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Piano for Young People is a pre-college piano and musicianship program for students kindergarten through high school. Students pursue piano study through private lessons in a university setting. The program provides a comprehensive musical background for the student and draws its faculty from professionals in the Upstate and Furman piano performance and music education majors. Lessons and musicianship classes are held in Furman’s Daniel Music Building on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Each student works towards an end-of-term recital which is held in Daniel Recital Hall twice a year. Students also present recitals for local retirement communities. Piano for Young People is a selective program. Evidence of regular practice and earnest student participation is required to retain a place in the program. Piano for Young People is now hosted and sponsored by the Furman University Department of Music.


  • Our year is 28 weeks broken up into two 14 week terms with one lesson per week.
  • Private lessons include music theory, music history and recital performance skills. 
  • Students perform on a recital at the end of each term; two performances per year. 
  • Students are eligible and encouraged to enter auditions and competitions as recommended by the private teacher. Participants have won numerous awards in piano competitions.  
  • Lessons are available from adult staff or undergraduate assistants. Lesson length is determined by the director in consultation with the parent.
  • The Piano for Young People Calendar is a merge of dates as announced by Furman University and Greenville County Schools.  A detailed calendar is distributed in August. See link below for current schedule.

Fees, Payment, Calendar

How to Apply

    Application is free. No fee due until you are notified of your student’s acceptance and their participation is confirmed. See fee page for tuition details.
  2. Applicants will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis.
  3. Current parents: Change of address or adding a student?  Please complete the web application.

Herd_Kelly_webFurman.jpgKELLY HERD, program director.  Ms. Herd earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Furman University. She taught K4-8th grade general music at Prince of Peace Catholic Church and School for nine years; she also served as the Associate for Youth and Children’s Music, conducting several children and youth choirs and directing musicals, shows, and choral theatre camps. Ms. Herd has maintained her own private piano studio for over 10 years, while also finding time to accompany for many schools, churches, and other organizations across the Upstate. She volunteers through the many local music clubs in Greenville and is an active member of GMTA and SCMTA, having served as the District I Chair and other committee positions. Kelly is also a member of the Music Club of Greenville and National Federation of Music Clubs. She enjoys spending time hiking and backpacking throughout the Southeast.

Smith_Elliott_2.jpgELLIOTT SMITH, D.M.A. was born and raised in Greenville, SC where he attended Furman University and earned a degree in piano performance. From 2005-2010, he attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he received graduate degrees in piano and conducting. He recently received his doctorate in conducti​ng at Notre Dame where his research interest was continuo practice of the Baroque and Classical eras. His primary teachers include Ruby Morgan and Elisabeth Pridonoff, piano and Elmer Thomas, Earl Rivers, Brett Scott, Annunziata Tomato, and Carmen-Helena Téllez, conducting. For several years, Dr. Smith has served as counselor and lecturer for Furman's Summer Keyboard Insitute, ages 12-18.

Undergraduate Assistants
Furman faculty and the PfYP staff carefully select Furman piano and theory students to participate in PfYP.  Undergraduate assistants are Furman sophomores, juniors and seniors studying applied piano, piano pedagogy, music theory and music history.  Undergraduate assistants are required to be members of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Participation is selective.

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