Academy Piano Major

Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school offers student pianists a program of pre-professional music training and college preparatory academics. Students graduate well-prepared for the rigors of study at the university and conservatory level.

Students may study piano at several levels of intensity.  A piano major will have a primary focus on piano and will have an hour lesson weekly as part of their program of study.  Students who are less advanced but interested in developing their keyboard skills may take a group piano class; more advanced students may sign up for “piano minor” lessons as instructor time is available and as their own time commitments allow.  Piano majors are accepted as such in the admissions process or by audition during the year. Placement in private minor-level lessons or piano class is determined by interview and audition at the beginning of the academic year. At all levels, the aim is to build a strong foundation as a musician and performer: technique, productive and disciplined practice habits, and musical awareness.

In addition to regular training by the artistic faculty, students have special opportunities to participate in master classes, workshops and lectures by internationally known visiting artists.  Recent guests include Robert McDonald and Matti Raekallio (Juilliard), Frank Weinstock and Elizabeth Pridonoff (Cincinnati), YongHi Moon (Peabody), and many others.

Core Curriculum 

Course

Term

Grade

Title

MUS033-034

Fall & Spring

9,10,11,12,PG

Private Lesson

MUS101-502

Fall & Spring

11,12,PG

Music Theory

MUS511-514

Fall & Spring

11,12,PG

Musicianship Skills

MUS099-100

Fall & Spring

9,10,11,12,PG

Studio

For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.

Private Lessons

A piano major will have a primary focus on piano and will have an hour lesson weekly as part of their program of study.

The goal of private piano instruction is the development of the individual as a musician, pianist, and performer.  In addition to weekly private lessons, students will attend studio class weekly and will have opportunities to perform each semester in that class, on student recitals, in solo recitals, and in some cases, off campus as well.  Piano majors will be expected to practice at least three hours per day, and most piano majors at Interlochen practice more than this amount.

Non-major Students taking lessons will be expected to practice about two hours daily for a one hour lesson, or one hour daily for a half-hour lesson.  

Materials:

Individual repertoire and technique assignments will be determined based on the student’s background and capabilities. The instructor will evaluate and discuss the student’s musical goals and technical needs, and will choose music and technical studies that are appropriate. That music will generally reflect a variety of styles, will reflect the individual student’s performing experience and repertoire, and will set both long-term goals as well as goals that are attainable on a weekly and a semester time line.  In most cases, student expectations will include some level of recital performances, and some students may wish to participate in competitions on or off campus as well.

Typical repertoire for piano majors would include:

  • major works of Bach: Preludes and Fugues, Toccatas, Suites, etc.,
  • complete sonatas by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven
  • romantic works such as Chopin Ballades, Scherzos, or Polonaises
  • comparable works by Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms,
  • representative works from Debussy and Ravel
  • Sonatas by Prokofieff, Muczynski, significant works of other 20th and 21st century composers
  • Etudes by Moszkowski, Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Bolcom, etc.  
  • Concertos from the standard literature

Visiting Artists

In addition to regular training by the artistic faculty, students have special opportunities to participate in master classes, workshops and lectures by internationally known visiting artists.  Recent guests include Robert McDonald and Matti Raekallio (Juilliard), Frank Weinstock and Elizabeth Pridonoff (Cincinnati), YongHi Moon (Peabody), and many others.

Faculty

Dr. Michael Coonrod

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Piano Institute

D.M.A., M.M.A., Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University; B.M., University of Montana, with honors; Three summers at the Aspen Music School

Dr. Thomas (T.J.) Lymenstull

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Piano Institute

D.M.A., University of Southern California; M.M., B.M., Performers Certificate, Eastman School of Music; Fulbright study in piano and conducting at Hochschule fur Musik und darststellende Kunst, Vienna, Austria