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Pedagogy Cognate


The KU Piano Pedagogy Cognate serves the needs of D.M.A. students who plan a career in teaching at pre-college or collegiate levels.

Under the direction of Dr. Scott McBride Smith, the Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy, students will have the opportunity to integrate pedagogical theory with practical teaching experience through KU’s innovative Pianos without Borders program, and pursue individual projects.

Course Requirements

PIAN 840 and 846 Advanced Piano Pedagogy I and II

Two semesters, 3 credits per class, 6 credits total

These courses are designed to provide an overview of the art of piano teaching at the advanced and university level. It is designed primarily for the keyboard specialist who plans to teach independently or in an institution. Information about precollege and collegiate students is included.

The class will:

  1. provide information about the techniques and methods relating to advanced and university-level teaching
  2. present an survey of advanced teaching literature
  3. offer an overview of historical teaching of piano technique
  4. develop analytical and diagnostic teaching tools
  5. provide an overview of group teaching
  6. offer strategies for conducting successful master classes and workshops
  7. provide information about related fields, research tools and topics for further study in the field
  8. offer opportunities for practice teaching and independent projects

PIAN 921 Seminar in Piano Performance and Pedagogy

One semester, 3 credits

Each semester’s seminar focuses on an in-depth study of a different style period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary). Pedagogy Cognate students may choose which style period and semester they prefer.

The class will enable students to:

  1. have knowledge of the essential genres of the style period and a basic understanding of its important orchestral and vocal works
  2. analyze significant piano works of the style period from a theoretical and pedagogical viewpoint
  3. expand familiarity with the characteristics of specific composers
  4. learn about the compositional techniques common to the period and each composer
  5. improve comprehension of technical, pedagogical, and performance issues in specific piano works
  6. gain awareness and experience presenting information on piano works in lecture style

PIAN 940 Special Projects in Piano Pedagogy

One semester, 3 credits

In consultation with Dr. Smith, students will select a pedagogical topic of interest and design a project. A lengthy written paper is required; a lecture-recital is optional.

Possible topics include:

  • the piano and piano literature
  • history of piano technique
  • learning theory
  • students with disabilities
  • performance psychology
  • other

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