Piano Studies at Oregon State University

Male Piano Student Playing Steinway PianoRegistering for Individual Lessons

Individual piano lessons are available for intermediate through advanced students. Beginning lessons are also offered when instructor schedules allow. In general, it is recommended that absolute beginners register for group piano lessons.

The fee for individual lessons is $230 per credit.  Lessons are either one or two credits.

Being placed in individual lessons is easy.  Please email Dr. Rachelle McCabe for more information about piano placement. Note: Dr. McCabe is the only person who can facilitate your override for registration. 

You may request to study with a specific faculty member, however you must still contact Dr. McCabe for an override to register. Communication with your prospective teacher will ensue and your lesson time will be scheduled. Once you have registered, you may begin lessons. Under no circumstances may lessons commence without completion of the registration process.

Levels of Individual Lesson Instruction

MUP 160  Beginning Piano

Although we strongly encourage group lessons over individual lessons for absolute beginners, beginners may occasionally be placed in individual lessons. MUP 160 is also the level for students who may have studied for some time, but may not yet be at the level of skill described as “intermediate”  (see MUP 170.)

There is no performance expectation for MUP 160 students, though students may be encouraged to share their progress with peers in an informal recital or studio class setting.

MUP 170   Intermediate Piano

Before beginning work at the intermediate level, a student should be able to read music notation, readily locate pitches at the keyboard, and perform short pieces with reasonable accuracy. The student should be able to identify lengths of notes and rests, recognize rhythmic patterns, and understand basic meter. The student should be able to perform a piece successfully with correct fingering, articulations, dynamics, and marks of expression, with energy, concentration, and attention to mood.   

Students in MUP 170 will have the opportunity to perform for classmates in studio performance classes and/or a recital.

MUP 190 - MUP 490  Advanced Piano

At this level, students must be able to apply certain principles of performance across a wide range of literature. In addition to being able to perform a piece with the criteria stated for MUP 170, the student must also meet the level of repertoire at each course level. He or she should be adept with stylistic matters such as phrasing, rubato, where and how to apply accents, tone color, and pedaling. He or she should also possess excellent practice habits. At this level the expectation is higher for artistry and discipline, compared to that of MUP 170. 

Advanced piano students will have the opportunity to perform for classmates and faculty in studio performance classes or recitals.

At the end of each term, students in advanced lessons are required to perform a jury.   

Music majors in the piano option at OSU are required to reach MUP 490.  Performances in recitals and regular participation in studio classes is expected. Music minors and non-majors are also welcome to participate in the MUP 190 - 490 track of piano study.

Supplementary studies in organ and harpsichord may also be available.

Apply and Audition

Generous piano studies scholarships are available for the 2017-2018 academic year, including the  new Folts Family Piano Scholarship, a $5,000 award.

There are three ways to audition for piano scholarships:

1. Register online for a scholarship audition date at OSU.

2. Schedule an alternative date for an audition by contacting Dr. Rachelle McCabe via e-mail at: rmccabe@oregonstate.edu.

3. Submit a recent video in lieu of a live audition. E-mail Dr. Rachelle McCabe for instructions.

Visit liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/musicscholarships for more information about music scholarships.

Piano Faculty

Dr. Rachelle Mc Cabe seated at a piano.

Dr. Rachelle Mc Cabe

Director of Piano Studies



Dr. Matthew Goodrich

Dr. Matthew Goodrich


Collaborative Piano

Alexander Technique

Dr. David Servias

Dr. David Servias


Music Theory

Jazz Piano