The study of piano at Oakland University pairs talented young musicians with renowned
music educators, in a program that prepares students for careers on stage and in the classroom.
Students enjoy small class sizes and significant performance opportunities in a variety of ensembles, in recital and master class settings.
Music students enjoy opportunities for collaborations and multi-discipline performance and training opportunities, in cooperation with the dance and theatre programs. Our music education program prepares teachers to be independent thinkers, decision-makers and innovators, providing them with tools for a lifetime of professional and personal growth.
Our faculty includes professional musicians who have achieved national and international reputations for their innovative ideas on teaching and musical understanding. Through coursework, fieldwork and internship experiences, students learn innovative principles and practices that apply across a variety of educational settings, preparing them to meet the professional challenges of the future.
Meet our Keyboard Faculty
Dr Tian Tian
began her piano training at the age of four in her native China. Upon arriving in the United States, she studied with Logan Skelton and quickly began amassing top prizes at national and international competitions. These included 2nd prize at the MTNA Baldwin Junior High school Piano Competition, 2nd prize at the Cooper International Piano Competition (Oberlin), 1st prize at the Idyllwild Arts Academy Young Artist Competition, 2nd prize at the Missouri Southern International Competition, and 3rd place at the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition.
She continued her training at the Juilliard School, where she received B.M. and M.M. degrees under the tutelage of Robert McDonald. In the fall 2011 Tian completed a D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Literature with a minor in Chamber Music and Accompanying at the Eastman School of Music where she was a student of (and served as teaching assistant to) Nelita True. Dr. Tian maintains a busy performance schedule in the U.S and abroad. Solo appearances have included music festivals such as Piano Texas, the Gilmore Festival, and Summer Courses with Arie Vardi (Germany). Recent concerto appearances included the Windsor Symphony and the Idyllwild Chamber Orchestra. As a member of the Studzinsky Trio, she has recently performed in the U.S., China, and Korea.
Since 2011, Dr. Tian has taught at the University of Missouri. Her students have repeatedly performed well in competitions and festivals. Since 2008, she has returned to China annually to present concerts, lectures and masterclasses, which have earned her the title of Honorary Professor at Shandong Normal University and Yunnan Institute for the Arts (in 2008), Shaoxing Academy of the Arts (2009), Weifang Academy, Mudanjiang Teacher’s University, Ludong University, Qufu University (2010), Qingdao University (2012), and Shandong University of Technology (2015).
Dr. Rebecca Happel
, applied piano instructor, coordinator of accompanying, and chamber music
instructor, has performed as a soloist, duo-pianist, and collaborative pianist in the U.S. and
in Europe. She is a frequent performer in chamber music recitals, on series including the Scarab Club and Meadow Brook Music Society Concert Series. Dr. Happel also teaches as part of the applied piano faculty at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she studied with the late Gyorgy Sandor, protégé of Bela Bartok. She also studied piano and holds certification from the Music Conservatory of Vienna, Austria. She trained in opera coaching at DePaul University, with renowned conductors Eduardo Muller and Jeffrey Tate. A frequent lecturer and adjudicator throughout the State, Dr. Happel also is coordinator of Oakland University’s annual Piano Day which attracts students across the State for mini diagnostic lessons and competition opportunities. Her students have won competitions and scholarships in the U.S. and abroad.
Bachelor of Music in Performance — Piano
Designed for students who wish to perform at the professional level.With the guidance of artist faculty, students receive intensive performance experience in private lessons, master classes, and ensembles. Many graduates of this program go on to the nation's finest music schools to pursue graduate degrees and receive additional training.
Master of Music in Performance — Piano
Requires admission into the Graduate School. Students interested in this program must be able to demonstrate exceptional musical and technical skill on their chosen instrument. Admittance is contingent upon a successful audition and interview with members of the applied faculty.
Master of Music in Pedagogy — Piano
This program enables music education professionals to expand and extend their expertise in music and music education. Program plans are designed to meet students’ individual needs and interests. Courses are offered in evenings and summers to accommodate professional schedules. Students have opportunities for study, performance, research and apprenticeship.