Piano - Community Music School

Piano

The UNCSA Community Music School is committed to providing students at all ages and ability levels with access to the best quality instruction, instruments and performance experiences. Teachers include UNCSA faculty, plus many dedicated educators with a wide range of performance and teaching perspectives including jazz and popular styles. Beginning students are encouraged to start with applicable group options.

Advanced students may audition for the studios of UNCSA School of Music faculty members. Piano lessons are taught on quality Yamaha or Steinway grand pianos, and students perform recitals on the world-class Steinway pianos housed School of Music performance venues. Adjustable benches and pedal extenders are available to young students to insure correct posture and technique.

Find information for your age:

Elementary (6-10yr)

Beginning piano students should enroll in group piano for young beginners (see below).

30 -minute private lessons are available for 1st grade students and up in piano, with teacher approval for younger students. 

Additionally, all elementary students should attend Children's Chorus (included at no additional cost) to develop musicality and ear training. 

Students may enroll in the Preparatory Division for a more intensive course of study that includes Royal Conservatory Method music theory classes and ensemble work.

Middle (11-13yr)

45-minute private lessons are available in piano.

Students in the 7th grade will advance from Chorus I to Chorus II (included at no additional cost) with teacher approval.

Students may enroll in the Preparatory Division for a more intensive course of study that includes Royal Conservatory Method music theory classes and ensemble work.

High (14-18yr)

60-minute private lessons are available in piano and organ.

Pianists can apply for auditioned lessons in UNCSA Professor Dr. Dmitri Shteinberg’s advanced piano studio.

Students may enroll in the Preparatory Division for a more intensive course of study that includes Royal Conservatory Method music theory classes and ensemble work.

Adult (18+)

30, 45, or 60-minute private lessons are available in piano and organ.

All adult students should be attend Musicianship I or II (included at no additional cost).

Pianists can apply for auditioned lessons in UNCSA Professor Dr. Dmitri Shteinberg’s advanced piano studio.


Group Class information: 

Spring Semester: Group Piano for Young Beginners

Saturdays, February 8 - June 6 (no classes April 18 during spring break)
Grades K - 2 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (continuing)

Grades K - 2  from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (new) 


16 total classes
Cost: $320 ($225 for students enrolled in full semester private lesson plans)  Workbook included
Instructors: Morgan Hunkele and Shauna Bierly

Piano study is the foundation of musical literacy and understanding for instrumentalists and vocalists alike. Our 16 week sessions of weekly group classes are a great introduction to the instrument in a fun and supportive environment.  It is recommended that students in group piano also register for Royal Conservatory Method music theory classes.

These courses meet one hour per week and each section is limited to 8 students. Required materials: keyboard or piano at home, textbook as assigned by faculty, staff paper, pencil, eraser.

Classes meet in the Keyboard Lab and Aural Skills Lab at UNCSA. Parking is available behind the Gray Building in spots marked "guest/visitor" or beside the Welcome Center. (See the Campus Map.)

Topics are listed below and do not reflect weekly progress. Actual progress depends on class composition. A topic must be accomplished before moving on the next one.

  1. Hand position, proper posture. Basic one-finger exercises for engaged fingertip and moving wrist. Fundamentals of note reading. Textbook – must line up with CMS theory.
  2. Transition from one-note to two-note motion on different finger pairs. Note reading uses middle C as a connector between two clefs. Every element played is also sung (foundations of ear/hand, ear/eye coordination.
  3. Transition to three, four and five-note patterns. Clapping short-long (two-to-one) rhythms, singing unstable/stable pairings (C, D-C, F-E, A-G, b-c; also in harm. Minor). Singing pentascales up and down, playing the same, transposing to include black keys to F, D, A, E.
  4. Engaging both hands: alternating pentascales, alternating notes with connective wrist motion leading from hand to hand AND staccato. Playing RH pentascales on a held bass, transposing the same. Singing major and minor pairings and pentascales.
  5. Continuing the same, transposing to more keys, increasing the familiarity with black keys.
  6. Scales: one hand, single octave, correct fingering. Introducing the B Major scale first as Th – 2-3 – Th – 2-3-4 (clusters on black keys as aid to learning). Singing the scale up and down. Introducing half-steps and whole-steps in scale context.
  7. Introducing three-to-two-to-one rhythmic constructs. At this point methods like the Mikrokosmos can be used, separate hands first. 
  8. Sharp major scales, in this order: E, A, D, G. separate hands. Eventually, two octaves.

Summer Session: Group Piano for Young Beginners

Ages 5 and up
Instructors: Morgan Hunkele, Alek Wasserman, and Shauna Bierly 
$200/10 weeks  Workbook included

Group Piano for Young Beginners is a 10-week course typically intended for elementary-school students with little to no piano experience. Students who participated in the spring semester class will continue from where we left off, whereas new students will begin in a place appropriate to their level of experience. Objectives include developing healthy and effective piano technique, identifying notes on the piano, reading music and noticing patterns, and ear training through singing. In other words, the goal of this course is to provide students with their first toolbox for beautiful piano playing.

In the online version of this course, assignments are sent via email Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the expectation that students will be reviewing and perfecting on Tuesday and Thursday. Assignments are explained and demonstrated in YouTube videos made by the instructor. Mini private lessons are conducted via Skype or Zoom on Saturdays, with individual feedback from the instructor. Exceptions to the Saturday mini lesson time are available upon request with instructor permission.

Required materials include The Russian School of Piano Playing part 1 (included in tuition), a piano, electric piano or keyboard to practice on at home (to fully benefit from the instruction, an acoustic piano is very, very highly recommended), and technology to record, send videos, and video chat.

For register or request more information about a practice instrument, please contact the Community Music School through our Inquiry Form.


Next Steps

  • Click here to pre-register for one of many piano classes or lessons.