Learning how to play the piano is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires a substantial commitment of time, patience and hard work. Whether you or your child wants to learn piano, a great teacher and school will make your journey worth the effort.
One of the best ways to learn piano is to enroll in a piano school. There are many piano schools across the United States, so it can be a little overwhelming trying to find the right one.
The following will list the 5 best piano schools in the US, based on this rating points list. Each selection represents the best choice for different categories (pre-college, community, private tutelage, etc.)
Juilliard Pre-College | New York, NY
Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a household name when it comes to education in the performing arts. The Juilliard Pre-College Division is the top pre-college school in the US and is designed for students 8 to 18 years old who display the talent, potential, and accomplishment to undertake a career in music.
Classes are held on Saturdays, 9am to 6pm (generally) from September through to May. The program engages students with a comprehensive curriculum that demands a genuine commitment of time and energy.
Learning piano is an area of particular focus here, with the Piano Performance Forum a requirement for all students majoring in piano and organ. This class introduces students to different keyboard instruments, an array of performance styles, and the opportunity to participate in masterclasses with both senior faculty and special guest artists.
Curtis Institute | Philadelphia, PA
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This week’s #CurtisIsHere is “Piano, By Heart.” Be sure to check out our stories each day so you can listen to every performance. You’ll be hearing works by Barber, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, and Rachmaninov! The link to the full Curtis Is Here YouTube playlist is in our bio. Be sure to like, subscribe, and comment 🙂 Take care! . . . #CurtisIsHere #CurtisInstituteofMusic #Piano #PianoMusic #PianoForte #PianoPlayer #PianoSolo #PianoLove #SamuelBarber #FranzLiszt #Liszt #Brahms #Rachmaninov #Grieg
Curtis Institute of Music is known as one of the most selective schools in the US, maintaining a small student body and only accepting around 4% of applicants each year. Rather than having a pre-college program, Curtis does not have a minimum age for the majority of their programs, which allows the best elementary, middle school, and high school students to learn in a mixed environment with college students.
Being tutored by accomplished artist-faculty members, aspiring pianists have the opportunity to study solo repertoire, concertos, and chamber music. Focusing on a ‘learn by doing’ philosophy, students are prepared for careers as high-level professional performers, and get to be a part of routine student recital performances, as well as school-sponsored recitals.
Colburn Community School | Los Angeles, CA
The Colburn Community School of Performing arts is undoubtedly the top community school for piano in the United States. Based in Los Angeles, California, Colburn’s vision is to make music education accessible to people with any level of ability.
Leveraging classical music as the basis for their piano lessons, the Colburn faculty offers private lessons to students from ages 5 and up. Because public performance is an emphasis for every student at every level, they are encouraged to attend studio classes, monthly workshops, and school-wide recitals, on top of their private lessons.
Colburn also offers group piano lessons (which are great for absolute beginners), as well as an honors piano seminar that is a combination of master classes and lectures designed to help students find and develop an individual style. Every semester, students get to benefit from presentations from world-renowned piano teachers.
Oclef School | San Jose, CA
Oclef School is the leading private piano school in the US for children 7 and up. This is from their innovative ‘Piano Every Day’ approach. The average Oclef student attends classes 6 days a week and spends thirty minutes to two hours daily. Oclef believes that the traditional model of learning piano (seeing a teacher once a week) is an outdated system that leads students to feel isolated, get frustrated, avoid practice and eventually drop out.
Oclef began as a software company and they built their school so that it can be attended virtually online or in-person. The online design is not only convenient for students, but allows students beyond the SF Bay Area to attend Oclef.
Students who attend Oclef are organized in Stages. Students in Stage 1 learn how to read music as a pattern of intervals, rhythms, and movements. Students in Stages 2-4 can attend as many of the 8 hours of daily classes as they want. These classes guide students to think critically and use tools to solve problems they face as they master their music.
Students also get education in music theory and composition, as well as a chance to explore pop music, alongside classical. And when students are ready to perform, there are recital opportunities that happen every day. Oclef’s alumni have some impressive accomplishments, with many launching their own albums, winning international piano competitions, and others going on to publish their own compositions as books.
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts | Dallas, TX
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) is one of America’s top high schools for performing arts students, and they have an incredible piano department. Based in Dallas, Texas, the school’s faculty consists of some of the best professional musicians and music educators in the United States.
Established in 1976, the music conservatory at BTWHSPVA has earned multiple state and national-level accolades for its excellence, and the excellence of its students. In fact, their alumni have collectively won over 30 Grammy Awards.
The students’ success at BTWHSPVA is also a reflection of the faculty. The school has a ratio of 1 faculty member to every 12 students in specialized areas. These 61 full-time teachers and 14 part-time teachers motivate students in the day-to-day and get boosted by master classes from visiting professionals throughout the year.