Karen Taylor

Dr. Karen Taylor

Piano Academy Founding Director

Melinda Baird

Melinda Baird

Piano Academy Co-Director,
Coordinator of Student Life
Tony Weinstein

Tony Weinstein

Piano Academy Co-Director,
Artistic Affairs Administration
Welcome from the Directors

Piano Academy


Welcome to the Jacobs School of Music Piano Academy!

For ages 12 - 18


Summer 2020 session dates: June 20 - July 11


The Jacobs School of Music Piano Academy brings serious young pianists together with outstanding teachers and internationally renowned guest artists in an intensive and varied program within one of the world's great schools of music.

Course of Study

Private Lessons

Two individual lessons per week of 50 - 60 minutes each (solo and concerto literature) with core faculty.

Group Classes

Daily group classes feature a variety of programs: interactive sessions (student performances with discussion by classmates and teachers); guest lectures; faculty lecture-recitals and presentations on effective practicing, aspects of style and interpretation, technique, memorization, performance preparation and repertoire.

Ensemble Music

Study of piano duet or chamber works, weekly coaching, and opportunities to perform ensemble music in recital.

Supervised Practicing

Regular morning and afternoon practice periods are scheduled in reserved rooms equipped with grand pianos. Experienced teachers and practice coaches are available to help students work productively and progress rapidly.

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Fundamentals and aural skills, intermediate written theory, or advanced analysis (harmony and form) as determined by placement.

Repertoire to Prepare

Students admitted to the Academy should bring at least three pieces for study: one that is perfected and "performance ready", one that is in the refining stage, and one that is new or "rough."

Feldenkrais Classes (optional)

The Feldenkrais MethodTM teaches one how to relax and function more effectively at the piano and in daily life. In Awareness Through MovementTM lessons, our certified Feldenkrais practitioner leads students through subtle movements that enhance self-awareness, flexibility, and coordination. All ATMTM classes will relate to piano playing and performance. Highly recommended for those wanting to reduce excess physical tension in their playing that can cause pain or eventual injury.

Note: Enrollment in Feldenkrais classes is optional. The total charge is $90 for the full three-week series (8 one-hour classes).

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Master Classes

Please click on the "Faculty" page, located in the left menu, for Master Class faculty.

Hearings to select performers for the master classes will take place on the first Sunday and Monday afternoon of the Academy. Any Piano Academy participant wishing to be considered for this honor must audition on the hearing date with a work from the standard repertoire (for example, one movement from a sonata or concerto, a prelude and fugue, a set of variations, a suite, an étude, or a character piece). The master class audition piece should be memorized and polished.

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Additional Features

Performances: Many performance opportunities, including six concerts showcasing Piano Academy participants.

Summer Festival 2018: Solo piano recitals by Jacobs School artist faculty, guest artists and Academy faculty; lectures and lecture-demos by Academy faculty and guests; duet concert featuring all Piano Academy participants; many duo and chamber music concerts by Jacobs School faculty, students, and guest artists.

Cultural opportunities: Libraries, museums, theaters, book and music stores.

Planned social events: These usually include a recreational outgoing and picnic at a nearby state park, social events on or near campus, as well as group swims and dorm parties.

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