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Comprehensive Piano Curriculum

The Kansas City School of Music piano curriculum is designed to give students the foundation they need in all areas of music. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and skill in 12 different areas:

  • Repertoire
  • Technique
  • Scales and arpeggios
  • Keyboard harmony
  • Music theory
  • Sight reading
  • Music history and literature
  • Ear training
  • Practice technique (approach, methods, skills, etc.)
  • Creativity
  • Transposition
  • Performing

Students systematically progress through 24 levels ranging from beginner through advanced, and must pass an exam at each level. Each exam covers all areas of the curriculum. Students are expected to demonstrate superior musicianship, exceptional performing skills, proper technique, and knowledge of musical concepts.

Benefits of our comprehensive curriculum:


  • Motivated to work toward achieving short and long term goals
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment in reaching those goals
  • Experience all aspects of a thorough music education
  • Learn to play in many different styles and genres
  • Equipped with the skills and knowledge to become independent pianists


  • Experience the pleasure of seeing their children achieve goals
  • Easily follow the progression of the lessons through the curriculum proficiency sheets provided by the teachers
  • Become a part of their child’s music education
  • Feel confident in providing help to their children at home


  • Provided with resources to structure lessons
  • Provided with accountability to avoid gaps in instruction
  • Have the freedom to tailor the lesson to the individual student

Nowhere else in the Kansas City area can you find such a well-developed, well-rounded program for piano instruction. Countless hours have gone into the development of the curriculum to ensure success for students and teachers. Come see for yourself how this program will strengthen your child’s knowledge and love for music.

Piano Admission Requirements

  • Interview

Students and parents interested in lessons at Kansas City School of Music must meet with the instructor in a private interview before lessons begin. This interview gives the students and parents a chance to ask questions and experience interaction with the teacher. It also gives the teacher the opportunity to listen to transfer students, and determine the best place to begin for their first lesson.

  • Parental involvement during lessons and at home
  • Consistent practice of 45 minutes per day
  • Well-maintained acoustic piano with bench for practice

An 88-key digital piano with fully weighted keys is acceptable for the first year of private piano instruction.

Expectations for Piano Lessons


Students are expected to arrive on time for their lesson. Lessons missed by the student because of illness or emergency will be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable time. In the case of illness, if the school is not notified before the scheduled lesson time, the lesson will be forfeited.  In the case of vacations, a maximum of 3 makeup lessons will be allowed and the teacher must be given at least 7 days prior notice.  Lessons missed by the student for any other reason are forfeited. However, the teacher may occasionally make up other lessons missed by the student if sufficient notice is given and if the privilege is not abused. All such make-up lessons are at the sole discretion of the student’s teacher.

Parental Involvement

  • For younger students, parents are expected to observe the lesson. This includes taking copious notes so that they may help their child with practice throughout the week. This will ensure the steady progress of the lessons.
  • Parents are also expected to help their young child practice at home. The teacher will remain in close contact with the parent and communicate when this is no longer necessary.
  • Parents are encouraged to get involved with their child’s piano lessons, regardless of their age.
  • More details on parental involvement


  • Consistent practice is expected of each student. It is often best to schedule practice time and make it part of the daily routine. If regular practice is not maintained, Kansas City School of Music reserves the right to discontinue lessons.
  • The parent is responsible for the child’s high quality practice 45 minutes per day, seven days per week.
  • A well-maintained piano to practice on at home is very important, especially as the student advances.
  • Electronic keyboards are unacceptable as the primary practice instrument. However, an 88-key digital piano with fully weighted keys is acceptable for the first year of private piano instruction.
  • The piano should be in an area free of distractions
  • Bench height and distance should be adjusted appropriately as discussed in lessons.
  • If the student’s feet do not touch the floor, a stool or box should be placed so that the feet are stabilized.

Lesson Behavior/Expectations

  • Nails are to be kept trimmed.
  • No food, gum, or drink (except water) is allowed into the lesson.
  • Parents are expected to support the teacher when student behavior is inappropriate.
  • Disrespect for the teacher will not be tolerated.


  • Students are expected to purchase books and materials promptly. Failure to do so will affect the progress of the lessons.

Piano Lessons

Piano students at the Kansas City School of Music receive comprehensive instruction from our exceptional faculty. We accept children and adults of all ability levels. Piano lessons are tailored to fit each student’s needs. In addition, instructors guide students through the use of a comprehensive piano curriculum developed by our piano faculty. Our students don’t just play piano; they excel at it.

Advantages to Piano Lessons at Kansas City School of Music

    • Comprehensive Piano Curriculum

      At Kansas City School of Music, our piano lessons are designed to train our students in every aspect of the instrument and develop a solid musical foundation. Our piano instructors follow a standardized curriculum. However, instruction will be adjusted based on the strengths and weaknesses of your student’s playing abilities.

    • Master Teachers

      Every great music school starts with experienced music instructors who are looking to make a difference in the lives of their students. Each one of our piano instructors has degrees in music performance and has extensive experience in music education. If you’d like to learn more about each of our piano instructors, you can view their biographies below.

    • Performance Opportunities

      Performing is a key part of learning an instrument. At Kansas City School of Music, we offer ample opportunities for our students to perform. Additionally, students systematically progress through 24 levels of curriculum ranging from beginner through advanced, and must pass an exam at each level. These exams will ensure that they are confident and prepared going into each performance.

    • Exceptional Facilities

      The quality of facility won’t make or break a student’s ability to learn an instrument per se, but it can certainly make it more enjoyable. At Kansas City School of Music, we have two locations for your convenience: our Lenexa campus and our Overland Park campus. Each facility has soundproof walls, temperature control, and professional quality instruments including both digital and acoustic pianos. Our state-of-the-art facilities are just a small part of our standards of excellence.

    • Keyboard Ensembles

      Our keyboard ensembles offer a great way for students to learn in a group setting and take on new challenges that they can’t do practicing on their own. We create ensembles based on the students’ age and ability level so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow as a musician.

    • Parental Involvement

      As a parent, you’re probably looking for any way you can to get involved. Our piano instructors here at Kansas City School of Music are happy to offer you advice and guidance for getting involved with your child’s music education. We require parents to sit in on lessons if their student is in preschool or elementary school because we believe parental involvement is crucial during this stage of musicianship. Visit our parental involvement page to learn more about this.