Piano Pedagogy

No musical instrument has a greater role to play in the human experience than the piano. Since 1700, it has brought music to life inside the home as well as the concert hall thanks to those who choose to teach the combination of theory, technique, style and creativity that is piano pedagogy. If teaching is your passion, consider a degree in piano pedagogy.

TCU offers the following degree programs in piano pedagogy:

Bachelor of Music in piano pedagogy
Piano pedagogy at TCU combines extensive course work with simultaneous hands-on teaching experience. Regular observation of teaching and discussion of teaching strengths and weaknesses allows student teachers to develop teaching skills throughout their study.

Master of Music in piano pedagogy
The Master of Music in piano pedagogy degree provides advanced training in piano pedagogy to strengthen musical scholarship and performance, to prepare students to teach studio and class piano, to conduct research in their field, to write papers suitable for publication, and to present lectures and workshops on pedagogical topics.

Master of Music Education in piano pedagogy
The Master of Music Education in piano pedagogy provides advanced training in piano pedagogy to strengthen musical scholarship and performance, to promote philosophical and psychological understanding in music education, to prepare students to teach studio and class piano, and to provide opportunities to explore specific interests of teaching of the individual student.

DMA in piano pedagogy
The Doctor of Musical Arts in piano pedagogy degree provides advanced training in piano pedagogy to strengthen performance and musical scholarship, to prepare students to teach at a university, to conduct research in their field, to write papers and documents suitable for publication and to present lectures and workshops on pedagogical topics.

DMA in piano performance with a cognate in piano pedagogy
The Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance with cognate in piano pedagogy provides a focus on piano performance with advanced training in piano pedagogy to prepare students to teach at a university, to conduct research in their field, to write papers and documents suitable for publication and to present lectures and workshops on pedagogical topics.

Scholarship support is available for talented undergraduate and graduate music majors. Assistantships that include full-tuition remission plus a stipend are available for graduate students. Graduate Assistantships in Piano Pedagogy are awarded to full-time students on a competitive basis based on the prospective student’s academic experience, teaching experience, and favorable recommendations.

Application Deadline

To be considered for a graduate assistantship, the application process, including an on-campus audition and interview with the Director of Piano Pedagogy, must be completed by the last audition date. Prospective students should refer to the TCU College of Fine Arts Graduate Studies for more information about the application and audition process.


Graduate assistantships provide tuition grants and may offer stipends. Tuition grants cover the number of semester hours in the degree and may offer stipends of approximately $4,500 per semester; $6,000 per semester for doctoral students.



A graduate assistantship in piano pedagogy with both tuition grant and stipend requires 10 hours of work experience weekly. An assistantship with only a tuition grant requires five hours of work experience weekly. Assistantship loads generally include a combination of teaching and non-teaching responsibilities.

Teaching assignments may include the following: private or group piano lessons in the Pedagogy Laboratory Program or the TCU Music Preparatory Division, class piano for college non-music majors, applied lessons for college elective students, adult hobby piano classes through TCU Extended Education or assisting with the Early Childhood Music Program. Non-teaching duties may include assisting in the Music Preparatory Computer Lab, Piano Pedagogy Resource Center, or Music Preparatory Library.

Student Teaching Opportunities

While pursuing a degree in piano pedagogy, undergraduate and graduate piano pedagogy students teach pre-college students enrolled in the Pedagogy Laboratory Program,  a two-year program of beginning piano instruction combining both class and private instruction. Graduate students also teach college-level piano classes, non-music major piano classes, adult hobby piano classes, and college students studying piano as an elective.

Dr. Ann Gipson, Director of Piano Pedagogy
Lori Christ, Director of Music Preparatory Division
Guillermo Martinez, Coordinator of Class Piano
Janis Janes, Coordinator of Early Childhood Music

TCU has an active MTNA Collegiate Chapter, which participates regularly in both national events and community outreach. Our collegiate chapter members have presented at local chapters, TMTA, MTNA Collegiate Symposium, MTNA National Conference, College Music Society National Conference, and The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Our alumni have also been recipients and winners of national awards, including the MTNA Young Artist Competition, MTNA MarySue Harris Studio Teacher Fellowship, American Music Teacher Article of the Year, and Keyboard Magazine’s Collegiate Writing Contest.













Our alumni continue to work in the field of piano pedagogy, providing a quality piano education to their students of all ages and levels. They work in universities, private studios, as entrepreneurs, as scholars, and are actively involved in local, state, and national music organizations. Ultimately, our graduates go on to forge their own unique paths for successful and rewarding careers in music.





The Cliburn, The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, Tarrant County Community College, Philadelphia Piano Institute, Parker Piano Studios, Primo Piano Studios, Arlington Piano Academy, New Tampa Piano and Pedagogy Academy, and more!

