Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Prep School Programs

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Music Preparatory School offers programs in piano, string, guitar and percussion.

30-, 45-, and 60- minute lessons are offered in each isntrumental area in the following plans:

Solo Plan
Private lessons only, no elective classes
Duo Plan
Private lessons + 1 elective class
Trio Plan 
Private lessons + 2 elective classes
Elective Classes
Students may register for elective classees only

Piano Program
Luz Manriquez, Director

Our Piano Program, designed by Professor Hanna Wu Li and directed by Luz Manriquez, combines outstanding private piano instruction with classes in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, music theory, composition, improvisation and chamber music. A public, free recital is given at the end of each semester. Each year many students receive national recognition for excellence. 

Private Piano Lessons:
Students may choose a 30, 45, or 60 minute weekly private lesson. In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take a music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship or Theory, Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. One music class may be taken each semester at no additional cost. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays on campus, although some teachers may teach throughout the week on campus. An interview with Professor Luz Manriquez is required for admittance into the Piano Program. Call the Music Preparatory Office to schedule an appointment 412.268.3667.

Beginning Piano Program for Children:
Carla LaRocca, Director 
Beginning Piano for Children is designed to provide beginning students (ages 5-7) with comprehensive instruction, a natural approach to the keyboard, fluency in reading and musicianshipl. Students have a 45-minute group lesson, a 30-minute private lesson and a 45-minute Dalcroze Eurhythmics class each week. The group class concentrates on note reading, counting, rhythm, fingering, hand position, ear training, sight reading, solo performance, and duet playing. The private lesson is devoted to individual coaching and development.

Beginning Piano for Children is a 4 consecutive semester commitment. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Fall semester commit to a 4 semester program running Fall, Spring, Summer then graduating at the end of the next Fall. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Spring semester commit to a 4 semester program running Spring, Summer, Fall then graduating at the end of the next Spring.  Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Summer semester commit to a 4 semester program running Summer, Fall, Spring, then graduating at the end of the next Summer.

Call the Music Preparatory Office to schedule an appointment 412-268-3667.

Now accepting applications for Fall 2021

The Carnegie Mellon String Preparatory School offers a comprehensive program for students ages 6-18 years of age. Students may enroll in private lessons for violin, viola, cello, and double bass. We offer a full curriculum of classes including Group Classes, Eurhythmics, Music Theory, Composition and Chamber Music. Each year is comprised of three semesters, Fall, Spring & Summer, with recitals ending the Fall and Spring semesters. 

In the summer, string students are encouraged to attend the Carnegie Mellon Summer String Workshop. The Summer String Workshop, sponsored by the CMU String Preparatory School, is a 5-day program which focuses on bringing string students from the greater Pittsburgh area together for an inspiring week of solo and ensemble playing.

Private String Instruction:
Students sign up for a weekly private lesson. Lesson duration is based upon student's level of experience. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays or weekdays.

In addition to a weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take music classes offered at the Carnegie Mellon campus on Saturdays: Group Classes for violin, viola, or cello, Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Composition, or Chamber Music. These classes help to develop ensemble playing, listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge and structural and compositional techniques.

Group classes are fundamental to developing student’s proficiency at ensemble playing and note reading, rhythm, counting, and sight reading. We highly recommended elementary level students enroll in the weekly class. Group classes are based upon student enrollment. 

Our Guitar Preparatory Program offers private lessons to the beginner and more skilled student ages 6-18. Lessons focus on classical method and material to build strong music-reading skill, chord and scale theory, and improvisation. 

Lessons are generally taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus although some lessons may be taught throughout the week based upon teacher schedule and availability. 

In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take an age appropriate music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Advanced Theory and Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus. 

For a guitar consultation, call the Music Preparatory Office 412.268.3667 or send a request by e-mail to music-preparatory@andrew.cmu.edu.

Private percussion lessons for students of varying ages and abilities in all areas of percussion (concert, drum set, etc.).  Please call the Music Preparatory Office 412.268.3667 or send a request by e-mail to music-preparatory@andrew.cmu.edu to inquire more and schedule a consultation.