The core of PCC's Keyboard Studies program is three-fold:
- Individual Instruction
- Piano Ensemble and Piano Accompanying
- Class Piano (Keyboard Skills and Beginning Through Intermediate Class Piano)
Piano Ensemble and Piano Accompanying
In addition to teaching the classical solo piano repertoire, PCC has always encouraged pianists to play in ensemble with others. In 1981, Mary Hense started a piano ensemble class that offered instruction for piano duets and piano duos not only for piano performance majors, but also for those amateur pianists who had their first experience with the instrument in class piano (MUSIC 041A) and continued through the sequence of four more semesters of class piano. Laraine Stivers-Madden started a Piano Accompanying class some ten years later to teach pianists, singers and instrumentalists the art of collaboration with the rich repertoire of art songs and instrumental sonatas.
The piano ensembles program offers pianists the opportunity to experience making music with another pianist. Through piano duet (one piano-four hands), duo (two piano-four hands) and other literature, the class will study a variety of musical styles and their interpretations as well as work on fundamental ensemble skills such as collaboration, synchronization and rehearsal techniques. It also offers activities that will develop piano technique, efficient practice habits and sight-reading skills.
The ensemble program for pianists continues to flourish today. Students who have taken piano ensembles have won prizes from both local piano ensemble competitions (Fullerton Piano Ensemble Festival-Grand Prize) and internationally at the Piano 6/8 Hand Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany.
More experienced pianists may enroll in Piano Accompanying (MUSIC 44), an introductory course on the techniques of accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists through the study and performance of Italian, German and french vocal arts songs and instrumental works.
Former participants of the Piano Accompanying class have pursued graduate degrees in Collaborative Piano and are working as professional accompanists.
United States Students
Fees and Tuition