Piano Lessons At The Conservatory

Piano

Piano Lessons At The Conservatory

Wisconsin’s Top Piano Program

The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers comprehensive piano lessons in Milwaukee to players of all skill levels. From K4 to adult classes, our supportive and relaxed classroom encourages a lifelong love of piano playing by learning note reading, rhythm, and improvisation, all within the setting you prefer; private or group.

Ages: Grades K4 – Adult
Locations:  Bayside/Fox Point, Downtown Milwaukee, Brookfield, Online

Piano LESSONS SPRING REGISTRATION

2024 SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS

MARY HORWITT PIANO SCHOLARSHIP

student and faculty at piano

New Student Lesson Discount

$215 for six 30-minute lessons

In-person and online Zoom lessons give you access to more than 90 skilled faculty members for any instrument and genre. Join a community of more than 10,000 students and schedule your first lessons today!

 

REGISTRATION + INFO

man playing piano in dark room

Piano Lessons At The Conservatory

What You Can Expect

Whether you are looking to accompany your church choir or perform in competitions or recitals, the piano program at the Conservatory is the place for you. Students who enroll into the Piano Discoveries program at the Wisconsin Conservatory are required to:

  • Professional faculty with high levels of training on their particular instrument and style.
  • A welcoming and inclusive learning environment.
  • Lessons are universally taught on grand pianos of the highest quality (Steinway, Yamaha, Bösendorfer).
  • Solo and group performance opportunities at the Helen Bader Recital Hall and in the community.

piano lesson

APPLICATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 3, 2024

2024 Scholarship Auditions

Through generous financial support of our donors, the Conservatory annually awards merit scholarships to new and current students. These merit scholarships are meant to reward accomplishment, effort, and to encourage our talented students to further their skills. The Conservatory’s scholarship auditions provide a wonderful opportunity for students to have a professional assessment of their abilities within a positive and supportive environment.

Auditions for the 2024-2025 school year will take place on March 3, 2024. 

 

ONLINE APPLICATION FOR NEW STUDENTS

SCHOLARSHIP AUDITION REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW & CURRENT STUDENTS

*Current Conservatory students should request a scholarship audition application from their private lesson instructor. 

 


student and faculty at piano

PIANO SCHOLARSHIP FOR MPS STUDENTS GRADES 6 – 11

Mary Horwitt Piano Scholarship

The Mary Horwitt Piano Scholarship is available for Milwaukee Public School students at any skill level, from beginner to advanced, in 6th – 11th grade. MPS students who receive the scholarship will be awarded a portion of the funding for a year of 34 weekly, 30-minute individual lessons at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for the 2024-2025 school year, beginning in September 2024.

Application Deadline: March 15

 

HORWITT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION


Included with your Piano Discoveries registration

NEW – Piano Safari Books

Piano Safari is a piano method that incorporates the best elements of a range of techniques for teaching children and older students.

Compared to other methods, Piano Safari progresses deliberately in terms of reading yet quickly in terms of playing. This builds foundational skills while developing a strong ear and technique in the student.

“Piano Safari is a refreshing, well conceived, and pedagogically sound endeavor.”
– Piano Journal, European Piano Teachers Association

ENROLL TODAY. LEARN MORE


Jazz & Contemporary Music

The Conservatory’s new Jazz & Contemporary Music offerings will continue to preserve and share the unique heritage of American Jazz — a longstanding WCM tradition — while celebrating its proud heritage that is ever present in the music of today.

JAZZ & CONTEMPORARY MUSIC CLASSES JAZZ LAB FOR AGES 9 – 18


Jazz Camp 2020

For Students with 2+ Years of Experience & Beyond

Intermediate & Advanced Programs

Students with at least two or more years on their instrument can enroll in an ensemble or audition for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute and the Honors Jazz Institute.


Dad and Daughters Together

Open to Piano Students

Music Theory Classes

Create compositions, learn basic piano skills, and better understand the music that you create with our new Music Theory classes – now available for all ages.

Music Theory Classes can be taken individually or bundled with a private lesson and group class (Conservatory Prep package), for a comprehensive musical experience.

LEARN MORE


App is loading…

Piano Faculty

Meet Our Teachers

SEE ALL FACULTY

Dave Adler

Education

Masters Certificate (Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television) | USC

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

Great reputation.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

My first piano teacher, Rhoda Rabin, showed me how to play “Pop Goes The Weasel.” Still rocking that tune today!

