Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who may apply for the Piano Project?
A: Any child from the age of six through high school, who has an acoustical piano at home, can apply. No previous training is necessary for a child of any age.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Fill out an form found on the application page of this website or write us at the following address:
Butler School of Music
Austin, TX 78712-1208
You will be notified about the audition time once your application has been received.
Q: How many openings do you have?
A: Since the Piano Project is not a school of music for gifted children but rather a training program for UT music students, the number of openings every semester depends on the number of university students enrolled in piano pedagogy courses. For this reason, we can only be certain about the number of student openings after the University registration has been completed.
Q: Who gets admitted?
A: Our first priority is directed toward the students who have already been in the program. Their readmittance is not automatic, though, and depends on the consistent practice and progress of the student. For the remaining openings, students will be selected through auditions.
Q: How should I prepare my child for the audition?
A: The best prepared child is a well-rested and relaxed child. No other preparation is necessary.
Q: Does the program participation take much time?
A: Yes. Students are expected to practice daily at home and come to lessons well prepared.
Q: This sounds like a wonderful opportunity, but isn't it a lot of hard work?
A: Yes. Mastery of a musical instrument requires much hard work and discipline, but few activities are more satisfying than creating beautiful music. We feel the rewards are commensurate with the investment.
Q: What are parents' responsibilities if their child is accepted into the Piano Project?
A: Parents see that their child attends classes regularly and practices daily. In the case of younger children, parents will attend lessons and supervise home practice.
Q: How will music study affect my child's school work?
A: Researchers have found that youngsters studying musical instruments in addition to their school program tend to develop greater powers of concentration, which enhance academic success.
Q: Do you teach Suzuki or traditional methods?
A: We teach traditional methods. We believe in teaching physical adjustment to the instrument, reading, and ear-training in a highly integrated manner which stimulates students' harmonious development
Q: Would it be helpful to augment my child's musical experience by hiring another piano teacher concurrently with the Piano Project?
A: No. Young students do not benefit from studying with more than one teacher at a time. They get confused by different approaches and overwhelmed by additional demands, therefore our policy prohibits concurrent enrollment. If your child is currently enrolled in lessons it is assumed that upon admittance to the Piano Project, your child will cease lessons with the other teacher and study solely with the Piano Project.
Q: How do you choose the repertoire?
A: We would like each student to get a healthy "diet" that consists of folk songs, popular material that is already familiar to students' ears, original pieces composed for young students as well as fine examples of classical music originally written for the piano. We exclude simplified arrangements of classical music; for instance, a simplified arrangement of "Moonlight Sonata" is not acceptable.
Q: Where are you located?
A: We are in the Music Recital Hall (MRH) in the Fine Arts complex just north of Memorial Stadium on the University campus. Piano Project meets on the fifth floor (MRH 5.244).