Pianist Options for Student Instrumentalists

The School of Music provides instrumental music majors with a limited number of pianists (gratis) via three methods: piano area TAs, piano majors enrolled in MUS 7401, and staff pianists Mariya Akhadjanova and Minji Kwon. 

Please review guidelines and policies before submitting your request.

Pianist assignment info

All requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Assignments will be based on date availability. Assignments are not guaranteed by simply submitting a request.

Collaborative Pianist Procedures

To establish positive working relationships between students and their collaborative pianists allowing for productive lessons, classes, and fulfilling musical performances. 

The following deadlines represent the latest date on which the pianist must have received all relevant sheet music/scores* from students. Music received after these deadlines will not be accepted and the student will forfeit their privilege of being assigned a staff pianist/teaching assistant. Students are asked to plan ahead and make necessary arrangements for this music to be provided to their respective pianists by all deadlines. 

Degree Recitals 9 weeks prior to recital date
Projects 5 weeks prior to project culmination date

*Check with your pianist as to their preference regarding digital versus paper copies of music. Regardless of format, photocopies must be clear and legible. Music copies with missing or cut off staves, measures, etc. will not be accepted (students are advised to lower the "copy ratio" if they are having trouble fitting all the page contents into the copy).

Students must contact their pianist at least 2 weeks before the first rehearsal and/or lesson. 

In case of cancellation or re-scheduling of rehearsal and/or lesson, students must allow at least 48 hours of notice. The collaborative pianist is not responsible for making up unexcused rehearsals or lessons. 

Students will lose the privilege of having a School of Music collaborative pianist if the following occurs: 

  • Not adhering to the policies and procedures addressed in these guidelines 
  • Failure (maximum two times) to give 48-hours notice to cancel or reschedule a lesson or rehearsal 

Type of Project Definition Deadlines



A full project is 20 minutes of music, and a half project is 10 minutes of music. A project must have a pre-determined culminating date or performance (ie. lesson, seminar, masterclass, recital, studio recital, or jury). Students may request a full project or two half projects per semester. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. 


If assigned a pianist, the project will last at least 3 weeks and no longer than 5 weeks. The first week of each project is dedicated to the pianist learning the music. In each successive week, you will have 1 hour (30 minutes for half projects) of rehearsal time, and 1 hour (30 minutes for half projects) of other contact time (i.e.lessons, seminar, and final performance).

Your assigned pianist will be available for your jury as long as it is the same repertoire from the project request. You will be allowed two additional rehearsals. 

  • Project requests should be submitted no later than 5 weeks prior to the culminating project date.
  • No requests will be accepted after November 1st (Fall Semester) and April 1st (Spring Semester). Be aware that assignments may fill sooner than these dates. 



Degree recitals are assigned to either a student in MUS:7401 or a staff pianist. If assigned to a pianist in MUS:7401 the expectations are as follows: 

  • In addition to the paired student and pianist attending lessons with the student's applied professor, the duo will also meet for coachings with Dr. Doreen Lee. The work culminates in a degree recital during the semester in which the pianist is enrolled in course MUS:7401.
  • In the case the recital is postponed from the fall semester to the spring semester, the pianist enrolled in course MUS:7401 will complete the assignment in the spring semester if the following criteria are met: the preponderance of the work for the degree recital must be completed in the fall semester; the degree recital must take place by the Saturday of the second week of classes. 
  • Requests for a degree recital pianist should be submitted no later than 9 weeks before the recital date (earlier submissions are encouraged).