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TCU Collaborative Piano Request Form

Generally, complete requests (including any scores) must be received two months in advance of any public performance or three 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.

In keeping with previous TCU SOM policy, budgetary constraints allow for TCU-subsidized pianists (faculty, student Teaching Assistants [TAs], and staff pianists) to be available for music majors. Non-majors, minors, or musical theater students are not eligible for TCU School of Music-subsidized pianists. Students who cannot be covered by TCU-paid accompanying services will be provided with a list of TCU-approved freelance collaborative pianists for private arrangements.


  1. Once an assignment is confirmed in writing by Dr. Bukhman, the professor and/or student who requested the pianist must immediately contact that pianist to discuss all details. Although they are certainly welcome to, it is not the pianists’ responsibility to make initial contact. Please notify Dr. Bukhman immediately should you begin working with a pianist before an official assignment email is received– this is critical in order to avoid misunderstandings and clerical errors.
  2. Please provide music (score/PDF) to the pianist, if needed, no later than two months in advance of any recital/performance or three weeks in advance of rehearsals/lessons (no public performance). Earlier is always better, and late score submissions may result, at Dr. Michael Bukhman’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. Teaching Assistant (TA) pianists typically have a maximum of 9-10 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 minutes 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. In any case, a TA pianist is not expected to spend more time than their assistantship indicates per partner per week. This rule does not necessarily apply to staff pianists and/or Drs. Bukhman and Kao.
  4. Student TAs/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,” 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. Please note: Student pianist TAs may not be asked to go off campus by any faculty for any activity, school-related or not, until such activity is approved by Dr. Bukhman and the Director of the School of Music. All TA playing must only be directly related to the specific educational activity listed on the form (e.g., recitals, juries, etc.)
  7. Realizing the difficult nature of human-to-human collaboration, including 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. Non-required/elective recitals
  4. Concerto competitions
  5. Juries
  6. Regular lessons
  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)
  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.

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

Please note that due to extremely limited budgets across the board, TCU student and faculty pianists must be utilized fully BEFORE reaching out to TCU-paid Staff Pianists. If a TCU staff pianist reaches his or her quota for any given week, any additional work with that pianist must be paid for directly by the student.

Edward Newman (

Syuzanna Kaszo (

Sara Steele (

Huan Yang (

TCU faculty pianists:

Dr. Michael Bukhman (

Dr. Cecilia Lo-Chien Kao (

Please contact Dr. Bukhman for an updated list of local, TCU-vetted freelance pianists (to be paid directly by students or faculty) and with any questions regarding these guidelines.

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