Programs of Study
Students in Preparing for Prep are beginner students and attend a weekly, 45-minute group lesson. Students gain a thorough musical foundation using singing, movement activities and focused listening activities that prepare them for the more rigorous musical training when private piano lessons begin. This class offers a Dalcroze based curriculum, using movement through space and energy to learn about music.
For information about future iterations of this course, contact Dr. Lysinger directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students in Groups 1-3 attend a weekly, 45-minute group lesson. Additionally, students take a weekly 45-minute private lesson. In the group lessons, students gain a thorough musical foundation using singing, movement activities and focused listening activities that enhance performance. Furthermore, these classes provide children an opportunity to practice performing in a supportive environment.
In the intermediate levels, students attend a monthly, 1-hour performance class and a weekly private lesson during the school year. The performance class meets Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. or from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., as shown on our Calendar. This is a performance-based class in which students perform from memory before their peers while being coached by Dr. Cathy Lysinger, the Artistic Director of the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU. The environment is positive and replicates a formal performance.
Students in groups 8-9 attend a monthly, 2-hour performance class that meets on Tuesday from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. along with a weekly 60-minute lesson during the school year. This class is designed for students who are playing advanced level literature and are committed to practice 1.5 hour to 2 hours per day. Any student is welcome to participate in this class at the discretion of his or her teacher and the leadership of the Piano Prep Department. This is a performance-based class in which students perform from memory before their peers while being coached by Dr. Cathy Lysinger, the Artistic Director of the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU. The environment is positive and replicates a formal performance.
Musicianship Course (recommended)
Recognizing the importance of well-rounded musicianship, we are offering extensive courses in musicianship. Due to the time commitment that a comprehensive course requires, these are now optional to all students and will coordinate with the time of performance classes. This class includes fifteen (15) 30-minute lessons throughout the school year (August to May). The class topics are:
- Piano skills (i.e. harmonization and sight reading)
- Exploration of great masterworks
- Form and analysis training
- Ear training
Recitals are scheduled on Sunday, December 2, 2016 and Sunday, April 30, 2017. All students are required to perform in both recitals. Additionally, speak with your private teacher for information about other performing venues available to students through the Dallas Music Teachers Association. Recital assignments can be found here. Please note your specific recital assignment, and contact Dr. Lysinger if there are any questions or concerns.
All students participate in either DMTA Achievement Auditions or the In-House Festival. These activities serve as a capstone experience for the year as students will prepare 3 pieces for the DMTA Achievement Auditions, or 2 pieces for the in-house auditions and perform the music for an independent judge who will assess the student's skill. Students must perform in either the DMTA Achievement Audition or the In-House Audition to remain in good standing in the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU.
Festivals and Competitions
In the second year of study, students have the option to participate in local festivals and/or competitions sponsored by the Dallas Music Teachers Association. For each event, students perform at least one memorized piece for a judge. Each event is held on a Saturday or Sunday and requires a flexible schedule.