Progress: The student must make satisfactory progress in the designated lesson, theory, technique and performance books over the course of each term. Each student may proceed at his or her own pace, but in general a student should complete one set of books within one year or less. Progress any slower than this will prevent the student from progressing to the advanced level before high school graduation (7 years). See the Daily Practice Requirements.
Advancement: The student’s advancement to the next level is determined by successful completion of all the materials at the current level. This may happen at any time and is in no way coordinated to the academic year term schedule. In most cases, students will overlap levels for several weeks as they finish some items in the pervious level, and will not be considered advanced to the next level until those lingering items are completed.
Performances: Each student must perform at least once each year at a recital or competition, after completion of two terms or 6 months of lessons. The student must perform a different repertoire piece at each recital appearance, but may perform a repeat piece if it is the second piece and has not been performed previously by the student at the same venue (PPTA or KMI). Students are encouraged to perform at each KMI sponsored recital as well as any outside recitals available. (See Performance for more information on recitals, ensembles, competitions and other performance opportunities).
Juried Evaluations: Many professional organizations provide programmed evaluations for young musicians. They are conducted by outside teachers, and they grade the students against a syllabus or standards guideline. All KMI piano students are required to participate in the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association (PPTA) Evaluations (in May each year). Students of other instruments will be required to participate in similar evaluations programs as the KMI faculty become aware of them, and take the necessary steps to make our students eligible for participation.
Ensemble: All non-piano students are required to participate in at least one large ensemble each year. This may be the school chorus, band or orchestra, or a city-wide ensemble such as the Pittsburgh Sinfonietta. Each student must consult with her or his teacher about selecting the appropriate ensemble. Piano students who are not studying a secondary instrument are strongly encouraged to participate in the school chorus.
Instrument: All students must have a working instrument in their home, whether owned or rented, on which they can practice daily. Using a piano at a relative’s house can suffice in the beginning, but after a few months the student will need an instrument in the home to practice on daily. String students must have a working instrument that is the appropriate size, and it must be replaced as the student grows. Woodwind students must have a good working instrument. Piano Requirements: Piano students may begin on a small keyboard, but this must be replaced after the 6-Week Introductory Period, after that the keyboard must have full size keys, all 88 keys, and touch sensitivity. Once the student has studied music for a year, the keyboard must have a working pedal. The keyboard must be upgraded to one with weighted keys or to an acoustic piano as soon as is possible, but no later than the 3rd or 4th year of study. This is especially important for students who participate in competitions or apply to the Young Artist Program. Any student who advances past the Core Curriculum must have a digital piano with weighted keys or an acoustic piano. Acoustic pianos must be maintained, and tuned at least once each year. (For more details and for other instrument requirements, consult the individual department sections.)
Other Equipment: The student must have a music carrying case, a metronome, and if applicable a music stand and mirror. The faculty will advise parents of other important items to have according to the instrument.