[Photo, 1998]

Rev. Robert Koopmann OSB DMA

Professor of Music
Concert Pianist
Church Musician




MUSC337 Piano Majors

MUSC227 Piano Majors

MUSC114 Piano- secondary instrument

MUSC113  Piano non-majors


Robert Koopmann, OSB

MU 107

Studio/office phone:  3370


 Purpose and Philosophy


Applied piano study should improve the student’s ability to bring to life a musical composition for piano, and the ability to discuss and verbally describe this performance process.  Elements of the process include technique, practice methods, tone production, style, repertoire, performance practice and pedagogical knowledge. 


All students, but particularly those needing to pass the music department’s “Piano Proficiency” requirement, will study sight-reading techniques, harmonization of tunes, transposition, reading in various clefs, and elements of improvisation. 


All piano majors are required to play some accompaniments and chamber music as determined by the instructor and student.  Accompanying and chamber music teaches the student collaborative skills, improves general musicianship, and contributes to the musical life of the department and the colleges.


This learning process is accomplished through the private studio lesson, consistent individual practice sessions, studio class, Thursday afternoon recitals, individual recitals, and attendance at faculty recitals and other major musical events.  


Practice Time


Piano performance majors:  3 hours daily

Piano majors:  2 hours daily

Piano secondary:  1 hour daily

Piano non majors:  1 hour daily




70%  Overall assessment by the instructor of study throughout the semester. From this 70%,  60% is based on regular and consistent growth as a result of practice, reflected in weekly progress observed during lessons, studio classes and recitals. The other 10% includes attendance at studio class and at least two studio class performances by the student during the semester.


 20%  Final Jury Exam, graded by the instructor, based on the advisory grades from jury faculty members who observe and listen to the technical and musical aspects of the jury performance.  This final exam is crucial, and failure to take the exam can result in failure for the course.


10%  Self Assessment, as described on the “Jury Form for Applied Music”, including the grade which the student submits in #4, “Overall Performance”.


Attendance Policy


Students are required to attend each regularly scheduled lesson.  The instructor should be informed of an absence at least several hours before the scheduled lesson time, and it is up to the instructor whether the absence is excused or unexcused.  The student must contact the instructor to schedule any make-up lessons.  Unexcused absences are not eligible for make-up lessons.  Music majors and minors should attend as many Thursday Recitals, Faculty Recitals, major ensemble concerts and other major concerts as possible.  Failure to attend could result in the lowering of the applied music grade.


Saint John's Abbey
Saint John's University / College of Saint Benedict


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