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TCU Collaborative Piano Request Form

Generally, complete requests (including any scores) must be received 2 months in advance of any public performance, or 3 weeks in advance of non-public collaborations, such as only lessons. You are encouraged to submit this form as soon as possible, since pianist resources are limited, and assignments will begin immediately to allow for maximum partnership time once the semester begins. While you may initially submit incomplete requests, all required fields must be filled in by the deadlines noted above.

Please note that COVID-19 protocols will always be strictly adhered to, with no exceptions. These protocols are fluid and may change at any moment based on University/CDC guidance, and all are expected to abide by these rules. Up to date COVID-19 protocols can be found here:, and you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the details prior to the start of the semester. Failure to comply with COVID-19 protocols (including proper masking) will result in forfeiture of piano accompanying services in order to protect the health of our students and employees.

In keeping with previous TCU SOM policy, budgetary constraints allow for TCU-subsidized pianists (faculty, staff, student Graduate Assistants [GAs], and staff pianists) to be available for music majors. Non-majors, minors, or Musical Theater students will be offered TCU-subsidized pianists only if the resources are available once all music majors’ needs have been met. Students who cannot be covered by TCU-paid accompanying services will be provided a list of TCU-approved freelance collaborative pianists for private arrangements.


  1. Please be in touch, either directly or through your students, with your assigned pianist as soon as possible. It is not the pianist’s responsibility to initiate communication.
  2. Please provide music (score/PDF) to the pianist, if needed, no later than 2 months in advance of any recital/performance, or 3 weeks in advance of rehearsals/lessons (no public performance). Earlier is always better, and late score submissions may result, at the pianist’s discretion, in the refusal of service. It is the studio teacher’s/student’s responsibility to double-check with their pianist to make sure they have all the music they will need.
  3. Graduate Assistant (GA) pianists typically have a maximum of 8 weekly playing hours in total, distributed among various studios/ensembles; AD students typically have 4. They will be assigned based on a variety of factors, including previous experience and availability. Please note that an hour of assistantship/AD playing should not entail more than 30-min of repertoire, and a 2-hour assistantship should include up to 1 hour of music. This rule allows our pianists the time to learn the repertoire properly and apply it in both rehearsal and lesson in any given week. This rule does not apply, necessarily, to staff pianists and/or Drs. Bukhman and Kao.
  4. Student GAs/ADs typically have similar commitments as voice/instrumental students, which means their own recitals/juries during the regular seasons. Please consider that when planning your work with them. Please avoid waiting until the middle or end of a semester to begin utilizing your pianist and expect that they “make up” their previously unused hours. While the beginning of the semester is typically “slow”, do be in touch with your pianist as soon as possible to create a fair and workable semester plan. Pianists may not be asked to play more than their weekly hourly quotas at any point in the semester.
  5. No-show rehearsals/lessons without at least 24-hour advance notice to the pianist will result in forfeiture of that collaboration time. The pianist will still be credited for that time. On the other hand, if a pianist is a no-show without similar advance notice, this should be reported to Dr. Michael Bukhman and the missed time will be made up. Please conduct all of your scheduling in writing to maintain records should a dispute arise.
  6. Realizing the difficult nature of human-human collaboration, to include the problem of mutual scheduling, you are encouraged to work with your pianist amicably to reach a fair and reasonable solution for both your student/ensemble and the pianist. In cases where an understanding cannot be reached, or there are any problems with your pianist’s preparation, attitude, or lack of communication, please contact Dr. Bukhman. Please document in writing any initial agreements with your pianist/s for future reference.

While pianist assignments will be made based on first-come-first-served incoming requests, the following order of prioritization must also be utilized to ensure coverage for essential SOM activities:

  1. Large ensembles with regular schedules
  2. Required graduate and undergraduate recitals
  3. Juries
  4. Regular lessons
  5. Concerto competitions
  6. Non-required/elective recitals
  7. Other projects

Please note that other ways of collaborating that do not involve payment will be available, including partnerships with piano students enrolled in the following courses:

  1. MUSI 10170/60170 (Collaborative Skills; Fridays 12-12:50p in PRH)
  2. MUSI 51081 (AD Collaborative Piano – ideal for AD students who wish to be paired with AD pianists)
  3. MUSI 60191 (Vocal Coaching for Pianists – one pianist available in Fall ’21)
  4. Collaborations with MM Collaborative Piano majors as part of their private lessons/required recitals

If possible, please explore these options first. Contact Dr. Bukhman for details.

Generally, students/ensembles will be paired with various TCU pianists as follows (exceptions may occur):

Note: This list does not guarantee the availability of any pianist – only types of possible partnerships

Large vocal ensembles + Dr. Cecilia Kao; GA pianists; Staff pianists

Large instrumental ensembles (orchestra, etc.) + GA pianists

DMA students + Dr. Cecilia Kao; Dr. Michael Bukhman; DMA GA pianists; MM Collaborative Piano majors

AD students + Dr. Cecilia Kao; Dr. Michael Bukhman; AD pianists; MM Collaborative Piano majors

Other Grad students + Dr. Cecilia Kao; GA pianists; MM Collaborative Piano majors; Staff pianists

UG students + Dr. Cecilia Kao; GA pianists; Staff pianists

List of Staff Pianists with limited, TCU-paid weekly quotas:

Please note that due to extremely limited budgets this year across the board, TCU student and faculty pianists must be utilized fully BEFORE reaching out to TCU-paid Staff Pianists. TCU will cover the cost of up to 2 hours of collaboration with these pianists per student, per semester. Should a student need additional hours, remuneration will be handled directly between the pianist and the student.

Edward Newman (

Taiko Pelick (

Andrew Packard (

Syuzanna Kaszo (


TCU faculty pianists:

Dr. Michael Bukhman (

Dr. Cecilia Lo-Chien Kao (

For an updated list of local, TCU-vetted freelance pianists (to be paid directly by student/faculty), as well as any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Dr. Bukhman.

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