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Keyboard Division

OHIO Keyboard 2017


The Ohio University Keyboard Division has distinguished itself as an international leader in the field of keyboard education, offering a broad spectrum of degrees and innovative curricula designed to train the next generation of keyboard musicians to enter the profession with skill and confidence. Recognized for our nurturing yet rigorous learning environment, our programs promote high performance and academic standards through a broad spectrum of performance opportunities, stimulating coursework, supervised teaching and research initiatives. Furthermore, we endeavor to foster innovative, entrepreneurial thinking and visionary leadership among our students.


The Ohio University Keyboard Division is staffed by five internationally recognized faculty who are committed to providing the highest quality educational experiences for our students. Our distinguished faculty regularly present recitals throughout the United States and abroad, and are esteemed authors, clinicians, and pedagogues. The Keyboard Division is comprised of approximately 40 undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe. Our alumni hold faculty positions at prominent colleges and universities, and serve as independent piano teachers and studio owners/operators as well as leading contributors to the music publication industry.


For more detailed information about our programs, click on the links below:

Piano Performance & Pedagogy
Collaborative Piano


Degrees Offered



Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance
Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance & Pedagogy
Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance
Bachelor of Music Education with Keyboard Emphasis
Bachelor of Music Therapy with Keyboard Emphasis



Master of Music in Piano Performance
Master of Music in Piano Performance & Pedagogy
Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
Master of Music in in Organ Performance
Master of Music in in Organ Performance & Pedagogy
Graduate Music Performance Certificate


Keyboard Division Faculty

Dr. Christopher Fisher
Chair, Keyboard Division
Professor of Piano
Coordinator of Piano Pedagogy and Group Piano Studies

Dr. Paul Barte
Associate Professor of Organ and Harpsichord

Gail Berenson
Professor Emerita of Piano

Dr. Sean Parsons
Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano and Theory

Dr. Stephanie Wu
Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano


Audition Requirements

Collaborative Piano


Piano Performance & Pedagogy

The Ohio University Piano Performance & Pedagogy program is one of the country’s most active and highly regarded programs. Ohio University offers several degrees that emphasize piano pedagogy, including the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance and pedagogy. Our programs promote high performance standards and offer stimulating coursework, supervised teaching, and research activity. 


Students gain valuable teaching experience through their work with pre-college children, university students, and adults in both group and private learning environments. Group instruction takes place in one of two state-of-the-art piano laboratories that include Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos, SmartBoard technology, and other instructional software. Our students participate in professional organizations including the Ohio University Collegiate Chapter of MTNA (recipient of the 2015 Benjamin Whitten MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year Award) and the Southeast District of OhioMTA. 


Graduates of Ohio University’s piano pedagogy program hold faculty positions at colleges and universities, and our alumni serve as independent piano teachers and studio owners/operators as well as leading contributors to the music publication industry. 


Competitive graduate assistantships are available.



The following is a sampling of courses offered as part of the piano pedagogy curriculum:

Piano Pedagogy I
Piano Pedagogy II
Group Piano Pedagogy
Practicum - Supervised Teaching
Directed Readings in Piano Pedagogy
Independent Study in Piano Pedagogy
Entrepreneurship Certificate Courses


Ohio University Piano Pedagogy Seminar

Ohio University is home to the Ohio University Piano Pedagogy Seminar, an internationally known summer workshop that features internationally celebrated visiting artists and clinicians. The seminar provides piano teachers and students with valuable professional enrichment opportunities through a series of energizing workshops, presentations and performances. Participants have opportunities to share ideas and engage in dialogue with clinicians and with one another through round-table discussions and informal conversations. The event is held on the Athens campus of Ohio University in the scenic hills of southeast Ohio. For more information, visit:


Piano Pedagogy Resource Center 

The Ohio University School of Music Piano Pedagogy Resource Center houses the latest in teaching materials and technology. The Center includes a collection of teaching methods and materials, standard intermediate and early advanced teaching repertoire, duet/ensemble literature, audio, video and software resources, educational tools, journals/periodicals, and a variety of books related to piano teaching and playing. The facility serves as a hub for research and exploration for our students, faculty, and regional piano teachers. 


Athens Community Music School 

The Athens Community Music School (ACMS) provides Ohio University pedagogy students with a wealth of teaching opportunities as well as the chance to observe qualified, seasoned teachers in action. ACMS offers a variety of piano-related programs including private instruction, adult group piano classes, and a group piano preparatory program for children. Our piano performance & pedagogy students teach as student-faculty through ACMS, gaining valuable teaching experience while providing a stream of income. 


Recent Internationally Renowned Piano Pedagogy Visiting Lecturers

Nancy Bachus - Independent piano teacher and author
Bruce Berr - Independent piano teacher, composer, author
Marvin Blickenstaff - New School for Music Study
Sylvia Coats - Wichita State University; author, Thinking as You Play
Brenda Dillon - RMM specialist; author, Piano Fun for Adult Beginners
Robert Duke - University of Texas-Austin; author, Intelligent Music Teaching
Randall Faber - Co-author, Piano Adventures
Barbara Fast - University of Oklahoma
Pete Jutras - University of Georgia; editor, Clavier Companion
Gayle Kowalchyk - Keyboard Editor, Alfred Music Company
E.L. Lancaster - Senior Vice-President and Keyboard Editor-in-Chief, Alfred Music Company
Peter Mack - Cornish College of the Arts/Steinway Artist
Jane Magrath - University of Oklahoma; author, The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature
Christopher Norton - Internationally celebrated composer
Robert Pace - Columbia University; author, Robert Pace Piano Method
Mary Craig Powell - Independent piano teacher, author, and international Suzuki trainer
Barbara Lister Sink - Salem College; author, Freeing the Caged Bird


For more information, contact Dr. Christopher Fisher at



Collaborative Piano

The collaborative piano program at the Ohio University School of Music offers a unique curriculum of intensive study at the graduate (master’s) level to pianists who have specialized interests in the piano/vocal and piano/instrumental repertoire. Through intensive study in private instruction, coaching, and diction and literature classes, students gain greater familiarity with the standard repertoire and develop the musicianship skills required of advanced collaborative pianists. Our program provides a personal level of attention and focus while developing the skills necessary for career advancement. Additionally, students will be coached by the internationally respected artist-teachers of the OU School of Music’s divisions of keyboard, voice, strings, and winds through collaborative projects and assistantships. Our students regularly participate in public master classes taught by renowned guest artists.

Application and Audition Requirements for the Collaborative Piano degree



The Ohio University School of Music offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in organ performance, with curriculum that includes applied study, organ literature and organ pedagogy courses. The University chapel has an outstanding tracker organ built by the Gene Bedient company in 1997. It serves as the primary instrument for organ instruction and practicing. There are scholarships available for qualified students and graduate assistantships are possible for Masters candidates.

Graduate Organ Audition Requirements:

  • Performance of a major work by Bach and contrasting works by 19th-20th century composers




Christopher Fisher

Professor of Piano; Chair, Keyboard Division, Music
(740) 593-4233

Paul Barte

Associate Professor of Music History
(740) 593-4253

Sean Parsons

Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies, Music Theory

Stephanie Wu

Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano