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Keyboard Studies

Piano Department at Sam Houston State University

Piano Studies at SHSU


Goals and Degrees

It is our goal in the Piano Department at Sam Houston State University to help students realize their potential as pianists, develop their musicianship skills, and prepare for future careers in music whether it be performance, education, composition, or music therapy. We offer Bachelor’s Degrees in Music with specialization in piano performance, minors in piano for music therapy and music composition degrees, and Master’s Degrees in Music with specialization in either piano performance or collaborative piano and chamber music.

Acclaimed Faculty and Curriculum

Our internationally acclaimed resident faculty members are passionate about teaching and performing and maintain active teaching studios and performance careers, both as solo and collaborative pianists. Piano students work with faculty not only in weekly lessons and studio classes, but also in our unique undergraduate classes such as Keyboard Skills and Collaborative Techniques, Advanced Sight Reading, Advanced Keyboard Harmony, Chamber Music, and Graduate studies. In addition to developing students’ skills and knowledge and helping prepare students for graduate schools, these classes provide them with an edge in a competitive job market.

Diversity and Scholarships

Piano students at Sam Houston State University form a diverse group, with students from Texas and other states, but also from countries such as Russia, Romania, Colombia, Korea, and Mexico. Scholarship opportunities are numerous within the School of Music and Sam Houston State University, including scholarships specifically for piano students. We also have several Teaching Assistantships for graduate students.

Facilities and Geography

Sam Houston State University has state of the art performance facilities and high quality practice venues. Gaertner Performing Arts Center offers a world class 800-seat concert hall and 175-seat recital hall. Our practice facilities are Wenger Soundlok® Sound Isolation Rooms and include well-maintained pianos. We also have a harpsichord and organ practice room. Piano students have numerous performance opportunities within the School of Music and the surrounding communities. SHSU is approximately one hour’s drive north of Houston and its busy arts scene. The highly active cultural scene of Dallas is about 2 and a half hours away.

Individual Attention

Students experience an excellent student/teacher ratio and interact regularly with our faculty. Students also feel welcome in our supportive community of musicians in the School of Music. The learning environment is positive and richly rewarding for our dedicated students.


Undergraduate Degrees for Pianists

Bachelor of Music
Major in Music 
With Specialization: Piano Performance (BM MPP) 

Courses   How to Apply   Auditions

Piano Faculty



Ilonka Rus-Edery, DMA
Director of Keyboard Studies


Transylvanian born pianist, Dr. Ilonka Rus-Edery distinguishes herself as an artist of unusual versatility. She began her piano studies with her mother at the age of five, in Romania. By the age of ten she gave her first public performance and won her first award at the International Piano Competition “Citta di Marsala” in Italy.




Brooks Hafey

Brooks Hafey
Visiting Professor


Since beginning his piano studies as a boy, Brooks Hafey has been dazzling audiences with his exceptional musicianship and refined technique. He has performed in many countries outside of the United States including France, Italy, and Norway. In 2003 he performed at Weill Recital Hall in New York City.




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