Piano Prep Program

The NMSU Piano Prep Program (PIPP), directed by Dr. Laura Spitzer, is free and open to any student who wishes to become a piano major, or music education major with piano as their primary instrument. Dr. Spitzer assesses the student's current level of performance and offers a course of study which clearly outlines the levels of mastery required to progress toward a successful entrance audition. Benefits of participation in PIPP include:
  • an initial assessment
  • participation in monthly PIPP master classes
  • An open invitation to attend any NMSU Friday Studio Class, where PIPP students can audit a college level master class, meet piano majors, hear them play, and ask questions about the piano program. Dr. Spitzer usually teaches the master classes, but several times a year the class is led by guest artists.
  • A student handbook which includes musical and technical goals, exercises, listening assignments, and repertoire choices, with exact instructions for proper practice, and a description of performance expectations (tempo, rubato, musical phrasing, clarity, finger independence, hand position, etc.).
  • graded monthly progress reports
  • phone and e-mail consultations with student and teacher


Application Requirements

Students must express the intention of becoming NMSU piano majors, and be playing at least at a late intermediate level. They must be self motivated, demonstrate a willingness to follow through with instruction given, and commit themselves to 10-25 hours of piano practice each week. Satisfactory monthly progress grades are required to continue in the program.
To apply to the NMSU Piano Prep Program, please contact Dr. Spitzer by e-mail or telephone (575) 646-2228. Students who live outside of Las Cruces are also encouraged to apply.