Piano Pedagogy Certificate

Grand Valley State University Piano Pedagogy Certification

The Piano Pedagogy Certificate (in the Department of Music and Dance at Grand Valley State University) will enable undergraduate piano majors and area piano teachers to focus on the skills necessary for successful piano teaching. Students learn how to teach beginner, intermediate, and early–advanced students.  They learn how to teach pre-college students as well as music majors who take keyboard as their secondary instrument.  They learn how to teach correct technique, how to develop musicianship and good sight-reading skills, how to select, level, perform, and teach repertoire, how to practice efficiently, and how to motivate.  Students learn about the most important competitions and festivals in the state as well as in the nation.   The requirements for National Certification are covered in the last semester of piano pedagogy.

To gain entrance into the program, an interview with the Piano Pedagogy professor and the performance of one memorized intermediate-level piano work will take place.

This certification provides teachers with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in accordance with state and national piano teaching guidelines.  

The piano pedagogy coursework includes guided teaching experiences.

Students completing the Piano Pedagogy Certification will have a record of this accomplishment appear on their academic transcript, and a certificate for their piano studio.

The Piano Pedagogy Certification is 12 credits:

7 credits in piano pedagogy, 2 credits in piano literature, and 3 elective credits.


Class/Credit amount:                            

MUS 361 Piano Pedagogy I - 3                                                                               

MUS 371 Piano Pedagogy II - 3                                                                             

MUS 379 Piano Pedagogy Masterclass                                                                  

(to be taken after MUS 361 and MUS 371) - 1                                                    

MUS 310 Piano Literature  - 2                                                                               


Students may choose 3 credits from the following elective credits:

MUS 141 and 142 Piano lessons - 2                                                                                  

MUS 144 and 145 Piano lessons - 4                                                                      

PED 166 Beginning Ballet -1 (credit/no credit)*                                                             

MUS 126 Collaborative Piano - 1                                                                           

MUS 104 Chamber Music Ensembles - .5                                                            

MUS 180 Performance Anxiety Class - 1                                                  

*Pilates is another option



Other courses of interest:  

PSY 301 Child Development - 3                                                                             

PSY 331 Adolescent Development  - 3                                                                  


Timetable –

This certification process can be completed within four semesters:


2013-2014, 2015-2016, etc.

Fall: Piano Pedagogy I, MUS 361

Winter: Piano Pedagogy II, MUS 371


2014-2015, 2016-2017, etc.

Fall: Piano Literature, MUS 310

Winter: Piano Pedagogy Masterclass, MUS 379



Find out about the courses required for this certificate:

Course Catalog
Piano Pedagogy Certificate

For more information, contact Dr. Helen Marlais: marlaish@gvsu.edu

Page last modified August 30, 2017