • GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 771 Elementary Piano Materials and Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 772 Intermediate Piano Materials and Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching, 2 cr.

    Piano Pedagogy Elective Courses

    Elective credits provide students opportunities to expand skills in their areas of interest.

    Piano pedagogy electives (5 credits)
    • GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    • GMUS 571 Advanced Performance Studies – Piano (additional semester), 1 cr.
    • GMUS 615 Performance Practices, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 619 Keyboard Literature, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 773 Advanced Piano Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching (additional semester), 1 cr.
    • Other courses considered for elective credit (advisor approval required)

    Other Degree Requirements

    All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program with a concentration in piano pedagogy will complete the following non-credit requirements:
    • Music Diagnostic Exams
    • Oral Comprehensive Exam
    • Piano Recital

    Program Overview

    The Master of Arts degree with a concentration in piano pedagogy features a broad range of theoretical courses balanced by requirements that apply to piano teachers' work with students of all ages and abilities. This concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 credit hours and consists of three elements:

    • Core courses covering a variety of topics.
    • A concentration to develop specific skills.
    • A master’s thesis or final project to conduct applied research in music education.

    Core Courses

    Core courses provide opportunities for all master’s students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context.

    Required areas of study include (14 credits)
    • GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 750 Musicianship, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 876 Directed Research, 0 cr.
    • GMUS 890 Master of Arts Final Project, 1 cr.

    Piano Pedagogy Concentration Courses

    The piano pedagogy concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    Piano pedagogy concentration courses (14 credits)
    • GMUS 571 Performance Studies – Piano (three semesters of 50-minute lessons), 3 cr.
    • GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 771 Elementary Piano Materials and Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 772 Intermediate Piano Materials and Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching, 2 cr.

    Piano Pedagogy Elective Courses

    Elective credits provide students opportunities to expand skills in their areas of interest.

    Piano pedagogy electives (5 credits)
    • GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    • GMUS 571 Advanced Performance Studies – Piano (additional semester), 1 cr.
    • GMUS 615 Performance Practices, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 619 Keyboard Literature, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 773 Advanced Piano Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching (additional semester), 1 cr.
    • Other courses considered for elective credit (advisor approval required)

    Other Degree Requirements

    All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program with a concentration in piano pedagogy will complete the following non-credit requirements:
    • Music Diagnostic Exams
    • Oral Comprehensive Exam
    • Piano Recital
    Two students playing the piano.

    01 Commitment to Excellence

    Music Teachers National Association Conference

    In addition to providing outstanding teacher training, the piano pedagogy courses prepare students for the national certification application process. Required MAME coursework fulfills the Teacher Profile Projects for the MTNA certification process.

    Read More about the MTNA Certification

    Faculty

    The members of our Piano Pedagogy faculty are considered among the most respected in the country. Their knowledge and understanding of best practice stems from years of teaching experience. They are also keenly in-tune with what is happening in teaching studios all over the country. You can be sure they will challenge your approach while supporting your growth.
    Vanessa Cornett-Murtada headshot.

    Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada

    Dr. Cornett-Murtada is the Director of Keyboard Studies and Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy. She teaches piano and courses through the Graduate Programs in Music Education, including elementary and intermediate piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, performance anxiety management for musicians, and contemplative practices in music education.
    Read Dr. Cornett-Murtada's Full Bio
    Suzanne Schons headshot.

    Dr. Suzanne Schons

    Dr. Schons teaches piano and courses in piano pedagogy at St. Thomas. Until 2006 she was tenured Associate Professor of Music at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, where she coordinated the graduate and undergraduate piano pedagogy programs and taught class piano. She holds a PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, and also has degrees in Piano Performance.
    Read Dr. Schons' Full Bio