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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.

To schedule an interview, please follow this link and complete this Initial Information Form.

For all questions or further information, please email Leila Viss, Program Coordinator at leilaviss88@gmail.com

Mission

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Program serves as the laboratory school for the Lamont School of Music graduate piano pedagogy program. Our mission is to model the highest standards in piano education while nurturing the joy of music making. We strive for a relevant and holistic curriculum that applies the teaching philosophy of the respected piano pedagogue, Frances Clark, who believed that "there is music in every child." Our goal is twofold: to develop lifetime musicians who are able to communicate their love of music with artistry and confidence, and, to nurture independent learners who are musically literate.

About the Program

We offer students a time-tested and unique program of weekly group and private lessons. Our three-year curriculum is designed to develop every phase of complete musicianship, including music reading, rhythm, theory, creativity and ear training — all ideally suited to group instruction. Private lessons focus on musical and technical development, allowing individualized instruction for each student. Our students get the best of both worlds from the combined group and private lesson structure. In addition, we also offer programs for the adult hobbyist and limited openings for private only (without group) instruction of pre-college students.

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Program also functions as the learning and teaching laboratory for the Lamont School of Music M.M. in piano pedagogy degree program. Lamont graduate students serve as piano preparatory faculty while learning the profession of piano pedagogy. These teachers are highly trained pianists in their own right. As such, students in the piano preparatory program benefit from the most current research in piano education. We are continuously working on improving the standards of the piano teaching profession through our research and exploration of teaching techniques and materials.

Program of Study

Students participate in 30 group lessons and 32 private lessons during the academic year, September – May. Students are also required to take a minimum of four private lessons during the summer. Summer lessons are not included in the tuition, and are paid directly to the instructor.

Level 1 Group Class: Wednesdays 4:00-4:55 p.m.
Students in Level 1 attend a weekly 55 minute group lesson. Additionally, students take a weekly 30 minute private lesson. Students gain a thorough musical foundation using discovery learning, movement and focused listening activities to develop an understanding of the principles of theory, musicianship and performance practice. Furthermore, the class provides children an opportunity to share their performances in a fun and supportive environment.

Level 2 Group Class: Tuesdays 4:30-5:25 p.m.
Students who complete Level 1 in the Spring of 2017 will move into Level 2 in 2017-2018 and Level 3 in 2018-2019. If there are openings in the classes, transfer students will be considered.

Level 3
Enrollment starting Fall of 2018

Enrollment

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 interview also provides the opportunity for you to become acquainted with our faculty, policies and facility.

Interviews will be scheduled after completion and submission of the Initial Information Form. Please direct all questions to Leila Viss at leilaviss88@gmail.com

Faculty

Leila Viss

Leila Viss, coordinator of the Piano Preparatory Program and alumna of University of Denver, owns a creative-based, tech-savvy independent piano studio in Centennial. She holds a church organist position, blogs at 88pianokeys.me, writes a regular column for Clavier Companion called "Teaching With Apps" and authored The iPad Piano Studio, now distributed by Alfred Music. With Bradley Sowash, she is co-founder of 88 Creative Keys, a teacher workshop promoting creativity at the keys. Ms Viss has helped with planning the 2013, 2014 MTNA Jazz/Pop Tracks and served as chair of the 2015 Creative Pianist Track for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She and her husband of 30 years have three grown sons and one daughter-in-law

Paula Flynn

Paula Flynn holds a BS 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 is currently pursuing the MM in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.

 Joseph Harkins

Joseph Harkins holds a BM 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 is currently pursuing the MM in Piano Pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.

Annette Karges

Annette Karges holds a BA in music from Minot State University. She has been an instructor at Children's Music Academy and maintained her own piano studio since 2013. She enjoys witnessing the moment of discovery as individuals grow in their understanding of music. Ms. Karges will be pursuing the MM in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.