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Time to Begin Piano Study

Time to Begin is our most comprehensive program for early beginners at the piano. It is sure to inspire and educate the budding musician!

Program Description

26 weekly 45- minute group classes Wednesdays 4:30–5:15 p.m., 26 weekly 30- minute private lessons, and 2 recitals*

This two-semester program for elementary school students is taught by Dr. Sara Ernst. The academic year includes weekly group lessons, in which the children explore new concepts together, perform music, and participate in dynamic, musical activities. Weekly private lessons provide individualized attention and goals, and these are taught by instructors who are mentored by Dr. Ernst. Students receive weekly practice assignments, which are augmented through online video tutorials. 

The children will perform in the semester recitals in December and May, and may also participate in the CMTA Achievement Day.  Enrollment is for the duration of the academic year, September through early May. 

*The Center for Piano Studies will resume customary operations in Fall 2021, with classes and lessons occurring in-person at the School of Music. The CPS will follow University procedures and decisions regarding cancellations and closures, and will continue required safety measures (COVID-19 related). 

Cost: 2 payments of $435 or 6 payments of $145.  

See Policies and Tuition for details. Register online


To be eligible for Time to Begin, students must be enrolled in first or second grade and must be able to read simple words and write basic numbers and letters. Students with prior study may transfer into the program, pending an interview to ensure correct placement. 

Student piano requirement: Acoustic piano (preferred) or 88-key digital piano with stand and bench 

Practice requirement: 30 minutes a day, five days a week 

Enrollment and Weekly Schedule 

Time to Begin Weekly Class Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. Beginners (primer method)

Private lessons can be scheduled at 4:00 p.m. (prior to group class), 5:15 p.m. (after group class), and may be available on an alternate day of the week. Classes will be enrolled on a first come, first serve, basis. 

Class Content 

During weekly group lessons, the children explore new concepts together, perform music, and participate in activities designed to increase abilities in music fundamentals. This includes the study of rhythm, pitch, music reading, listening skills, and music theory. During weekly private lessons, students explore technique and repertoire. Students receive weekly practice assignments, which may be augmented through online videos.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.