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Keyboard Studio
  • The Keyboard Area in the Conservatory of Music is a vibrant department offering the best in performance training coupled with the skills you will need to teach piano and/or organ, or prepare for training in church music. Your musical experiences at Capital also will qualify you to be an in-demand accompanist at the collegiate level and after graduation.

    At Capital, the two most important goals are:

    • to help you learn to perform at the highest level and
    • to prepare you to earn a living as an artist, teacher, accompanist and church musician.


    Faculty members will guide your musical development and ensure that you get the attention you deserve!

    Bachelor of Music Degrees

    Piano Performance Degree (The Artist Performer on Piano):

    Our internationally renowned applied piano faculty are dedicated to developing students into the finest pianists they can be. There are many opportunities to perform, both for the Conservatory students and in competitions. A generous donor contributes each year to the keyboard department’s Karen Jeanne Foster competition with a cash award, and there are several other Conservatory and MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) competition opportunities. Because we know that our Performance majors will also be teaching after they graduate, our Performance degree requires a yearlong course in Piano Pedagogy and the accompanying year of intern teaching both group and private piano lessons.

    The electives in the Piano Performance degree even permit majors to complete a Performance and a Pedagogy degree in four years! This double major prepares students to audition for the top graduate schools in the nation, and begin earning money right away teaching pre-college piano!

    Organ Performance Degree (The Artist Performer on Organ):

    Organists will study and perform on the Paul W. and Ella D. Hugus Memorial Pipe Organ. As can be seen from the four year plan, this degree carries enough electives to graduate with a double major in Keyboard Pedagogy with one of its three emphases.

    This degree is designed to prepare students both for auditions and private lesson teaching.

    Keyboard Pedagogy Degree (The Art of Teaching):

    Capital’s keyboard pedagogy degree was recently ranked among the top 20 in the nation.* This is even more impressive when you realize that it was one of only two undergraduate degrees listed in the top 20! So what makes this degree so impressive? There are three emphases available in this degree – Piano Pedagogy, Organ Pedagogy and Church Music. In each of the emphases you will receive the highest level of training in performing, teaching, accompanying, and collaborative chamber music experiences.

    *In a national survey conducted for a doctoral dissertation

    Piano Pedagogy Emphasis:

    This degree will train you to teach beginning and intermediate level piano students, with emphases on learning theories, teaching healthy technique, running a home studio, and much, much more. Because no degree in teaching is worthwhile without hands-on experiences, the piano pedagogy degree includes a unique two-year student teaching experience.

    Students in their first year of student teaching participate in the Keyboard for Children program offered through the College Conservatory Preparatory Department In this program the pedagogy students meet together weekly to plan and then present a group lesson to 2nd and 3rd grade beginning piano students. Students also meet weekly with a beginning student from the group for a private lesson. The outstanding pedagogy faculty supervises group and private lessons and makes suggestions to help students become effective and efficient piano teachers. In addition, students have the opportunity to take at least six semesters of organ lessons and study organ pedagogy in this degree, giving them the skills necessary to take a job as a church organist and organ teacher when you graduate.

    Organ Pedagogy Emphasis:

    This degree prepares students to teach organ to beginning and intermediate organ students. the four-year plan includes not only Piano Pedagogy and a year of student teaching on the piano, but also Organ Pedagogy, with its student teaching experience, Organ Literature, and a year of training in Service Playing and Improvisation.

    Students at Capital get to experience the excitement of playing on the school's Paul W. and Ella D. Hugus Memorial Pipe Organ, made and installed in 2005 by the Schantz Organ Company.

    Church Music Emphasis:

    This emphasis offers students piano and organ pedagogy and literature course work, but does not require student teaching experience on the piano. A year of Service Playing and Improvisation and a greater emphasis on choral conducting prepare students for beginning work in the Church.

    Conservatory of Music Audition Requirements  

    What makes Capital's keyboard programs exceptional?

    Our faculty of world-renowned professional musicians and educators!

    • Dr. Tianshu Wang, international Steinway Artist, is an active concert pianist all over the United States and the world, and has even performed for the King of Thailand! During the summer, Dr. Wang is the chair of the Piano Department at the prestigious Shenyang Conservatory in China.
    • Professor Seymour Fink is a leading authority on wellness and playing injuries. He has authored the book Mastering Piano Technique and contributed to the book A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop the Mind and Body for Optimal Performance.

    Regular Performance Opportunities

    Recitals are held almost weekly for the keyboard area students and many times each semester for the entire Conservatory. These performance opportunities give you practice in performing without the pressure of a formal recital situation. There are also several competitions, including the Karen Jeanne Foster Award, which is a cash award specifically for keyboard majors.

    Our outstanding Paul W. and Ella D. Hugus Memorial Pipe Organ

    The newly installed Hugus pipe organ is situated in beautiful Mees Auditorium.

    Capital's size and location

    The Keyboard Area and the Conservatory are large enough and have the reputation to attract A-list faculty, but small enough to insure the personal attention you deserve. Couple this with the professional arts and entertainment available in a city the size of Columbus, and a campus located in the affluent and close-to-downtown suburb of Bexley, and you have the perfect combination of small-town care with big-city arts opportunities.

    Keyboard Faculty

    Tianshu Wang, Keyboard Area Chair
    (614) 236-6410 • e-mail: twang@capital.edu 

    Dr. Meisha Adderley, piano lessons and pedagogy

    Narmina Aliyeva, collaborative piano

    Chad Baker, class keyboard 

    Barbara Brenton-Sahr, class keyboard

    Seymour Fink, piano lessons and ensembles

    Kevin Jones, organ

    Nate Shaw, class keyboard