Piano Activities

Activity 1: Listening List

Listening to music as much as you possibly can is an education in itself and a crucial part of becoming a musician. Included are piano pieces and non-piano pieces because you will learn at least as much about playing the piano from listening to a singer or a string quartet or an orchestra as you will from hearing a solo piano recording.

With such a huge and fabulous piano repertoire, choosing a mere 10 or 20 items is pretty random. So, if you know these pieces already, feel free to substitute others.

Please be sure to listen to all parts of multi-movement works!

+ View the listening list here.

Click here to access recordings through Moodle (login required).


  • Italian Concerto (Andras Schiff, Angela Hewitt)
  • Partita No. 1 in Bb (Murray Perahia)
  • Prelude and Fugue in F# Minor, Book 2 (Angela Hewitt, Edward Aldwell)


  • Sonata in Eb, XVI:52 (Alfred Brendel)


  • Concerto in A Major, K. 488 (Mitsuko Uchida)
  • Sonata in A Minor, K. 310 (Dinu Lipatti)


  • Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata” (Rudolf Serkin)
  • Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” (Leon Fleisher)
  • Quartet in C# Minor, Op. 131 (Juilliard Quartet)


  • Sonata in Bb, D. 960 (entire 4 movements) (Arthur Schnabel)
  • Die Schone Mullerin (entire 20 songs) (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Andras Schiff)


  • Concerto in A Minor (Murray Perahia)
  • Dichterliebe (entire 16 songs) (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau)


  • Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52 (Krystian Zimerman)


  • Concerto No. 1 in D Minor (Leon Fleisher)


  • Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Vladimir Horowitz)


  • Estampes (Walter Gieskeing)


  • Gaspard de la Nuit (Martha Argerich)


  • Sonata (John Browning)

Lowell Liebermann

  • Gargoyles (Steven Hough)

Activity 2: Learn a short piece

Over the summer, as an incoming student, you will be asked to learn one short piece to play when you arrive at Lawrence in September. The piano faculty will be in touch with you with repertoire suggestions.

  • Be prepared to perform the piece at the first or second meeting of your piano studio, very soon after you arrive on campus.
  • Use the process as a practice for the kind of learning we will expect from you once you arrive, as laid out below under "Expectations of piano students". 

Expectations of piano students

At Lawrence, the piano will become the center of your academic life and you will be asked to take more responsibility for your performances. Your piano instructor is always there to help, but we want you to learn to act more as your own teacher.

  • Come to lessons prepared with decisions on:
    • Fingerings
    • Phrasing
    • Tempo
    • Interpretation
  • Look up all foreign musical terms in the score
  • Listen to various interpretations
  • Compare various editions and choose the fingerings that best suit your hand
  • Analyze the piece you are learning and use your harmonic and formal analysis to help you memorize

Videos of Piano faculty

YouTube VideoYouTube VideoPlay YouTube Video Professors Catherine Kautsky and Anthony Padilla perform the Poulenc Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra

The Bright Motion on Vimeo







Professor Michael Mizrahi's music video from his award-winning album The Bright Motion​, released in 2012.





Click here for more videos.