Piano Pedagogy

Course Details

Course Number
MUSC 3833
Section Number
MUSC 3833
Fall 2017
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 2:00p - 3:20p

Dr. Ruth Morrow (view Profile)


The Independent Piano Teacher's Studio Handbook

Course Objectives

Piano Pedagogy is a survey of the methods and materials available to private piano teachers and students.  Additionally, students of this course will be required to observe and comment upon lessons given by area teachers, and are encouraged as possible to teach students (children and adults) from the community to gain experience of and insight into the art of private music teaching.


Course Expectations

1.      Appear interested.

2.      You won’t appear interested if you are not in class.

3.      As possible, you will teach students in Model Class for experience (without pay).  You may accept payment for any additional students you teach.  You will occasionally be asked to video lessons for class feedback or as possible to teach live in class.  Lesson plans and self-critiques will be evaluated.

4.      You will have oral presentations to be given in class on an ongoing and regular basis.

5.      You will have one major written assignment, due November 21, 2017, and will present to the class on your topic in the weeks following its due date.


Grading Standards

This is a participation course.  Each student is highly encouraged to teach students from the community (#3 above).  This teaching and its evaluation will be factored into the semester grade.  There is one major written project (#5 of expectations) plus numerous smaller ones (#4 of expectations).


            Class participation and Oral Presentations                  50%


            Written Assignments                                                   30%


            Teaching in Model Class                                            20%


Final Exam

12/14/2017 1:00p - 3:00p

Submission Format Policy

All written work is to be printed after being written in Word, Times New Roman, 12-point font.  Forms (for method analysis, book commentary, and private teacher observations) may be handwritten so long as the handwriting is legible to the instructor.


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Assignments received by the instructor after the due date and time will merit at most half credit.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Please see Expectations, #s 1 and 2.  In other words, this is like life: please show up on time ready to engage yourself with the spirit and material of the course.

Other Policies

Academic (Dis)Honesty: Plagiarism is NOT allowed!!!  Doing so can result in penalties ranging from receiving a “0” on an assignment to being dropped from the course with the annotation of “plagiarism” being added to your official MSU transcript, depending on the  severity of the infraction.  Cheating by any means will result in similar actions.


Special Needs: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with the professor to discuss these needs as soon as possible.  Please note that in order to qualify for consideration of special accommodations, the student must be registered with the MSU Office of Disability Services, and the professor must receive a memo on file from that office, along with the Special Accommodations Request Form.


Student Privacy: Federal privacy law prohibits the instructor from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases the professor will not discuss students’ academic progress or other matters with their parents.  Please do not have them call.  Regardless of these important legal considerations, the professor’s general policy is to communicate with the student(s), not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form.


Social Justice: Social justice is stated as one of Midwestern State University’s core values, and the professor considers the classroom to be a place where the students will be treated with respect as human beings, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability.  Moreover, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided the students can agree to disagree.  It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students be able to consider the classroom a safe environment.


Campus Carry: Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August1, 2016.  Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law.  For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at