Featured Music Department Faculty

Beth Gigante Klingenstein

Click to zoom

Beth Gigante Klingenstein is an Associate Professor of Music at Valley City State University where she founded the VCSU Community School of the Arts in 1994. She had her first book, A Business Guide for the Music Teacher, published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company in 1987 and her second book, The Independent Piano Teacher's Studio Handbook, published by Hal Leonard Corporation in 2009.

Klingenstein was asked to write her second book by the keyboard editor at Hal Leonard Corporation. Her ambitious intentions are made clear by the size (452 pages) and depth of the book. It covers dozens of business and pedagogy topics, all related to the professional issues faced by independent piano teachers. Examples include national standards, careers in music; developing and maintaining professionalism; establishing lessons; handling finances, legal and ethical issues; presenting recitals; teaching musical skills, music history, and theory; using technology; developing curriculum; serving as an advocate for the arts; obtaining arts funding, and much more.

Understanding that addressing any of these topics could be the content of a complete book, Klingenstein built into her book an in-depth list of resources that readers can use to get more information. Another unique feature in this book is an appendix that includes sample documents that music teachers need in the independent studio. These documents include a sample studio policy, registration form, interview forms, brochures, and many others.

"I wrote this book to give piano teachers a single source for the information they need to operate a successful studio," said Klingenstein. "Teachers who are just entering the field can use it as a good foundation for developing a career as a private piano teacher. Experienced teachers can use it because it includes information on how to upgrade and expand studio curriculum and also lists the latest resources in numerous areas of teaching. Many university instructors are using it as a text for their piano pedagogy courses."

Offering a wealth of information on dozens of business and pedagogy topics, this comprehensive guide assists both veteran and novice piano teachers in all aspects of running an effective independent studio.

Business Chapters cover:

  • Embracing Professionalism
  • Professional Studio Documents
  • Setting Up a Studio Space
  • Office Technology
  • Setting Rates
  • Payment Plans
  • Marketing
  • Taxes and Insurance
  • Interviewing, Scheduling
  • Studio Policies
  • Zoning Laws and Ethical Issues
  • Maintaining High Studio Standards

Pedagogy Chapters cover:

  • Teaching Materials
  • Learning Styles
  • Professional Development and Professional Organizations
  • Teacher Certification
  • The Art of Practice
  • The Art of Memorization
  • The Art of Performance
  • Teaching Skills: Timing, Technique, Sight Playing, Fingering, Pedaling, Developing the Ear
  • Curriculum: National Standards, Music History, Theory, Composition, Camps, Collaborative Arts, Composition, Jazz, Improvisations, Workstations
  • Technology: Equipment and Studio Uses

Additional chapters cover careers in music, arts funding, and arts advocacy. The extensive appendices contain useful studio documents, sample surveys, and contact information for national music organizations.

Office Information

Department Chair
Christopher Redfearn, D.A., Associate Professor
Email: christopher.redfearn@vcsu.edu
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37377

Administrative Assistant:
Paula Larson
Email: paula.larson@vcsu.edu
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37272
Mailing Address:
Department of Music
101 College Street SW
Valley City, ND 58072