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023

 

Website

https://www.daveadler.com

Laura Blumer

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Music | Maranatha Baptist University
Level 1 Certification | Early Childhood Music and Movement Association
Nationally Certified Teacher of Music | Music Teachers National Association

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I loved the opportunity to teach private lessons, early childhood, and in local schools.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

I didn’t want to be a teacher until I met Dr. Rick Townsend who taught me during my freshman and sophomore years of college. He inspired me to start teaching after he demonstrated the impact we can have on our students’ lives and the lives of their families.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023

Andrea DeGreiff-Beisser

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Music – University of Nebraska-Kearney
  • Master of Music – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • WCM faculty member since 2002.
  • Chosen at the age of 13 to participate in a solo concert with the Orchestra of the Conservatory of Music in Bogota, Colombia to play the Haydn Concerto in F.
  • Trained broadly in accompanying for instrumental and vocal ensembles and soloists.
  • Appeared as a recitalist at the University of Nebraska and the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango Concert Hall and Olav Roots Auditorium in Bogota, Colombia.
  • Appeared at several opera productions with the UWM voice students, as well as several voice faculty recitals here at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
  • Studied under Harold Martina, Blanca Uribe, James Cook, Jeffrey Peterson, Katjia Phillambaum, and Judit Jaimes.

Maria Valentina Delgado

Education

  • Piano Performance Degree – Escuela de Música Manuel A. Lopez (Venezuela)
  • Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Master of Music in Piano Performance – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • Joined the Piano faculty at the Conservatory in 2010.
  • Has worked with a full range of students, from beginner to musicians at the university level, since she began teaching in 2001.
  • Has taught several individual and group lessons at UWM.
  • Debuted as a soloist at the age of 11 with the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has performed with all the major symphony orchestras and theaters throughout Venezuela.
  • Won first prize in three piano competitions, the Harriet Serr Competition in 1994, the MoisésMoleiro National Competitions in 1996, and the McDowell Club of Milwaukee in 2005.
  • Was awarded the highest honor to a Venezuelan young artist, the Medal of the Third Grade Order, by President Dr. Rafael Caldera in 1997.

Drew Donica

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy – Lawrence University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Spanish – Lawrence University
  • Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy – University of Colorado-Boulder

Background

  • Joined the Piano faculty at the Conservatory in 2015.
  • Has been teaching since 2009 and enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities.
  • Has presented on creativity, studio development, and Recreational Music Making (RMM) for the Music Teachers National Association national conferences (2017 Baltimore, 2016 San Antonio, 2015 Las Vegas).
  • Adjudicates for piano festivals, auditions, and competitions.
  • Serves as a board member of the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.
  • Actively performs and collaborates with WCM faculty, students, and other musicians in the area.

Teresa Drews

Director, Education

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, cum laude, Piano Performance | Northwestern University
  • Master of Music, Piano Performance | Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University

Background

  • WCM faculty member since 2003, Piano Department chair since 2005, Director of Education since 2018.
  • Member of Pi Kappa Lambda, MTNA, WMTA and MMTA.
  • In her 23 years of teaching, she has taught group and private piano lessons at the Conservatory, as well as coached chamber music.
  • Through Conservatory Connections she has taught general music and piano to students throughout Milwaukee and most recently taught our Music Counts curriculum at St. Joseph Academy of Early Learning.
  • An active performer in the Milwaukee area, Ms. Drews often collaborates with WCM faculty and MSO musicians.
  • She also performs annually with the Washington Island Music Festival in Door County.
  • Has studied with Sylvia Wang, Ann Schein and Seth Knopp, and performed in master classes by David Burge and Menahem Pressler.
  • Prior to moving to Milwaukee, she taught piano in Baltimore, Maryland at the Friends School of Baltimore and the Music Workshop.

Mariia Foit

Education

Music school in Buchach, Ukraine – Graduation Diploma
Ternopil College of Music – Diploma of Junior Specialist
Odessa National Music Academy – Bachelor’s degree

Background

Why did you choose WCM?

Music is a gift to all of us  and it connects us as humans. It is important for me to be surrounded with same people who share the same passion and excellence toward the music. The Wisconsin Conservatory of music is exactly the school that inspires students and makes an invaluable contribution to the development of each individual by revealing their talent through the correct guidance.

Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:

I grew up in a family where two of my sisters already played musical instruments, I had a good role models. Since childhood, we organized musical concerts where we played for our family and sang in the church choir together. It was from these experiences that instilled in me a love for music and understanding that music is an integral part of myself expression. Music is a beautiful language that can be spoken without words and everyone can understand. I realized this as a child when I was listening to my teacher as she played the piano. She taught me to feel the beauty of sounds, the spectrum of emotions and moods through music. All these people are like angels to me who helped me get on the path of a musician.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023.

 

Rachel Fritz

Chief Operations Officer

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude | University of Central Missouri
  • Master of Music | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Background

  • Has served as the Chief Operations Officer at the Conservatory since 2014 after previously managing the Student Services department for four years.
  • Has been a member of the WCM Piano Faculty since 2007, specializing in instructing young pianists.
  • Certified as a teaching artist by the International Piano Teaching Federation.
  • Participated in the 2017 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI).
  • Taught group piano at Des Moines Symphony Academy and maintained private studios in Lincoln, NE, and Warrensburg, MO.
  • Has been an active member of the Music Teacher National Association.
  • Serves as President for the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.
  • Serves as pianist at Redemption Lutheran Church.

Juan Pablo Horcasitas

Department Chair

Education

• Bachelor of Music | Manhattan School of Music
• Master of Music | Manhattan School of Music

Background

  • Horcasitas is an active collaborative artist, chamber musician, conductor, and teacher.
  • Since his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 2009, Mr. Horcasitas has been actively performing and collaborating with many artists around the world, performing in the main concert halls in Mexico as well as recitals in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
  • Has participated at several international festivals such as the Suolahti International Music Festival in Finland, the Latino Music Festival in Chicago, The Latin American Cultural Week in New York, and the International Festival of Symphonic Music in Algiers.
  • For two years he was Music Director for Opera Hispánica, an opera company focused on Latin American and Spanish opera, and in January of 2012, he served as Music Director for the musical “La Llorona” –composed by Héctor Armienta- in its New York City premiere.
  • Since October 2009 he has been a faculty member at the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School- a school for the visually impaired.
  • In 2015 he received the Excellence in Classical Music Award at the Mexican Music Awards in New York City.
  • Was invited by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to present a lecture/recital on Mexican concert music from the 19th, 20th, and 21st. centuries.
  • Released his second studio recording, “Prelude,” in April 2021.

Catalin Iacob

Education

Doctor of Musical Arts, Piano Performance | Texas Tech University (May 2020)

Background

  • Started studying piano at the age of seven in his native country of Romania, where he pursued intensive music classes all throughout high school.
  • Attended an impressive number of national and international piano competitions at that time, and scored in the top three at all of them.
  • Came to the United States in 2013 to continue his education in music by enrolling in a master’s degree program in collaborative piano and chamber music at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, under the coordination of Dr. Ilonka Rus.
  • Traveled and performed in the US as well as Europe and South America in countries including Colombia, Romania, Italy, and Germany.
  • Started his doctoral degree in 2016 under the guidance of the well-renowned pianist and pedagogue Dr. William Westney.
  • Served as a teaching assistant at the TTU School of Music and was one of the main piano accompanists for the voice and instrumental departments, chamber groups, and large ensembles.
  • Won the TTU 2019 Piano Concerto Competition, for which he was scheduled to perform Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” in Fall 2020 with the TTU University Symphony Orchestra.

Stefanie Jacob

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna cum laude – Harvard University
  • Master of Music, with highest distinction in Piano Performance – Indiana University

Background

  • Joined the WCM Piano faculty in 1987.
  • Focuses on the areas of educating an array of students and chamber music.
  • Received the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s award for Excellence in Studio Teaching.
  • Enjoys being an active musician in the Prometheus Trio, and participating in the Washington Island Music Festival.
  • Made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at age 17, and her Carnegie Hall debut in 1984.
  • Twice awarded Second Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and received Indiana University’s Leo Weiner Prize for Chamber Music.
  • Has soloed with both the Milwaukee Symphony and the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
  • Recorded for the Arundax, CRI, Fleur de Son, Equilibrium, and the Wisconsin Conservatory labels.
  • Received WCM’s “Teacher of the Year” honor in 2017.

