Ksenia Nosikova
Concert Pianist

Piano Syllabus


University of Iowa

Solo Piano Lessons
(025:2012, 025:3021, 025:6021)
Fall 2020
COVID-19 Adjusted


Dr. Ksenia Nosikova

Office 4400 VOX
Tel:  (319) 335-1651
E-mail:   ksenia-nosikova@uiowa.edu
Office Hours: by appointment, via internet only

Description of the Course

Each student will have one individual 50-60 minutes in length lesson per week. We will meet as a studio for a required weekly Performance Seminar (Thursdays, 1:30-2:30) online through Zoom conference feature. All Piano Lessons (025:2021, 025:3021, 025:6021) are 2 credit hour courses. “This course is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Science. This means that for undergraduates, class policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Undergraduate students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at http://www.uiowa.edu/~provost/deos/crossentoll.pdf” 


Philosophy and Goals

My main teaching and mentoring goals are building a student’s creative independence as a performer, developing well-rounded musicianship, continuing motivation for learning, and helping students to be capable teachers in the future. In my mind these areas are inseparable from each other and together produce a “complete musician”. The creative independence is best evolved when there is a solid fundamental knowledge of performing methods and vital tools, such as a quality and means of sound production, technical skills, musicality and sensitivity, analytical and memorization skills, sight-reading skills, stylistic awareness, effective ways of practicing, etc. Professional growth of a performer demands constant exposure to the new repertoire and the challenges of performance. Learning new repertoire and public performance are some of the most vital paths for artistic self-expression of a performer. Developing someone’s musicianship directly correlates with continuing motivation and enthusiasm for music and learning. The more a performer knows about music he/she plays the more interesting and exciting his/her practice time becomes, resulting in a more individual and convincing interpretation. Thus, an expansion of reading and listening horizons should be an integral part of a formative process of a musician. On a personal professional level, I held myself to high expectations as a performer and teacher so I can set an example for my students. I constantly strive to become a better musician and performer, as it makes me a better teacher. I am so fortunate to be a musician as this road of self-improvement doesn’t have a final destination mark and it makes my life so much more meaningful!


You will have one individual lesson of 50-60 minutes in length per week. I will be teaching in a hybrid format this fall due to my necessary COVID-19 TAWA (Temporary Alternative Working Accommodations). The lessons will be on-line and possibly in-person and on Yamaha Disklavier pianos. I will evaluate the pandemic numbers and decide weekly on which way I’ll be teaching. You should prepare all assigned materials for each lesson with an evidence of improvement from your previous lesson. Please allow yourself time between your previous engagement and a lesson to warm up and concentrate on the music that you will be playing at the lesson. Prompt appearance to the lesson is encouraged. If you need to re-schedule, first ask your studio mates to switch times and, if it’s not possible, then notify me at least few days in advance, so we can find another time to meet.

On-Line Lessons:

You will provide me with a recording of your prepared repertoire in leu of live playing and a scan copy of your music. I will be using Zoom for video connection and CleanFeed for audio connection at your on-line lessons to improve the audio feed quality. You will need to have a Zoom account AND Cleanfeed account on your device. Both are free to download. The Zoom connection will be the same: Meeting ID: 610 406 3362 Passcode: 546372819 You will need to email me a CleanFeed invitation for each lesson. This way you will have an option to record your lesson. What you will need to have for your on-line lesson: 1. Prepared repertoire YouTube video recordings links (emailed to me prior to your lesson). Your links could be posted as private with a permission for me to watch them. 2. Scans of your scores (emailed to me prior to your lesson) 3. Piano at your disposal 4. Electronic device (laptop is preferable) 5. Headphones or earbuds (without built-in mic are preferable) 6. External Microphone (preferable) Electronic devices: These are the most usable and least usable combinations of devices for Zoom video and CleanFeed audio. Most usable: - Laptop computer for audio and video (option to add external microphone) - Laptop computer for audio and iPad/phone for video (option to add external microphone) Least usable: - iPad/phone for audio and video - iPad/phone for audio and laptop computer for video To summarize, the CleanFeed audio system seems to work much better on a laptop than on a mobile device! Headphones: Headphones are necessary! to avoid feedback. It may be most comfortable to play with earbuds rather than over-ear headphones. If it’s necessary to use iPad/phone for audio, it’s preferable to use headphones without a microphone built in; earbuds with built-in mics will pick up your playing sound with very strong distortion (similar to Zoom audio quality). Mobile devices make it difficult or impossible to select to output through the headphones and input through the device microphone. To summarize, it’s preferable to use headphones without a microphone built in. Perhaps, consider buying an inexpensive set of wired headphones with a long extension cord. Microphones: I recommend that you purchase an external microphone. While you can get by without it, any decent quality external mic will improve the quality of sound for your recordings and for what I will hear when you play for me via CleanFeed and Zoom. Without a good quality audio, my ability to give you the most accurate evaluation of your playing will be limited. To summarize, your learning experience during on-line lessons will be much more valuable and enjoyable if you use an external microphone.

