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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Piano Preparatory Program

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Program

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Beginner Piano Classes for Adults

The Piano Preparatory Department Adult Beginner Piano Classes are now open for enrollment!

We believe that there is music in everyone, yes, even those who are embarking on their journey at the piano as an adult.

Studies have shown that learning piano as an adult in a group setting has many advantages and benefits. We are pleased to have you experience this unique opportunity with us.

There are three sessions throughout the year and you are welcome to register for one, two or three of them. Whatever is convenient for you.

Fall Session: Sept 20th - Nov. 8th.
Winter Session: Jan. 17th - March 7th.
Spring Session: April 4th - May 30th. No class Thursday April 18th.

Each session lasts eight weeks and is a module geared towards a specific topic. Each module is a separate course and is not dependant on what was covered in the previous module so feel free to sign up for one, two or all three.

Sessions begin at 6:30 and end at 7:30pm on Thursday evenings and meet in the Digital Piano Lab, Room 437 in the Lamont School of Music Building. A tuition discount for DU faculty or staff is offered.

Follow this link to learn more and to register.

The Lamont Piano Preparatory Program for Children

Enrollment for children ages 6-10 will close August 15. Please complete this brief form to set up an interview.



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:

1. Develop lifetime musicians who are able to communicate their love of music with artistry and confidence.

2. 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 flexible programs for the adult hobbyist.
Registration for Adult Classes will reopen in August, 2018.

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 4 private lessons during the summer. Summer lessons are not included in the tuition, and are paid directly to the instructor.

To gain the most benefit from the program, It is expected that students will advance through all three levels of study.

Level 1 Group Class: (Ages 5-6) Day and Time TBA
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: (Ages 7-8) Day and Time TBA
Students who complete Level 1 in the Spring of 2018 will move into Level 2 in 2018-2019 and Level 3 in 2019-2020. If there are openings in the classes, transfer students will be considered.

Level 3 (Ages 8-9) Day and Time TBA
Students who complete Level 2 in the Spring of 2018 will move into Level 3 in 2018-19. If there are openings in the classes, transfer students will be considered.


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.

Please follow this link for the interview form and complete.

Direct all questions to Leila Viss at [email protected].

Upon completion, you will be contacted about setting up an interview.

We look forward to hearing from you!



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, 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

Annette Karges

Annette Karges holds a B.A. 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 M.M. in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.

Seth Quay

Seth Quay earned his bachelors in piano performance from the University of Montana in Missoula. He has worked professionally as an accompanist and teacher since 2011 in Montana and California, as well as a lounge pianist in Glacier National Park. He enjoys exploring nature as much as he enjoys exploring classical music. Seth is a dedicated practitioner of yoga and physical wellness, and believes in a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle that promotes personal care and mindfulness. The Feldenkrais Method has also been instrumental in his piano studies and body awareness. Seth will be earning his M.M. in piano with an emphasis in piano pedagogy at DU.

Casey Loudin

Casey Loudin completed her B.A. in music from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the spring of 2018. During her time there she held leadership positions within the UAH Collegiate Chapter of Music Teacher's National Association. As president of the chapter, she helped lead educational presentations around the country and was selected to present at the Alabama Music Teacher Association conference. Casey established a private piano studio at a Huntsville, Alabama elementary school in 2015 and has maintained her studio throughout her college career. Casey is pursuing a M.M. in piano with an emphasis in piano pedagogy at DU's Lamont School of Music.

Additional graduate student bios to be added shortly.

For all questions or further information, please email Leila Viss, Program Coordinator at [email protected]