Kari Johnson

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance | St. Olaf College
  • Master of Music, Piano Performance/Pedagogy | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Background

  • Joined the WCM faculty in 2019 with 18 years of experience teaching private lessons as well as group piano.
  • Studied under Catherine Kautsky, Jessica Johnson, and Kenneth Graber.
  • Enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, and her students have regularly participated in WMTA Auditions and the NFMC Festival.
  • Has served as an adjudicator for piano festivals and competitions.
  • Worked as a faculty member at community schools in the Boston, MA and Madison, WI areas.
  • Is a collaborative pianist for instrumental and vocal soloists and choirs.

Mikhail Johnson

Education

D.M.A.- Texas Tech University (Piano)
M.M.- Bowling Green State University (Piano)
M.M.- Bowling Green State University (Composition)
Piano Grade 8 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)

Background

Why did you choose WCM?

I chose to work at WCM because of the mandate and commitment to serving disenfranchised schools with excellent music teaching and resources. Thus, fostering a more holistic and well-rounded arts appreciative community by making music accessible to all.

Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:

I have had many music experiences in my lifetime. However, one I will forever cherish was when I was 18 and I thought it was too late to make music a career and I basically gave up music. A teacher by the name of Kimberly Cann showed me through her teaching that my dream of having music a career could be a reality. I haven’t looked back since and it also pushed me to share that knowledge and inspiration with others.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023.

Leah Kozelek

Education

  • Bachelor of Music Performance, emphasis in Piano Pedagogy | Viterbo University

Background

  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude and member of the Viterbo University Honors Program.
  • Has been teaching since 2006 and enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities.
  • Her students have participated in recitals, community music events, and Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA) district and state competitions.
  • She has served as adjudicator for the WMTA District Auditions
  • Her personal study of the Alexander Technique has been influential in her teaching and she has attended 13 summer workshops since 2006, working with teachers such as Michael Frederick, Martha Hansen Fertman, and Carol Boggs among many others.
  • Volunteered as WMTA Judges Coordinator, has enjoyed attending multiple WMTA state conferences, and most recently, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL in 2018.
  • She continues to serve on a local music worship team and has volunteered in several churches as main pianist and solo/ensemble vocalist since 2014.

Heinzel Kunsmann

Education

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Master of Music
  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Piano Performance – University of Kansas

Background

  • A piano teacher at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since September 2013, and the Milwaukee High School of the Arts since November 2013.
  • His musical interests have taken him throughout the United States as well as to Europe and Asia.
  • Heinzel performs regularly at the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Clinic, David Barnette’s Art Gallery, Alexian Village, St. John’s on the Lake and Chai Point.
  • Many of his current students participate in annual events such as WSMA, the Federation Festival, Wisconsin Music Teachers Association Auditions and the Wisconsin Conservatory’s Piano Festival.
  • In addition, they perform twice every year in fall and spring studio recitals held at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
  • His students span a wide range of age, ability and interest.

Emily Landry

Education

  • Bachelor of Music (Cum Laude), Piano Performance | University of Wisconsin Whitewater
  • Master of Music, Piano Collaboration (Member of Pi Kappa Lambda) | Illinois State University

Background

  • Emily has provided both individual lessons, as well as group piano lessons.
  • During her time at Illinois State University, she served as a graduate assistant teaching group piano to both music majors and non-music majors.
  • She began teaching private lessons in 2017 and has continued since, offering lessons to students of all ages.
  • Beyond her teaching, she has also collaborated with many musicians in performances, including accompanying choirs at both University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Illinois State University, accompanying private studio lessons for vocalists and instrumentalists, and performing with theatre and opera productions.

Sue Medford

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Music and Social Science | University of North Carolina at Western Carolina
Certificate in Piano Pedagogy | New School for Music Study, Frances Clark Center
Graduate Studies in Arts Administration | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

My WCM teaching colleagues, of the highest level caliber, and our fascinating diversity of students inspire and invigorate me as a teacher and artist.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

Frances Clark was my most influential teacher. A great thinker, musician, and teacher, her educational philosophy goes beyond learning to play the piano to that of creating a curiosity for a lifetime of learning about the art of music at the piano.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2009

 

Website

PianoArts.org

 

Katharyn Nelson

Education

Bachelor of Music, Performance, Minor in Piano Pedagogy | Lawrence University

Background

  • Joined the WCM Piano and General Music Faculty in 2018.
  • Earned her Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in the studio of Professor Anthony Padilla, graduating magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Has performed in several competitions and masterclasses, playing for musicians such as internationally-renowned pianist Jeremy Denk and pianist and harpsichordist Lorna Peters.
  • Enjoys exploring the arts of all kinds and holds an additional degree in English.
  • Continues to collaborate with instrumentalists and choirs.

