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pianist chancel organ

Keyboard Studies

Keyboard studies, including piano, organ and harpsichord, offers students extensive opportunities for continuing their training in these instruments or for starting instruction if they have had no prior experience.

Qualified students may choose to major in piano or organ, either as part of the BA degree with a major in music or as the applied area in the BM degree in performance or in music education.

Many students whose major is outside the Department of Music opt to study piano or organ as an elective, either building on years of previous study, or starting as a beginner. Piano lessons, organ lessons, and group piano classes are regularly chosen to fulfill the college's requirement of a semester of study in the applied arts.



Andrew Le, Associate Professor of Music, Piano
Huw Lewis, Professor of Music, Organ

Additional Keyboard Faculty:

Charles Aschbrenner, Professor Emeritus of Music, Piano & Eurythmics
Lora Kolean, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music, Piano & Class Piano
Linda Strouf, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music, Keyboard Skills


A distinct advantage of a music department such as Hope's is the opportunity for frequent performing experience whether in studio classes, Keyboard Performance Classes, Student Recitals, or individual solo or joint recitals. Both music majors and non-majors may audition for the annual DeVos Showcase Concert and the Concerto/Aria Competition.

Recent Guest Artists/Masterclasses include pianists Jerome Lowenthal, Spencer Myer, Jerico Vasquez, and Rob Auler, as well as organists Frederic Blanc (Paris), Christopher Houlihan (NYC), and Isabelle Demers (NYC).


Excellent instruments are available to students for both practicing and performing. The college has two Steinway D (nine-foot) concert grand pianos, one each in Dimnent Chapel and Wichers Auditorium.

There are six practice rooms with Kawai grand pianos, and the piano teaching studios have seven-foot Steinway and Mason & Hamlin grands. For beginning piano class instruction and keyboard skills classes for the majors, there is a new lab of sixteen Yamaha Clavinova keyboards. The department also owns several Yamaha Disklavier pianos.

The organ facilities at Hope are exceptional. Dimnent Memorial Chapel houses both the four-manual Ernest M. Skinner chancel organ and the two-manual Pels & van Leeuwen gallery organ. The organ teaching studio of the Nykerk Hall of Music boasts an organ built by J.W. Walker & Sons Ltd., and the Nykerk Hall of Music also has two pipe organ practice rooms.

E.M. Skinner Organ Dedication Booklet
See photos of the Skinner Organ restoration
Listen to the Skinner Organ (scroll down)


Click here to read about what some of our Keyboard Area Graduates have been up to since completing their degrees at Hope.


Hope College Young Artists Piano Competition

The Department of Music holds an annual competition for talented high school pianists living in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. For competition guidelines and a printable (pdf) application, please visit the piano competition webpage.