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The Keyboard Area emphasizes a comprehensive curriculum of solo performance, pedagogy, accompanying, and chamber music within a broad array of degree programs. Our students receive thorough training and guidance from renowned faculty giving each student the attention they need. Students have many opportunities to perform not only as soloists, but also in chamber music ensembles coached by faculty as part of the curriculum. Performance classes provide an opportunity for collective feedback on the progress of each student by faculty while discussing specific topics of interest.

Piano Pedagogy

The Piano Pedagogy track is designed to help pianists and teachers develop skills in the art of teaching piano and in operating a financially successful independent teaching studio. Curriculum is structured to the study of teaching materials and approaches for students at all levels and in all age groups from preschool children to adults. Pedagogy classes are interactive including teaching demonstrations by faculty, and guest lecturers plus field trips to independently owned music schools for observation. Students in their Junior and Senior years, will be offered the opportunity to serve as Junior Music Instructors in the Music Preparatory Division at NKU.

Piano players on stage

Keyboard Plus Festival

Nov. 5, 2023

Join us in celebrating the Keyboard Area at Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts by participating in a series of recitals. Our primary goals are to raise funds to update our keyboard inventory by rebuilding or replacing instruments in practice rooms, studios, and classrooms. Additionally, the funds will help to support needed materials and bring in guest speakers and artists essential to support to the Pedagogy Program at NKU

Please register for the recital that best fits your schedule.

  • Performers may be Beginner through Advanced at any age
  • Teachers are encouraged to perform with their students
  • Recitals will be roughly 45 – 60 minutes long
  • Chamber music and piano ensembles are encouraged
  • Participants may choose a single work less than 8 minutes long

Each recital performer will be given a t-shirt to commemorate the event. Please contact Dr. Richard Van Dyke at or (859) 572-5792 for any questions regarding repertoire and event details.

Register Now



Keyboard Area Highlights

  • Keyboard Area Recitals each semester featuring students enrolled in applied lessons and chamber music classes.
  • Chamber Music Ensembles that promote collaborative performances with fellow student vocalists and instrumentalists
  • Private study with actively performing faculty members trained at the finest conservatories in the United States
  • The Annual Northern Kentucky Winter Piano Pedagogy Conference, draws internationally renowned performers and pedagogues as presenters
  • Networking with members from the Northern Kentucky and Ohio Southwest District Music Teachers Associations
  • Opportunities to attend concerts and master classes featuring internationally known pianists performing in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Xavier Piano Series.
  • Keyboard Faculty have been recognized as presenters at National, State and Local workshops, sessions and master classes including the Music Teachers National Association Conference, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the MTNA Collegiate Symposium.



Students will work with highly qualified faculty while pursuing their degree at NKU. Here is a link to the faculty in music directly involved with the Keyboard Area Curriculum.

Richard Van Dyke

Richard Van Dyke, D.M.A., N.C.T.M.
Lecturer, Keyboard Area Coordinator
(859) 572-5792

  • Specializes in Performance Practice and Pedagogy
  • Teaches Applied Lessons, Class Piano, Piano Pedagogy and Piano Proficiency
  • Oversees all keyboard activities
Katie Barton

Katie Barton, M.M.
Lecturer, Choral Studies; Lecturer, Piano

  • Teaches Ensemble Accompanying
  • Director of Choral Studies
Christina Seal

Christina Lalog Seal, D.M.A.
Adjunct Professor of Piano; Staff Collaborative Pianist

  • Specializes in Chamber Music with Piano
  • Coaches piano chamber ensembles
  • Teaches Applied Lessons and Class Piano
Melinda Hickman

Melinda Hickman, D.M.A.
Adjunct Professor of Piano

  • Teaches Applied Lessons and Class Piano

Hye Eun Suh, M.M.
Adjunct Professor of Piano; Staff Collaborative Pianist

  • Specializes in Class Piano
  • Teaches Applied Lessons and Class Piano

Leanne Wood, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Musicology Coordinator

  • Specializes in Musicology and teaches Piano Literature