General Remarks

Piano at Westminster Choir College has multiple dimensions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It fosters the development of students who perform on a high level as soloists, as artist-teachers and as collaborators with other performing artists. A strong foundation of technique and knowledge of piano literature and style are essential to all of these aspects of pianism. The department also provides instruction for undergraduate students who need keyboard skills in order to function effectively throughout their professional careers.

Piano Major: Undergraduate

Undergraduate Piano majors are encouraged to play at least twice in performance classes each semester. Semester juries, a recital in either the sophomore or junior year and a senior recital are required.

Piano Primary: Undergraduate

Piano primary students majoring in Sacred Music, Bachelor of Arts in Music, Music Education or Theory/Composition are expected to play once each semester in performance class. Seniors give a full or half recital, as determined by the instructor and the department following the jury examination at the end of the junior year. Freshmen have required juries at the end of each semester; sophomores and juniors, at the end of each year.

Piano Major: Graduate

Students majoring in Piano receive private lessons and play in weekly studio and are expected to play at least twice in performance classes. The program culminates with a full recital. Semester juries are required.

Piano Pedagogy and Performance Major: Graduate

Students majoring in Piano Pedagogy and Performance receive private lessons, study major teaching methodologies, and undertake observation and practice teaching. The program includes a two-semester teaching internship and culminates in a full recital or in a combination lecture/performance recital. Students are encouraged to play at least twice in performance class each semester. Semester juries are required. A weekly Pedagogy Lab is required for two semesters, but recommended for all four semesters.

Piano Accompanying and Coaching Major: Graduate

Majors in Piano Accompanying and Coaching receive private lessons in vocal accompanying repertoire and are assigned to collaborative roles in working with undergraduate and graduate voice primary students. Two degree-specific recitals as an accompanist are required.

Piano Primary: Graduate

Graduate piano primary students majoring in Sacred Music or Music Education receive private lessons and are required to present a half recital. Students are expected to play at least twice in performance class each semester. Annual juries are required.

Piano Secondary: Undergraduate

All undergraduate voice primary students must enroll for piano secondary study until the capstone course (PI 204, PI 205, PI 207, or PI 208) is passed. Instruction is in the form of piano classes. Incoming undergraduates take a placement test and may be required to take and pass PI 045PI 045 before beginning the sequence of Piano Secondary courses. The sequence consists of four courses: PI 103, PI 104, PI 203 and the capstone course, each of which must be passed with a grade of B- or higher.

For any student with a double major that includes the Bachelor of Music in Music Education or the Bachelor of Music in Music Education/Master of Arts in Teaching degree program, that student must take the PI 204PI 204, Music capstone course. For any other student with a double major, not including the B.M. in Music Education or the B.M. in Music Education/M.A.T. degree program, the capstone course required for that student will be determined by the piano secondary faculty and coordinator of Piano Secondary in consultation with the Associate Dean.

Instruction entails study and performance of piano literature from the Baroque through the 21st Century as well as development of proficiency in areas of functional keyboard skills. If the capstone is passed in fewer than four semesters, further study is not required.

Piano as an Elective

Students may elect private instruction in piano for credit. There are no audition requirements, but an extra fee is charged. Elective lessons are provided on a space-available basis to qualified Princeton and Lawrenceville campus students.

Piano Pedagogy Lab

PI 611 is a required graduate Piano Pedagogy course for the purpose of problem–solving related to piano teaching. The class format includes discussion of observations, supervised and independent teaching, questions relating to repertoire, materials, and technique, comparative philosophies and psychologies and their applications, group and private teaching, business issues (e.g. studio policies), professional organizations and publications, use of technology, career planning, recital and audition planning. Preparation for graduate oral examination is included. The weekly lab is required for two semesters, but recommended for all four semesters.

Piano Performance Class

This is a weekly recital and lecture hour during which programs are given by students and guest performers. Attendance and participation at weekly studio and performance classes is required for all undergraduate and graduate piano major and primary students. All Westminster students are invited to attend.


Dalton Baldwin • Adjunct Professor, Piano, 1984. B.A., Oberlin Conservatory.
Ena Bronstein Barton • Adjunct Associate Professor, Piano, 1983. Artist Diploma, Escuela Moderna de Musica and Conservatorio Nacional de Musica, Santiago, Chile.
Ingrid Clarfield • Professor, Piano, 1982. B.M., Oberlin College; M.M., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
Miriam Eley • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Piano, 1995. B.M., Baylor University; M.M. Indiana University.
James Goldsworthy • Professor, Piano, 1996. B.M., M.M., Southern Methodist University; D.M.A., Stanford University.
Phyllis Lehrer • Professor, Piano, 1975. A.B., University of Rochester; M.S., Juilliard School.
Thomas Parente • Associate Professor, Piano, 1993. B.A., Jersey City State College; B.M., Manhattan School of Music; M.A., Rutgers University; Dalcroze Eurhythmics License, Longy School of Music; Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University.
J.J. Penna • Associate Professor, Piano, 1996.  B.M., Binghamton University; D.M.A., University of Michigan.
Agnes Poltorak • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Piano, 2000. B.M., University of British Columbia, Canada; M.M., Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Paul Sheftel • Adjunct Professor, Piano, 2010. B.M., M.M., Juilliard School.
Betty Handelman Stoloff • Adjunct Associate Professor, Piano, 1978. B.M.A., University of Michigan; M.A., Columbia University.