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Certificate in Piano Pedagogy

Certificate in Piano Pedagogy

The Certificate in Piano Pedagogy is a program designed for professional teachers and those wishing to enter the profession who would like to formally pursue studies in piano pedagogy, but who do not wish to attain a graduate degree. Certificate students will receive academic credit through the Graduate Programs in Music Education as non-degree students.

MTNA certification: 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.

Student with headphones sitting at a piano marking a notation.

Classes and Curriculum

  • Five required piano pedagogy concentration courses (15 credits)
  • Three semesters piano lessons (3 credits).
  • Supervised Teaching (2 credits).
  • Recitals - students are not required but are encouraged to perform in a recital.


Those who wish to work toward the certificate may do so regardless of academic background or teaching experience; however, it is assumed that students will have sufficient background in piano study and preferably some teaching experience. An application, interview, and (when appropriate) academic transcripts will determine eligibility for the certificate. There are certain requirements for those who do not have an undergraduate degree in music. Students must be enrolled as nondegree or graduate students for courses to apply toward the certificate.

Students Without a Baccalaureate Degree in Music

Those students wishing to enter the certificate program who have not completed a baccalaureate degree in music will have as a prerequisite the successful completion of either the Elementary Materials and Teaching Techniques or the Intermediate Materials and Teaching Techniques course before being accepted into the certificate program.

Students Without College Music History or Theory Courses

Students must complete at least one college semester of music theory and one college semester of music history. These may be taken from any college offering these undergraduate courses, and may be taken at any time, but must be completed before the certificate can be awarded. It is highly recommended, however, that students take them as soon as possible, as the knowledge gained will provide an important background for other courses in the program.


The members of our Piano Pedagogy 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 that they will challenge your approach while supporting your growth.

Vanessa Cornett-Murtada

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.

Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada
Suzanne Schons

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.

Dr. Suzanne Schons

Course Offerings

Revitalize your teaching and gain new ideas to help your students develop their musicianship and technical skills through a practical course of study.

Browse the course catalog.