Piano Auditions

Welcome to the piano program at Scripps College!

In these uncertain times art and music matter more than ever before because they give us a chance to appreciate and create beauty. We are here to help you make that happen, to help you improve. We accept students at all levels in our graded courses.

Meet our piano profs:

Professor Hao HuangProfessor Hao Huang strikes a pose among the leaves

Thanks for your interest in piano lessons at the Scripps Music Department. The most important take-away we’d like you to have is that these are college courses for credit, and that students are graded on progress throughout the term, not for specific level of ability.   We are here to help you improve and deepen your relationship to the piano and its repertoire.

Professor Julie Simonprofessor simon smiling

During this pandemic our piano students taught us how important it was for them to keep connected to music by playing piano, even when conditions were not ideal. Learning the skills to become a pianist is about joining a great musical tradition with thrilling repertoire and wonderful players that came before us. We look forward to hearing from you!


We have two courses that offer piano lessons in the Scripps Music Department that are open to students from all Claremont Colleges.

MUS85a: Group Piano

  • One hour weekly piano training with 4-6 students.
  • For beginners and early intermediate students.
  • Students study short pieces as assigned by instructor.
  • No jury, no public performances required.

MUS171a: Piano (individual lessons)

  • ½ hour weekly one-to-one lessons with one of three piano faculty PLUS attendance at the group Performance Class sessions held an average of every other week, where students play for each other in a masterclass format and receive comments.
  • Jury performance of two pieces at the end of the semester.
  • Performances at Student Recitals encouraged. (Full hour lessons are available for majors, and, with special permission, very advanced students)

Faculty will decide on placements by Friday of the first week of classes. Students will be notified on the weekend about studio placement, and lessons will begin the following week.


Please follow the piano audition process outlined below.

Piano auditions will be held in PAC 138, which is in the Scripps Performing Arts Center opposite Garrison Theater, kitty corner to Glanville Music Library.

Fall 2022 piano auditions will be held on the afternoons of Tuesday August 30th , Wednesday August 31st, Thursday Sept. 1st: and Friday Sept. 2nd . A sign-up sheet will be posted by August 26th, please come by early to PAC 138 to sign-up for an audition slot.

For intermediate to advanced piano students, please bring in one prepared piece to play and be ready to do a little sight-reading.
We’ll also ask you these questions:

What are you interested in improving in your piano playing this fall?
How long have you studied piano, and what is your musical background?
What other music have you been studying over the past year?
What kind of piano music are you most interested in learning to play?
Are you able to commit to practicing 1 hour a day in order to make significant progress for a college level piano course?

Audition slots are only 7 1/2 minutes.

For beginners, we will do an interview that will feature these questions:

Why are you interested in learning how to play the piano?
What musical background do you have, if any?
Can you read music? Which clef?
What kind of piano music are you most interested in learning to play?
Are you able to commit to practicing 1 hour a day in order to make significant progress for a college level piano course?

Hope to see you there!

Please send inquiries to Profs. Hao Huang at or Julie Simon at