Student Finds Opportunity to Pursue Piano at SUU

Whether you’re a music major looking to improve your skills or just wanting to learn the piano, you have just the opportunity here at SUU. For sophomore Madi Boyer, taking lessons through Southern Utah University was just the chance she was looking for.

Boyer started piano lessons when she was just five years old and has now been playing for 14 years. Continuing her journey with piano was hard as she moved from her hometown of Cottonwood, AZ to SUU. She not only left her teacher behind, but her piano as well. 

“I just wanted to keep up on my music, and I found a way to do that. My goal was to not lose what I had spent all that time learning,” said Boyer. 

The piano lover ran across an opportunity to do so after talking to a family friend back home who suggested for her to look into taking lessons through the university. After talking to her ACE and the music department, Boyer was able to register for Individual Applied Music Instruction taught by Professor Bohnenstengel, or “Dr. B.”

Boyer explained that playing the piano and participating in recitals has helped her get over her stage-fright and improved her public speaking skills. Professor Bognenstengel keeps her on her toes during her weekly lessons, using a variety of techniques to teach her music theory and help  improve her skills. 

“He really focuses on improvising and has me make music up on my own. The other day, he had me play the harpsichord which was kind of interesting,” Boyer said. She continued to explain that he has also has had her sing during lessons and utilize an app that helps with sight-reading.

The Individual Applied Music Instruction course is once a week, and students receive 1 credit for the class. It works around busy schedules, giving the opportunity to choose either 30 minute or hour long sessions. Practice rooms are also available, which allows students to sign up to play the piano on their own time.

Boyer explained that although she felt out of place taking the class at first, because she wasn’t a music major, she quickly realized that pianists of all levels were taking the class.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to express yourself through a performance, the Piano Monster Concert is coming up. Held Dec. 3 at the Heritage Center Theater, pianists of all ages are welcome to participate in the concert. For more information, click here.


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: Madi Boyer