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Piano Pedagogy Undergraduate Certificate

For piano majors, current teachers, and all those interested in teaching piano.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The Piano Pedagogy certification is 12 credits: seven credits of pedagogy, and five credits of related electives covering topics such as:

  • Piano lessons
  • Collaborative piano
  • Piano literature
  • Child development
  • Beginning ballet
  • Chamber music ensembles

The certification will appear on participants' academic transcript and each graduate will receive a printed certificate.

About Dr. Helen Marlais

Helen Marlais is a prolific author in the field of educational piano books and is published by The FJH Music Company Inc. Her critically acclaimed and award-winning piano series' are designed to guide students from the beginner through advanced levels. Her books are used throughout the English-speaking world and have been translated into Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese. She performs and gives workshops and masterclasses throughout the country, internationally, and at all of the national music teachers' conventions.

Why Study Piano Pedagogy at Grand Valley?

  • Enable participants to focus on the skills necessary for successful teaching.
  • Equip participants with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in accordance with state and national piano teaching guidelines.
  • Share best-practice pedagogy skills to instruct beginner, intermediate, and early-advanced students.
  • Explore the pedagogy behind teaching technique, musicianship, and reading skills.
  • Develop skills for selecting repertoire.
  • Show how to adapt one's teaching to different learning styles and demonstrate how to motivate and encourage effective practice habits.
  • Include hands-on guided teaching experiences.
  • Begin preparation for MTNA national certification.


For new students, visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements. Upon acceptance and for current students:

  • Declare your certificate via myBanner (Login to Banner Self-Service, click on Student, Student Records, Add a Certificate or Badge to your Program, Select the appropriate certificate from the drop down list, and click Submit)
  • Departmental approval is required. If denied, an email will be sent to your GVSU student email.  
  • Speak with the appropriate certificate coordinator to ensure criteria are being met (you will be able to track your progress toward the certificate in myPath as well!)
  • Once you are done with the requirements, apply to receive the certificate via myBanner.
  • Once the completion of your certificate has been verified, the certificate will be posted to your student record and will be viewable on your transcript. 

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face

For More Information

Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
1300 Performing Arts Center
Dr. Helen Marlais
[email protected]
(616) 331-3234

Admissions and Recruitment Office