A USD Student playing piano on stage.


Elevate your piano skills through lessons, master classes, ensembles, accompanying and solo performances, with opportunities for master classes with world-renowned guest artists.

Ignite your passion for piano at USD with a myriad of exciting opportunities. As a pianist, you can become an integral part of our esteemed Jazz Bands, Choir, Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra. Our faculty assist in assigning pianists to the choirs and ensemble assignments are determined through auditions, ensuring a place for everyone. Additionally, we offer scholarship and work study positions for those interested in accompanying soloists, providing valuable hands-on experience.

The University of South Dakota proudly offers piano lessons for all aspiring pianists. During registration, you can sign up for lessons just like any other class. Not only will these lessons enhance your skills, but they can also count towards fulfilling the SRG#4 graduation requirement. For non-majors who are new to piano, we provide a dedicated class piano option.

Immerse yourself in a world of musical excellence through our master classes. Each year, we arrange inspiring sessions led by world-renowned guest artists, providing you with valuable insights and opportunities to refine your craft. These master classes are an invaluable part of our program, fostering growth and creativity.

Prepare to be inspired by our exceptional student pianists who have earned prestigious accolades at state, regional and national levels. Our graduates have gone on to establish successful careers as performers, teachers, conductors and more. Join our esteemed community and embark on a musical journey that will shape your future.



A student performing on a grand piano in Colton Hall.

Piano Pedagogy

Gain a comprehensive understanding of piano instruction through our piano pedagogy certificate. Delve into the intricacies of teaching methods, studies and solo materials, while exploring a wide range of piano literature. Through hands-on work, including private lessons, you will refine your skills and acquire the expertise necessary to confidently guide and instruct future piano students.


Undergraduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of Music. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and creative scholarship throughout the music field. 

Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Gray

Susan Gray



Piano, Collaborative Piano, Rawlins Piano Trio
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jared Ostermann

Jared Ostermann

Music Lessons Adjunct


Bio Image for Faculty Member Alessandra Feris

Alessandra Feris

Associate Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Deanna Wehrspann

Deanna Wehrspann


Collaborative Pianist

student success story

Success story Rebecca Kelley smiling.
As someone who grew up in Vermillion and took lessons from a USD piano professor I never truly appreciated USD until I began looking at bigger music conservatories. Not only does USD produce musicians that are as talented as those at conservatories, but the faculty are able to give me greater and more personalized attention than at a big school. The professors care about their students and my classmates support me in all that I strive to achieve.

Rebecca Kelley

B.F.A. Music Performance '25
Vermillion, SD

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