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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - Music Preparatory Division offers instruction of highest caliber
Marina Kondo, an MPD voice student, has performed at the Easter Seals "10th Annal Celebrating Kids Gala," on Japanese television and in concert in Japan.
Many people in the Oakland University campus community may be aware that the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance has strong, highly respected academic programs that enable performing arts majors and minors to find great success in their careers and avocations.

At the same time, many people may not know that through the department’s Music Preparatory Division, the very same, top-quality instruction is available to campus and community members of all ages.

Whether it’s group instruction, music theory courses, individual lessons in a variety of instruments, or summer music workshops, students enrolling in MPD programs will learn from highly accomplished, degreed instructors who also perform regularly as professional musicians.

“Our instructors teach with the goal of giving every student a lifelong love of learning and playing music,” said MPD director Bibianne Yu. “This is just a golden opportunity for people to engage in college-level instruction without the formal requirements of being admitted to an academic program.”

That there are not formal degree requirements associated with MPD programs is not to say that the instructors do not have high expectations for their students. In fact, setting goals and monitoring progress – both in terms of a student’s understanding and performance skills – is a paramount consideration for every instructor.

Yu said that while a teacher’s knowledge and accomplishments are important considerations, an equal – if not more important – consideration is how well they are able to share their knowledge and experience in a way that supports each student’s progress.

Presently, more than 300 students ranging from young children to adult hobbyists and aspiring professionals take advantage of MPD instruction. Private lessons are offered in 30- to 60-minute sessions, and classes focus on early childhood, music theory, elementary voice and piano instruction.

Yu said fees are competitive with those of other area businesses and organizations offering instruction, and added that the investment is one that dedicated students will appreciate for many years to come.

“It really does enrich one’s life,” she explained. “Just the opportunity to come home, relax and play something you love is wonderful. I think that’s at the heart of why we offer these programs, and why people come to us to learn.”

For more information about all MPD has to offer, visit