Ksenia Nosikova
Concert Pianist

Piano Syllabus


University of Iowa

Solo Piano Lessons
(025:041, 025:097, 025:120, 025:264)

Dr. Ksenia Nosikova

Room 2744 University Capitol Center (UCC)

Tel:  (319) 335-1651
E-mail:   ksenia-nosikova@uiowa.edu

Office Hours: by appointment


Description of the Course

Each student will have one 50 minutes individual lesson per week. We will meet as a studio for a required weekly Performance Seminar (Thursdays, 1:30-2:30) in Harper Hall.  All Piano Lessons (025: 041, 097, 120, 264) are 2 credit hour courses.  "This course is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Science.  This means that for undergraduates, class policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Undergraduate students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at http://provost.www.uiowa.edu/ucoll/students/registration.htm.

Philosophy and Goals

Building a student's creative independence as a performer, developing well-rounded musicianship and   continuing motivation for learning, and helping students to be capable teachers in the future are some of the most important issues that I try to address during applied lessons and piano performance seminars. In reality, all three goals are inseparable from each other.  The creative independence is best evolved when there is a solid fundamental knowledge of performing methods and vital tools, such as a quality and means of sound production, technical skills, musicality and sensitivity, analytical and memorization skills, sight-reading skills, stylistic awareness, effective ways of practicing, and etc. Professional growth of a performer demands constant exposure to the new repertoire and the challenges of performance.  Learning new repertoire and public performance are some of the most vital paths for artistic self-expression of a performer.  They directly reflect creativity and individuality of a musician.  Developing someone's musicianship directly correlates with continuing motivation and enthusiasm for music and learning. The more a performer knows about music he/she plays the more interesting and exciting his/her practice time becomes, resulting in a more individual and convincing interpretation. Thus, an expansion of reading and listening horizons should be an integral part of a formative process of a musician. And at the end, by becoming a better musician and performer, a young artist becomes a better teacher, since there is a direct and immediate connection between    performing and teaching.


You will have one individual lesson of 50 minutes in length per week. Please let me know if you need to leave promptly at the end of your lesson, since I have a tendency of teaching a full hour. You should prepare all assigned materials for each lesson with an evidence of improvement from your previous lesson. Allow yourself some time between your previous engagement and a lesson to warm up and concentrate on the music that you will be playing at the lesson. Prompt appearance to the lesson is encouraged. If you need to re-schedule, think ahead and notify me at least few days in advance, so we can find another time to meet.

 Performance Seminars

   We will meet as a studio for a required weekly Performance Seminar (Thursdays, 1:30-2:30) in Harper Hall. Please make sure you do not have any scheduling conflicts for this time. Studio performance seminars are an important part of the learning process. They present you with an opportunity to perform in public and hear your colleagues. They give you chance to be involved in discussions of the performances, raise questions of interpretation, and explain artistic decisions. They help you to develop a critical ear, talk about music, and give critical comments in a constructive and positive way. These seminars offer an opportunity for you to become familiar with other repertory and learn from the successes/ problems of others.

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  Technique Proficiency Requirements for Lower Level Lesson

At the end of the semester, students, registered for lower level lessons, will have a Technique Proficiency Exam.  The exam will consist of playing 12 different Major/Minor scales, arpeggios, chords, and 3-4 Cortot and Brahms exercises covered during the semester.  We'll meet as a group at agreed time at the last week of classes to hear everyone play.  The technique exam will count for 20% of the total fall semester grade.  Graduate students interested in fulfilling this requirements, please talk to me.


  Public recital is a particularly important event for a musician.  It is a final product of endless hours of work in the practice room and lessons with a teacher.  Therefore, it should be approached with special care. A satisfying recital will only happen if you are well prepared for the performance.  This requires careful planning of the program and schedule of practice. Be professional and plan your recital long in advance. You should have your whole program solidly memorized and performed at studio seminars at least one month prior to your recital date. You should review with me all of the printing materials, such as a poster, program, and program notes, before you print the final version.  Please do not post any announcements connected with your recital without showing it to me first. If you wish me to be at your dress rehearsal, notify me soon enough, so I can change my schedule if it is needed.


