Piano Pedagogy Minor

The Piano Pedagogy minor is open  to Westminster Choir College undergraduates other than Piano majors. Interested students must be accepted by the Piano Faculty and should then declare the minor by completing a form available in the Assistant Registrar’s Office.  

Acceptance to Minor

  • For piano primary – by recommendation of the applied piano teacher
  • For non-piano primary – by recommendation of the applied teacher, advisor, audition, and interview with the Piano Faculty

Degree Offered

  • Minor in Piano Pedagogy


Margaret Cusack
Professor and Chairperson
Erdman Hall 26
609-921-7100, ext. 8253

Ingrid Clarfield
Erdman Hall 11
609-921-7100, ext. 8290

Program Website: www.rider.edu/piano/

Associated Department: Piano and Voice Department

Requirements for the Minor

(15 credits)

Learn more about General Undergraduate Requirements.

Required Courses
PI 297Fund of Piano Pedagogy I3
PI 298Fund of Piano Pedagogy II3
PI 540Keyboard Skills3
PI 435Survey of Piano Literature I 13
or PI 436 Survey of Piano Literature II
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Fund of Piano Pedagogy III (3 credits)
Accompanying Class (2 credits)
Survey of Piano Literature I (3 credits) 1
Survey of Piano Literature II (3 credits) 1
Chamber Music (2 credits)
Piano Ensemble (1 credit)
Total Credits15

Courses and Descriptions

PI 297 Fund of Piano Pedagogy I 3 Credits

Fundamentals I is devoted to study of techniques, methods, and materials suitable for beginning through early intermediate level students. Other areas of study include motivational strategies, establishment of effective practice habits, recital preparation, technique, and elementary duet materials. Students analyze and demonstrate teaching from three different beginning piano methods. Observation of professional teaching is done in the context of class and private lessons at the Westminster Conservatory.

PI 298 Fund of Piano Pedagogy II 3 Credits

In Fundamentals II, students continue to apply their experience with piano methods to the teaching of students. In addition, the semester is devoted to the study of materials from all style periods for upper elementary and intermediate level students. Students observe private and group lessons appropriate to these levels. The course culminates in an individual lecture recital demonstrating music from a variety of style periods.

Prerequisite(s): PI 297.

PI 397 Fund of Piano Pedagogy III 3 Credits

Fundamentals III involves supervised private and group teaching of beginning students. Emphasis is placed on lesson planning, presentation of concepts, use of technology, and the relationship between technique and musicianship skills. The course further addresses the different psychological and methodological approaches to teaching adults and children in class and private settings, and includes an overview of materials for the adult student and group classes. The course culminates in a lecture recital on a pedagogical subject of the students choice.

PI 413 Accompanying Class 2 Credits

This course is designed with the twofold purpose of allowing undergraduate pianists to fulfill their piano ensemble elective requirement within the professional studies area as well as providing an opportunity for voice primary students to further their piano study in a challenging forum in situations directly related to their repertoire. The students in the class will receive instruction in the stylistic, technical, analytical and linguistic aspects of vocal literature. The many issues involved in vocal collaboration will be discussed along with in-depth study of the pianist’s role in musical partnerships. Issues of musical freedom, language, and the varieties of sonic treatment unique to vocal literature will be discussed. Italian, French, German and English song repertoire from various style periods will provide the assignments for performance and discussion.

PI 435 Survey of Piano Literature I 3 Credits

A study of representative works from 1650-1800 by composers including J. S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Prerequisite(s): MH 248.

PI 436 Survey of Piano Literature II 3 Credits

A study of representative works from 1800 to the present by composers including Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Bartók.

Prerequisite(s): MH 248.

PI 512 Chamber Music 2 Credits

Emphasis is placed upon rehearsal and performances of representative collaborative literature for strings and piano, and woodwinds and piano. Students will be assigned movements from major chamber works selected from different style periods. Professional instrumentalists will join them for rehearsals and performances in class. An overview of the development of this repertoire will be presented and listening assignments will augment the study of specific works. A project involving the study and presentation of a piano quartet or piano quintet will be included. Attendance at three concerts of instrumental chamber music is required. Permission of applied teacher and instructor is required.

PI 540 Keyboard Skills 3 Credits

The course includes in-depth study of numerous aspects of musicianship skills essential for all pianists within the broader categories of technique and practice strategies; memorization and sight reading; improvisation and lead sheet realization. All aspects of piano musicianship skills will be addressed from practical, pedagogical, and collaborative points of view. Assignments will include examples of studies from a wide range of levels all within the current and developing skill level of each student enrolled in the class.

Prerequisite(s): UG - Eight credits of applied keyboard study or permission of keyboard instructor or course instructor. GR - Permission of course instructor.

PI 585 Piano Ensemble 1 Credits

Study and performance of piano duets, two-piano works, and works for combinations of three or more pianists. The emphasis is on ensemble techniques for rehearsal and performance.