More information coming soon!

“The effect of the piano pedagogy program at TCU on my career is immeasurable. My teaching was transformed through the mentorship of Dr. Gipson and the in-depth and practical education I received at TCU. The lessons I learned while at TCU prepared me for my current teaching position, as well as my career in arts administration and I will always be grateful for TCU’s influence on my life and career.”

-Esther Hayter, MM Piano Pedagogy ’17 (Associate Director of Communications and Events for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy & New School for Music Study Faculty)

“The Piano Pedagogy Program at TCU has truly equipped me with knowledge and skills to establish my own thriving studio. Under the watchful eye and gentle guidance of Dr. Ann Gipson, I’ve felt myself grow as both a student and educator. The program provided me numerous opportunities to teach, explore, try new concepts, make mistakes, and learn from reflection. Also, my time at TCU provided me with an amazing group of colleagues who support and learn from each other.”

-Christine Meng, MM Piano Pedagogy ’15 (Private Studio Owner/Operator in Keller, TX)

“Pursuing piano pedagogy at TCU led to more opportunities than I ever thought it would. Because I was graciously given an open door to studying the effects of weight training on piano performance, I was able to present my research at a couple of national MTNA events. This led to many networking opportunities, as well as new friends! I was able to take the first steps in pursuing a unique field of research that will hopefully lead to many more meaningful contributions.”

-Sarah Morris, MM Piano Pedagogy ’20, MM Piano Performance ’18 (Private Teacher, Personal Trainer, and Competitive Athlete)

“The piano pedagogy program at TCU was an entirely comprehensive, holistic, live-giving experience. I was welcomed as a musician, teacher, and individual into the piano and piano pedagogy communities at TCU. I was challenged in my musicianship, given enumerable solo and collaborative performance opportunities, and ultimately encouraged to find my own artistic voice. As a teacher, I was exposed to new experiences in both group and private teaching, given opportunities to both give and receive feedback on a weekly basis, and learned to sequence my instruction in clear, intentional ways. I cannot speak enough to the robust community within the piano and pedagogy departments, the strong and caring mentorship of Dr. Gipson, or the valuable hands-on experiences I received at TCU. There is no doubt in my mind that my time at TCU has forever shaped me as a musician, piano educator, and individual.”

-Jessie Welsh, DMA Piano Pedagogy ’21 (Owner/Operator, Primo Piano Studios in Dallas, TX & Intern for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy)

“I can’t imagine a more comprehensive program than the piano pedagogy program at TCU with Dr. Gipson at the helm. I learned so much more than I ever thought I could about the field of teaching, but also about myself and the kind of teacher that I strive to be.”

-Sara Doan, DMA Piano Performance with Cognate in Piano Pedagogy (ABD)

“Thanks to the vast teaching experience provided by the pedagogy program, I was equipped with the skills and a renewed teaching philosophy that made my lesson content desirable for students of all ages. Because of TCU’s pedagogy program, my teaching business has grown into a multi-teacher piano institute within 5 years of graduation.”

-Erika Gingery, MM Piano Pedagogy ’16 (Director, Philadelphia Piano Institute)

The Piano Pedagogy Resource Center

The Piano Pedagogy Resource Center, located in Walsh 136, is designed to provide a place for piano pedagogy students to study, practice, prepare course projects, and prepare teaching assignments. The Center provides an ever-expanding variety of teaching materials and standard literature including average-age beginner methods, preschool piano methods, adult/hobby texts, class piano texts, graded solos, supplementary collections by educational composers, collections of standard piano repertoire, ensemble literature, Christmas music, and hymn arrangements. Materials for sight reading, technique, theory, and ear training are also available.

The Center also serves as the primary class room for piano pedagogy courses and student teaching experiences. Students have access to a Yamaha Disklavier, computers, a stereo, a DVD player, digital video recording equipment, and a variety of teaching aids.

The Pedagogy Teaching Studio, located in Walsh 134,  provides a dedicated teaching space for pedagogy students who teach PLP (Pedagogy Laboratory Program), music preparatory, and college non-major students. Teachers teach on a Steinway grand piano.

The Music Preparatory Library
The music preparatory library houses a wide variety of teaching and standard literature which serves as a reference library for all music prep teachers.

The Music Preparatory Computer Lab
Computer lab sessions are available to students enrolled in the music prep department. A variety of popular music theory software and Midi accompaniments are housed in the computer lab.

Admission & Audition Information

For undergraduates and graduates wanting to attend the TCU School of Music, there is an admissions process. Learn more about the audition requirements below.

Admission Information

Audition Requirements

For more information, contact:
Ann M. Gipson Ph.D., NCTM
Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies
Associate Professor of Piano