Learn a Piece by Yourself

Kent McWilliams, St. Olaf College
Author Profile


With scaffolding from the instructor, students choose a piano piece to learn independently. The instructor will help pick a piece that is appropriate for the student in terms of style and ability level. Then the student prepares a performance of the piece which is expected to be technically correct as well as musically interpreted. Checkpoints through the course of the assignment help the student stay on track and the instructor assess progress on the piece.

Learning Goals


Context for Use

This activity was designed for one-on-one piano studio lessons at a small liberal arts college. The students in the studio are evenly split between First Years, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

Description and Teaching Materials

Learn a Piece by Yourself (Acrobat (PDF) 15kB Apr25 11)
Repertoir Research Guide (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 28kB Jun6 11)

Teaching Notes and Tips



Grading: 5% of the semester grade will be given for the performance of this piece, while 25% of the semester grade will be given for the many preparatory steps you will take in the learning process.

References and Resources