Ruben Piirainen

Education

  • Lawrence University Conservatory of Music
  • Bowling Green State University

Background

  • Ruben Piirainen is a Milwaukee-based pianist, music director, vocal coach, composer, and local restaurant owner.
  • Was on the music staff of the Florentine Opera for six seasons where he coached and accompanied the Studio Artist Program.
  • During his time with the Florentine Opera, Ruben was also involved with music preparation for all mainstage productions, played in the pit orchestra, presented a recital of new operatic works at the National Opera Center in New York, and performed solo recitals with opera stars Alyson Cambridge and Noah Stewart.
  • He has also worked extensively with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Present Music, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Festival City Symphony, Theatre Gigante, Sunset Playhouse, Music by the Lake, and Opera for the Young.
  • His original one act children’s opera A BUSY BEE was commissioned and premiered by the Florentine, and received subsequent performances by Opera Carolina.
  • A Hal Leonard Corporation recording artist, and has been on the faculties of Interlochen Arts Camp, Bluffton University, and Bowling Green State University.
  • Has also received commissions for compositions from Skylight Music Theatre and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Piano faculty member, Ruben Piirainen.

Lynn Roginske

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Wisconsin College – Conservatory
  • Master of Music | Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
  • Wisconsin D.P.I. Certification in General Music, Adaptive Music, and Choral Education | Alverno College

Background

  • Has been a member of the Piano faculty at the Conservatory for over 30 years.
  • Provides lessons for beginners and continuing students of all ages.
  • Served as the music specialist with Milwaukee Public Schools for 25 years, retiring in 2014.
  • Specializes in songwriting, arranging for choral ensembles, and early childhood education, and enjoys contemporary piano styles including jazz, blues, pop, and rock.
  • Performs for various events throughout Wisconsin, in high demand as both a piano soloist and member of a jazz trio: Recent engagements have included Greendale Gazebo Village Nights, Wilson Center for the Arts, Alexian Village, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, and the Ovation Jewish Home.
  • Stays active in the community by being the Children’s Program Notes Host for the Festival City Symphony.
  • Took part in summer studies at the KodályMusic Institute, which serves to promote professional development for music educators.

Haeshin Shin

Online Only

Education

  • Bachelor of Music Degree (Cum Laude) | Seoul National University
  • Master of Music Degree | Boston University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts | Boston University

Background

  • From professional musical engagements to educational activities and community service at various settings, Haeshin’s international and multi-cultural experience helped her develop a unique insight into the universal value of music education.
  • Native of South Korea, she has appeared in solo recitals, concerts, and festivals throughout the US, Russia, UK, Luxemburg, Belgium, Puerto Rico, China, and Korea.
  • During the recent seasons she has performed at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (Seoul, Korea), Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) and Tsai Performance Center (Boston), as well as at Harvard, the Moscow Conservatory, among others.
  • Haeshin is the founder and Artistic Director of the Medtner Society of Korea, and joined the Conservatory faculty in the fall of 2019.
  • Haeshin’s performance in the 75th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein Piano Recital at Lenox Library (2018) was broadcast on CTSB, the public channel in the Berkshires, MA.
  • She won 1st prize at American Protégé Concerto Competition, 1st prize at American Protégé Romantic Music Competition, 2nd prize at Richmond Piano Competition
  • As a collaborative pianist, she was granted a fellowship at Garth Newel Music Center with her piano quartet, and recently went on concert tours in Washington, D.C. including the White House Holiday Performance Talent, Ireland, UK, and Spain with Boston College High School Concert Choir.

Katherine Turner

SEE ALL FACULTY

Girl Playing The Violin

Community Partnerships

Music Education For The Community

Does your school, church, early childhood center, public library, senior center, or community organization have a need for quality music education programs in the Milwaukee area? The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers community programs to match your need!

CONSERVATORY CONNECTIONS