Piano Pedagogy

Teaching music

Maranatha’s pedagogy program is unique in that pedagogy majors have three years of paid teaching experience in our piano prep school before they graduate! While teaching in the prep school, pedagogy majors not only have the practical experience of teaching private lessons to various levels of students, they also learn how to successfully teach early childhood music and movement classes, coach piano ensembles, teach theory classes, prepare students for recitals and competitions, and plan special events.

In addition to earning their National Music Teacher Certification through the Music Teachers National Association, pedagogy majors also earn their Level 1 Early Childhood Music and Movement Certification through the national Early Childhood Music and Movement Association.

The pedagogy courses help students develop their critical thinking skills and apply music education research to teaching. Students learn to evaluate a wide array of pedagogical philosophies and methods, as well as intelligently propose solutions for the current issues in the field. Additionally, Maranatha’s pedagogy program challenges the status-quo by specializing in successfully teaching piano to beginners from an innovative sound before sight approach.

Students also learn the business aspects of operating a professional studio. Students learn this by working in the piano prep school and by taking a senior capstone practicum course. Furthermore, the 128 credit program enables pedagogy students to easily add on a business minor or concentration, and students are strongly encouraged to do so.

“My favorite part of teaching at Maranatha is the opportunities I have to teach and live out my faith.” – Dr. Michelle Clater, Faculty


Our faculty knows music

Dr. Rick Townsend came to Maranatha in 1996 to direct the music teacher education and instrumental music programs, and now has more than 35 years of music teaching experience.

He has taught all levels of music in public and Christian schools. This includes early childhood music and movement classes, elementary general music, keyboard, secondary band and choir, college instrumental, and adult community groups.

Read more about our Music faculty.

Piano pedagogy options at Maranatha

  • Music Major: Piano Pedagogy
  • Music Education Major General Certification: Piano Pedagogy
  • Music Minor: Piano Pedagogy
  • Music Concentration: Piano Pedagogy
  • Music Certificate: Piano Pedagogy (through the piano prep school)

Your potential career

  • Private professional studio teacher: private, group, and early childhood music
  • Conservatory music studio teacher
  • Conservatory administrator
  • Elementary music class instructor (music ed/piano ped track)
  • Composer/arranger for pedagogical publishers
  • Accompanist/soloist
  • Graduate school

Your potential schedule

Fall Spring 
Introductory Music Seminar0Harmony 12
Basic Music Literature3Piano Freshman Fieldwork0.25
Aural Skills Foundations2Piano Pedagogy 22
Secondary Proficiency Lesson1Primary Proficiency Lesson2
Piano Pedagogy 12Keyboard Skills 1 (Remedial)1
Primary Proficiency Lesson2Performing Group0.5
Performing Group0.5Repertoire0
Repertoire0Hymnplaying 11
New or Old Testament Survey3Freshman Platform0
English Composition 13Secondary Proficiency Lesson1
Secondary Proficiency Test0
New or Old Testament Survey3
English Composition 23
Fall Spring 
Introduction to Music Technology2Early Childhood Music & Movement1
Intermediate Aural Skills1Early Childhood Music Fieldwork0
Harmony 22Harmony 32
Sophomore Student Teaching 10.5Piano Sophomore Fieldwork0.25
Hymnplaying 21Sophomore Student Teaching 20.5
Primary Proficiency Lesson2Keyboard Ensembles2
Keyboard Skills 2 (Remedial)1Hymnplaying 31
Performing Group0.5Keyboard Skills 3 (Remedial-Piano majors)1
Repertoire0Performing Group0.5
Piano Pedagogy 32Primary Proficiency Lesson2
Baptist Heritage3Repertoire0
Fundamentals of Public Speaking2Sophomore Platform0
Christian Life and Leadership3
The Modern World3
Knowing Early Childhood Music1
Fall Spring 
Advanced Aural Skills1Middle Childhood Music & Movement2
Elementary Conducting2Form and Analysis2
Harmony 42Music History Course2
Music History Course2Keyboard Literature2
Junior Student Teaching 10.5Junior Student Teaching 20.5
Accompanying1Primary Proficiency Lesson2
Keyboard Arranging1Performing Group0.5
Keyboard Skills 4 (Remedial-Piano majors)1Repertoire0
Performing Group0.5Bible Doctrine 1 or 23
Primary Proficiency Lesson2Science Elective3
Bible Doctrine 1 or 23
Knowing Middle Childhood Music1
Fall Spring 
Music History Course2Music History Course2
Piano Pedagogy Practicum1Senior Student Teaching 20.5
Senior Student Teaching 10.5Primary Proficiency Lesson with Senior Recital2
Primary Proficiency Lesson2Performing Group0.5
Performing Group0.5Repertoire0
Repertoire0Bible Electives3
Bible Elective3Humanities Elective3
Humanities Elective3Math Elective3
American Studies Elective3Literature Elective3