Twice a year, usually after Thanksgiving and spring breaks, our piano area holds piano juries. Everyone who is a piano performance major should play the juries. The only exceptions are students who performed their degree recitals during the semester prior to the juries time, students who performed at the UI concerto competition, and students who are taking comprehensive examinations during the semester. The repertoire requirements for the juries are 7-8 minutes of memorized solo piano repertoire for freshmen, 8-9 minutes for sophomores, 10 minutes for juniors and seniors, 12 1/2 minutes for masters, and 15 minutes for DMA. The program should consist of solo piano works of at least 2 contrasting style. The piano area faculty committee will decide on a grade for the jury. This grade will count as 25% of the total semester grade.

Repertoire List

 At the end of each semester you will be asked to submit your repertoire list.  This list will consist of two main sections: assigned repertoire and learned repertoire.  This procedure will help you to keep a better track of your own achievements.  Having your repertoire list prepared will also speed up your future application processes (schools, competitions, festivals, and jobs).


 Practice is the only way to become a good musician.  You have to be very organized and schedule your practice time as you would schedule your classes.  Have a weekly practice schedule assigned, along with your class schedule.  You should practice every day.  Consistency is a key to success. Use your practice time wisely, setting up particular goals for each session.

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Your final grade will be influenced by the following factors:

1. The quality of your work during the semester:

  • a.     Preparation for each individual lesson
  • b.     Amount of the repertoire learned
  • c.     Amount of the repertoire performed
  • d.     Prompt attendance

2. Attendance and participation in the performance seminars.

3. Quality of performance

  • a.     public recital
  • b.     piano area juries
  • c.     studio performance seminars
  • d.     technique proficiency exam for Lower Level Lessons

 I will use Plus/Minus Grading System.

  Rights and Responsibilities

    All students in the College of the Liberal Arts have specific rights and responsibilities. You have the right to adjudication of any complaints you have about studio activities or instructor actions. Information on these procedures is available in the Schedule of Courses and on-line in the College's Student Academic Handbook (http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/academic_handbook/). You also have the right to expect a studio environment that enables you to learn, including modifications if you have a disability.   I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, performing, or other studio requirements so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

Complaint procedure

     (from CLAS Student Academic Handbook, http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/support/)

       Ordinarily, the student should attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor first. Students may talk first to someone other than the instructor (for instance, to the department's director of undergraduate studies, the departmental executive officer, or the University Ombudsperson) if they do not feel, for whatever reason, that they can directly approach the instructor.

       If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student should go to the course supervisor (if the instructor is a teaching assistant), to the Associate Director for (Undergraduate/Graduate) Studies, or the departmental executive officer.

       If the matter remains unresolved, the student may submit a written complaint to the associate dean for academic programs. The associate dean will attempt to resolve the complaint and, if necessary, may convene a special committee to recommend appropriate action. In any event, the associate dean will respond to the student in writing regarding the disposition of the complaint.  

  University Ombudsperson

   Ombudspersons Office, located at C108 Seashore Hall (335-3608), provides conflict resolution services, as well as general information about University policies and procedures.  ( http://www.uiowa.edu/~ombud/ )


  Respect for Diversity

"The University of Iowa values diversity among students, faculty, and staff, and regards Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action as tools to achieve diversity. The University believes that a rich diversity of people and the many points of view they bring serve to enhance the quality of the educational experience at The University of Iowa. " (http://www.uiowa.edu/homepage/diversity/)

   How to reach me

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. The fastest way to reach me is by E-mail, unless I am on the road.  You may schedule an office hour appointment with me. To do so, please email your request for a meeting, and I will try to accommodate your request the best I can. You may also call my studio and leave a message on the answering machine.  Please note that I usually do not answer the phone while I am teaching.  You also can leave a note in my faculty mailbox, located in the Mail Room across from the Main Office  In case of an emergency, you may call me at home (319-321-0238).

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