Piano Laboratory Program

PLP offers quality private piano instruction to the University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana community at affordable rates.  

2018-19 Academic Year | Complete Schedule

Registration opens no later than:

August 1 for Fall Semester
December 1 for Spring Semester
May 1 for Summer Session

Return forms to:

Piano Laboratory Program 
1114 W Nevada Street
Urbana, IL 61801


Piano Laboratory Program
MC – 056 (for campus mail)

Please submit registration information and forms as early as possible to avoid a delay in scheduling lessons.

Once your registration materials have been received, you will be contacted by a PLP instructor to determine a lesson schedule.

For questions, please contact:


General Information

School of Music | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Office of Admissions and Public Engagement
1114 West Nevada | Urbana, Illinois | 61801-3883

About the Program

Since 1980, the University of Illinois Piano Laboratory Program has provided quality non-credit piano instruction for students of all ages in the Champaign-Urbana area. It also provides a forum in which piano majors (graduate and upper-class undergraduate students) may obtain teaching training experience under the supervision of master teachers. The Piano Laboratory Program is administered jointly by two Divisions within the School of Music: (1) Office of Admissions and Public Engagement in Music, Stephen Burian, Asst. Director, and (2) Piano Pedagogy, Dr. Christos Tsitsaros, Chair.

Faculty and Instructional Staff

Faculty members, experienced graduate students, and adjunct staff teach pupils enrolled in the Piano Laboratory Program. University of Illinois faculty members are Professors Christos Tsitsaros, and Joan Hickey (jazz piano only).

PLP faculty for 2018-19 include:

So Jung Kwak, coordinator

Peng Du, Han Byul Jang, Yunhee Kim, Bora Ryu, Tatiana Shustova, Lishan Xue, Jiafeng Yan, and Gang Zhu.


The curriculum of the Piano Laboratory Program includes traditional performance repertoire and technical development combined with musicianship study (e. g., sight-reading, aural skills, and music theory). Two recital programs are held each year. All pupils participate in weekly private lessons. Advanced jazz piano instruction is available with Joan Hickey for students who qualify by audition. Instruction occurs in faculty studios and classrooms of Smith Memorial Hall at the corner of Mathews and Nevada. The course of instruction coincides with the University calendar and consists of two 14-week semesters. Summer instruction is also available.

2018-19 Calendar for Instruction

Pre-college pupils participate in one recital program each semester; participation by adult students is optional.

Semester Fee Schedule

  • 30 minute lessons – $22.00 per lesson.
  • 45 minute lessons – $32.00 per lesson.
  • 60 minute lessons – $42.00 per lesson.

Fourteen lessons will be taught each semester. Eight lessons are normally taught in the summer. 

A $20 registration charge will be billed once per academic year at the time of initial registration. Normally, this will occur at the outset of the fall semester. Students who enroll mid-year will be assessed the registration fee at that time. 

The Office of Admissions and Public Engagement in Music will email billing information for each subsequent period of instruction for the academic year after initial registration.

The purchase of music and other instructional materials is not included in the tuition fee. 

Payment Options – Registrants may elect one of the following payment options when registering.

  • Full Semester Payment – full payment should be received by noon on Friday of the first week of classes; PLP instruction begins in the second week. 
  • Payment Plan: First payment by noon Friday of first week and second payment by noon Friday of the 7th Week of the semester. 

Scheduling of Lesson Times and Missed Lesson Policy

Once the teacher assignment is made, lesson times are arranged at a mutually convenient time between the student/parent and instructor. Generally, lesson times occur Monday through Friday but not on weekends. Lessons will not be scheduled until a registration form, release form, and payment have been submitted. Once lesson times have been arranged between the instructor and student, parents or students who do not give advance notice will be charged for missed lessons. Advance notice is defined as 24-hour notice.

Occasionally, instructors must be away from campus. In such instances, lessons will be rearranged or taught by a substitute teacher. A student with chronic absences will be dropped from the program, and attendance at a minimum of 12 lessons per semester is required to maintain enrollment. Unexcused absences from lessons will not be made up and there will be no refunds for these lessons.


The piano laboratory program does not utilize a credit system. Any lessons paid for and not received, with the exception of unexcused absences, during the semester will be refunded within 4 – 6 weeks from the date of the refund approval.

For enrollment questions contact:

So Jung Kwak, Lead Instructor and Coordinator


For billing questions or to return your payment and registration forms:

Piano Laboratory Program
Nancy Boaz, registrar
1114 West Nevada St
Urbana, Illinois 61801