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The Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in piano performance is designed for those who want to become professional performers or collaborative pianists, as a way to prepare students for a graduate study, and for those who wish to have careers as teaching in academia or private studios. Students receive one-to-one instruction with our superb music faculty and aim for the highest performance goals and professionalism.

Couse Offerings

Course Offerings

Get ready for your journey towards a professional music career by delving into performance practices spanning four centuries of keyboard repertoire. At Huston Tillotson's exceptional performing and recording facilities, you'll collaborate with renowned artists from various pedagogical and performance traditions. This experience will help you refine your personal artistry and acquire the necessary skills to thrive in your musical career after graduation.

Private Lessons

Students enrolled in lessons engage in weekly one-on-one sessions with faculty members, focusing on fundamental aspects of their instrument while also preparing solo repertoire for on-campus performances throughout the semester.


Students will experience broad range of experiences on organ in the HT Department of Music. You’ll have ample time to perfect your pipe organ skills on our four-manual organ located in the Historic King-Seabrook Chapel.

Studio Class

Students interested in honing their jazz improvisation abilities, regardless of their instrument, can enroll in Jazz Combos. Participants are grouped into small combos, each with a rhythm section, and rehearsal schedules are set by the members. The program offers instruction on improvisation, and performances include one evening show per semester along with potential informal gigs both on and off campus.

Hammond B3

The Hammond B3 was widely used in popular music, while other variations were tailored for churches and concert halls. The masterclasses offered at HT focus on teaching students various aspects of playing the classic Hammond B-3, covering genres like jazz, blues, funk, gospel, rock, and pop, as well as improvisation, solo performance, chord voicings, accompaniment techniques, developing bass lines (left hand bass), bass pedal technique, drawbar settings, and utilizing the Leslie Cabinet.

Collaborative Piano

Collaborative piano majors play an integral role in the musical life of the Huston-Tillotson Department of Music, participating across various school divisions. They contribute to activities such as providing music for ensembles, conducting and studio classes, master classes, lessons, and more. Through these experiences, students are exposed to a diverse range of instrumental and vocal repertoire and styles.


At HT, harpsichord study offers keyboardists a comprehensive exploration of expressive, technical, and historical aspects associated with early keyboard performance styles. Lessons prioritize cultivating a healthy and responsive technique while unveiling the instrument's tonal palette and the nuanced language of baroque rhetoric. Basso continuo lessons provide a fresh perspective on accompanying, enriching students' improvisational skills and keyboard harmony while fostering a deeper understanding of early ensemble practices.

Class Piano I-IV

Class Piano is a comprehensive four-semester program tailored for undergraduate music majors not specializing in keyboard instruments. It aims to cultivate essential keyboard skills including technique (scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions), sight-reading, harmonization, transposition, improvisation, solo and ensemble performance, accompaniment, as well as score reading for both choral and instrumental contexts.

Piano Pedagogy

The piano pedagogy course caters to students aspiring for careers in private piano teaching or graduate studies. Our curriculum covers child development, learning theory relevant to music education, both group and individual lesson structures, and the business facets of managing a private studio.


Meet the Team

The piano faculty members are highly active performers on the global stage, renowned for their acclaimed solo and chamber recordings, contributions to national publications, and receipt of prestigious national and international awards and performance grants.


“It really is a game changer for us,” said Dr. Stephen Burnaman, chair of the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts and professor of music. “The addition of all new Steinways makes a statement that we are committed to the future of musical excellence and artistry. This fulfills our vision to be a musical force in the greater Austin community. To have all the money so quickly and to have new pianos all at once, it’s just unbelievable. I don’t think our All-Steinway campaign would have ever happened without Matthew Bird. He is the best!”

Dr. Stphen Burnaman

Stephen Burnaman, D.M.A.

Department Chair - Humanities & Fine Arts

Associate Professor of Music - Piano

University Organist


Doctor of Music Arts: The University of Texas at Austin

Dissertation: The piano music of American composers Edward MacDowell and Amy Beach

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Master of Music in Piano Performance: New England Conservatory of Music in Boston


Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance: Stephen F. Austin State University


Stephen Burnaman, pianist, has performed throughout the United States and abroad in such major musical centers as Boston, New York, Chicago, Rome, Warsaw, Taipei and Hong Kong.  Highlights include performances at the Hong Kong City Theatre, the Rome Festival in Italy, and a solo recital at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was broadcast live over the WFMT fine arts radio and television network.  He has also presented lectures and papers on various aspects of piano playing, including a paper presented at the conference on the music of Amy Beach at New York’s Mannes College of Music.  He is past faculty member of the Concord Community Music School in Concord, New Hampshire, Briarcliff Music School in Austin, TX, and is former Lecturer in Piano Accompanying at the University of Texas at Austin.  He is currently Professor of Piano and University Organist at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, and is former president of the Austin District Music Teachers Association, which named him Teacher of the Year for 2003 and Collegiate Teacher of the Year for 2004 & 2005.  He has served churches in Massachusetts and Texas as pianist and organist and from 2006-2011 performed as pianist for the Austin Singers, a professional choral ensemble. Burnaman completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin where he was awarded the A. David Renner Endowed Presidential Scholarship in piano and where he completed his doctoral dissertation on the piano music of American composers Edward MacDowell and Amy Beach.  He holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Stephen F. Austin State University.  While at SFA, he received the Mamie Middlebrook Award as the outstanding pianist, the President’s Award as the outstanding recitalist, and the Zelma Childers Award as the outstanding graduate in the School of Fine Arts.  He was named Outstanding Alumnus in 2009 by the Stephen F. Austin University School of Music.  He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor fraternity and received the Coulter Award in piano at the Brazos Valley Piano Competition.  His university and conservatory teachers include Gregory Allen, Victor Rosenbaum and Andrew Parr. Stephen, his wife Sandra, also a pianist and music educator, and their son Seth live in Austin.


