The New School for Music Study

Mission & History


As the laboratory school of The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, we strive for the highest standards in piano education and to attain extraordinary results with every student. Through a combination of group and individual instruction, our students become confident, knowledgeable, and artistic performers from the very first lesson. Our collaborative faculty foster a community in which students’ lives are transformed through the joy of discovering and sharing music.


The name of Frances Clark (1905-1998) is well known and respected throughout the piano teaching community. In 1945, Dr. Clark designed and implemented the country’s first four-year, teacher-training program at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ten years later in 1955, Frances Clark and her associate Louise Goss instituted an undergraduate pedagogy program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. With the collegiate studies at Westminster firmly established, they then decided to organize an advanced teacher-training program. The founding of The New School for Music Study in Princeton was a result of this decision to expand. The school opened in 1960 as the only post-graduate training center devoted exclusively to piano pedagogy and music research. Many of today’s leaders in piano pedagogy received their advanced training at The New School.

The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy was established in 1998. As a division of the center, The New School plays a vital role in sustaining Frances Clark’s legacy. The New School offers a well-rounded piano curriculum for students of all ages. The school’s teaching methods continue to evolve as new applications of Dr. Clark’s teaching philosophies are applied and tested. Faculty members have become renowned for their own contributions to piano education. Under the exemplary leadership provided by those who remain committed to Frances Clark’s legacy, further improvements in teaching materials and methods have been made in an effort to raise the standards of the piano teaching profession.

Written by Tracy Grandy, Piano Faculty