Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Co-Chair

Cynthia Anderson

Committee Member

William Haller

Committee Member

Lucy Mauro

Committee Member

Georgia Narsavage


Music of contemporary classical composers is often neglected because of simple lack of familiarity or because some of the material is difficult; all too frequently, recent music is allotted very little time during the long-term course of a student's piano study. These circumstances may contribute to the current situation, in which, all too often, students may get little encouragement to explore music by contemporary composers.;This paper highlights some possible reasons for the lack of exposure which contemporary classical compositions sometimes receive. The discussion continues by outlining a broad conceptual teaching paradigm and then shows ways in which a conceptual approach is applicable to studio teachers, especially in regard to teaching contemporary pieces.;In support of that approach, this paper analyzes three collections of elementary to intermediate solo piano works of composers Lowell Liebermann and William Bolcom. The analysis demonstrates how these particular compositions can prove beneficial to a student's course of study.;The paper then concludes by summarizing the case for the importance of teaching contemporary compositions alongside the standard repertoire.