Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Christine Kefferstan

Committee Co-Chair

Mary Ferer

Committee Member

William Haller

Committee Member

James Miltenberger

Committee Member

Janet Snyder

Committee Member

Virginia Thompson


The current project is a reference guide for using Chopin's Preludes in the applied studio to teach technique, and consists of three main components: determining the technical challenges of each prelude; categorizing each prelude by level of technical difficulty; compiling practice suggestions for successful navigation of each technique. The following technical challenges are represented throughout the set: voicing, passagework, cross-rhythms and tuplet rhythms, stretches, leaps, fingering, double notes, octaves, repeated notes, pedaling, hand coordination, hand independence. Each of these challenges is manifested in a multiple ways. While a variety of techniques are required to perform any given work, in the Preludes often one or two technical skills are most prominently on display, making for a suitable technical study. This project indicates the main technical challenges presented by each prelude, as well as those which are more subtly employed. With the classification provided in this document it is possible to choose a prelude to focus on and reinforce a particular skill.;The grading scale, based on level of technical difficulty, consists of four categories: easy, intermediate, advanced, and very advanced. This system used is based on, though not identical to, that found in Eleanor Bailie's Chopin, A Graded Practical Guide (London: Kahn & Averill, 1998). The grading scale is not intended to compare the Preludes with other repertoire; it categorizes the preludes in relation to others in the set only. Many of the techniques listed above are represented, to greater and lesser degrees of prominence, in three of the four grading categories, making it possible to find an appropriate prelude for both a specific technique and difficulty level.;The compilation of practice suggestions includes those that have been presented by other scholars, as well as tips gleaned from performance experience of the set by the author. In addition, Chopin's approach to the piano and technique is explored and compared to our modern conception of technique. Incorporating writings by Chopin, interviews of his students, and other contemporary accounts with current ideas on technique creates a unique amalgamation of suggestions and considerations for students and teachers alike.