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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Piano preparatory class

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Program

Interviews are now being scheduled for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Please complete the Initial Information Form and return to Mary Beth Shaffer, Program Coordinator,

About the Program

The Piano Preparatory Program at Lamont is a community music program designed to bring outstanding piano education to children ages 6-11. A carefully planned curriculum is designed to develop complete musicianship in all students. We are also a learning laboratory where Lamont graduate students work as Piano Preparatory faculty while learning the profession of piano pedagogy. As such, students in the Piano Preparatory program benefit from the most current research in piano education.

We offer comprehensive music instruction through a unique, time-tested combination of group and private piano lessons.

The program has three primary goals:

  • To achieve musical excellence while developing in our students confidence, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.
  • To nurture students' ability to learn the language of music.
  • To open for exploration the world of music for our students through the study of classical piano, music theory, and history through the national standard of weekly group and private lessons.

Program of Study

Level 1 (Fall 2017 with limited openings)
Group class meets on Wednesdays from 4:45 p.m. - 5:40 p.m.

Level 2 (Fall 2017 with possible openings)
Group class meets on Wednesdays from 3:45 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.

Students in both levels attend a weekly 55 minute group lesson. Additionally, students take a weekly 30 minute private lesson. Students gain a thorough musical foundation using singing, movement activities and focused listening activities that enhance performance. Furthermore, the class provides children an opportunity to practice performing in a supportive environment.

Level 3 (enrollment starting Fall 2018)


All prospective students, are interviewed personally as a first step in the enrollment procedure. The primary purpose of the interview is to assess musical readiness for beginners. The assessment fee will be waived for DU faculty/staff and their dependents. The interview also provides the opportunity for you to become acquainted with our faculty, policies and facility.


Mary Beth Shaffer, NCTM, is the Coordinator of the Lamont Piano Preparatory Program and Director of the Lamont Summer Academy. She has served on the faculties of Grinnell College, The University of Iowa, University of Northwestern St. Paul, the University of St. Thomas, Rocky Ridge Music Center, and Pikes Peak Community College, and has worked in arts administration at the UI's Hancher Auditorium, Arts Education Outreach and Project Art.

Ms. Shaffer has taught piano for over 35 years and has extensive experience teaching piano pedagogy and supervising graduate pedagogy students in the preparatory program at the University of St. Thomas Conservatory.

Her students have been prize-winners in many competitions, including the MTNA Auditions, the MMTA Young Artist Auditions, the CSMTA Auditions, the Schubert Club Auditions and the Thursday Musical Auditions, and have performed with the Des Moines Symphony, the Fort Dodge Symphony, the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, the Rocky Ridge Chamber Orchestra and on "From the Top."

Ms. Shaffer is an experienced adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States. Her articles on piano technique have been published in Keyboard Companion magazine. She has held several state and local offices in both the Music Teachers National Association and the National Federation of Music Clubs and is currently President of the Colorado State Music Teachers Association. In 1994, she was awarded the Master Teacher Certificate by the Music Teachers National Association.

Paula Flynn holds a B.S. in music from Valley City State University and has taught in her own private studio since 1988. Ms. Flynn is active as a collaborative pianist and adjudicator and will be pursuing the M.M. in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.

Joseph Harkins holds a B.M. in jazz studies from Western Michigan University. He has been an instructor with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival Education Department and the Marshall Music Company. Mr. Harkins will be pursuing the M.M. in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.