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Dr. Mari Yoshikawa
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Mari Yoshikawa, D.M.A.

Adjunct Professor of Piano


Canadian pianist, Christine Yoshikawa is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, and her versatile international performing career as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician have led to appearances as concerto soloist with major orchestras and recital engagements in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Munich, Prague, and Tokyo among others. After winning the Canadian National Music Competitions at the age of 6 with a performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec, she is also a winner of the Young Concert Artist Guild, Grand Prize Laureate of the Kromeriz Czech Republic International Piano Festival Competition, Ehrhart Chamber International Competition, and the Yakov Flier International Piano Competition. Her performances have garnered international acclaim and critics have praised her as a pianist of "pure power” (South Bend Tribune) from her performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto; "remarkable endurance, refinement, precision and authority", and "radiant lyricism, elegance and warmth". (The Observer UK). In recent seasons her wide ranging recital and concerto repertoire from Beethoven to Xenakis has been applauded throughout, and after making her concerto debut with Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the London Westminster Philharmonic at the age of 9, she has since appeared as soloist with major orchestras including the Panama City Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonie d'Avignon, Kammerorchester Dusseldorf, Pazardjik National Symphony of Bulgaria, Elkhart Symphony, Sydney Chamber Orchestra, and Nagoya Gakuen Philharmonic among others. Highlights in recent seasons include a recital and live broadcast on WFMT in Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series in Preston Bradley Hall and a concert tour with cellist Alexei Romanenko as part of the Romanenko-Yoshikawa Duo, as well as debuts in Spain, the Olomouc Philharmonic Hall (Czech Republic), Grand Théâtre de Québec, Steinway Festival (FL), Chan Center for the Performing Arts and performances of concerti by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Chausson, Mendelssohn, and Rachmaninoff with orchestras in Chicago, London, Richmond, Fort Nelson, Penticton, and in Indiana and Florida. Beginning her piano studies at the age of two with her mother, and later with Jocelyn Pritchard and Jean-Luc Pelletier in Paris, she had earned diplomas with first class honors and top medals from the Western Board and the Royal School of Music in London by the age of ten. Additionally, she was awarded a full scholarship to study with distinguished pianist Gyorgy Sebok of Indiana University Bloomington, at the Banff Centre of the Performing Arts, and was a Charter Fellow of the prestigious Toradze Institute at Indiana University South Bend under the tutelage of Alexander Toradze. She received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from Arizona State University as a pupil of renowned American pianist Robert Hamilton. Dr. Yoshikawa was named the Mary Louise Remy Endowed Scholar (PEO) for her dissertation research on the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a recognition reserved for the top two of just 85 Research Scholars across North America selected from over 6000 nation-wide nominations. She is also the winner of the prestigious Kieckhefer Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Aiken-Rockfeller Concert Artist Career Grant and Medallion, British Columbia Arts Council Grant from the Government of Canada, Regent Scholar, and the President's Scholar Award. She holds additional performance degrees with distinction honors from the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia where her former teachers include Arthur Rowe and Jane Coop. A committed educator conducting clinics and masterclasses internationally, Dr. Yoshikawa was recently awarded the Diploma of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching, presented at Carnegie Hall. She has held positions at the University of British Columbia, Arizona State University, and Chipola College. She currently serves on the music faculty at Huston-Tillotson University, in addition to Gulf Coast State College in Florida and Capital Music Center. In addition to piano, she has served as organist at First United Methodist Marianna, Fellowship Presbyterian Church, and First Presbyterian Church of Marianna, and has studied organ under the tutelage of Professor Emeritus Michael Corzine of Florida State University. As a choral conductor, she served as the director of the Chipola Community Choir where she also led the performance of Handel's masterpiece, Messiah at the Prough Center for the Arts. She currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Leander United Methodist Church where she oversees the vibrant music ministry and directs the Chancel Choir. She has also been selected for publication in Madison's Who's Who, the International Who’s Who of Professional Artists and is on the roster of Recording Artists for Eroica Classical Recordings. Her performances are archived at the Canadian Music Centres across Canada and at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, and her concerts are broadcast on national radio across North America and abroad.

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