In-Person Lessons

If and when we are able to have in-person lessons, I need all of you to follow the covid-19 related protocols before, during and after lessons so we can all stay safe and enjoy face-to face lessons as long as we can, hopefully. Your lesson health maintenance procedure: 1. Face masks, like on the rest of the UI campus, are mandatory during lessons. It is up to you if you want to wear a face shield in addition to the mask. I may do so myself at times. Please avoid touching your face during your lesson. 2. The last thing you must do before your lesson is to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water. 3. You must always carry a hand sanitizer, and before touching the studio door handle, please sanitize your hands thoroughly. 4. Do not enter the studio until the previous student leaves the room. Wait for about 30 seconds and then enter the room. 5. I’ve re-arranged my studio. The two pianos are placed as far away as possible in the room with a plexiglass barrier placed between them/us. You will be playing the piano located closest to the door. Please do not walk anywhere beyond your instrument. 6. With supplies provided by the School of Music, you will need to thoroughly sanitize the keyboard, bench handles, music rack and other areas other students may have touched before you, though each student will have to do this before and after each lesson. 7. After your lesson you will need to repeat the same cleanup and sanitize your hands before you touch the door handle, so it is not potentially carrying any virus before I or other students touch it after you. 8. While this seems to be cumbersome, this will ensure as much as possible that we all stay safe, healthy and able to do what we all love, and enjoy our music making. Please “memorize” this sequence so it becomes second nature when we meet face-to-face.

Performance Seminars

We will meet as a studio for a required weekly Performance Seminar (Thursdays, 1:30-2:30) online through Zoom conference feature. Please make sure that you do not have any scheduling conflicts for this time. Studio performance seminars are part of your Piano Lessons requirements. The seminars will be based on pre-recorded performances, hopefully done in the Recital Hall prior to your chosen seminar date. I am envisioning us listening to submitted recordings, followed by discussions of performances, some possible guest artists on-line master classes, and our own “mock studio master classes”, depending on the needs of students and amount of music, etc. Due to many un-knowns caused by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the specific regulations for seminars will not be finalized until a later date. Please expect changes regarding ways to record, submission of links, and scheduling. Maddie Anderson is our new studio TA and will be assisting me with seminars and other studio-related matters.


• All degree recitals will be Live streamed for the recital committee with Invitation- Only audience, limited to maximum 50 people. • Your studio teacher will confer with respective committee members and communicate decisions to students. All decisions will be area decisions, not separate studio decisions. • Qualifying recitals learned during the pandemic Spring 2020 semester were not eligible for credit for first recitals, but your first recital will be eligible for second recital credit.


• Fall 2020 juries have been cancelled .

Supervision of TA’s projects and MUS: 7401 recitals

I will supervise all studio TAs projects and MUS: 7401 recitals accompanied by my students.

Repertoire List

At the end of each semester you will be asked to submit your repertoire list. This list will consist of two main sections: assigned repertoire and learned repertoire. This procedure will help you to keep a better track of your own achievements. Having your repertoire list prepared each semester will also speed up your future application processes (schools, competitions, festivals, and jobs).


Practice is the only way to become a good musician. You must be very organized and schedule your practice time as you would schedule your classes. I require 2-3 hours daily for an Undergraduate Piano major and 4-5 hours daily for a graduate student. You MUST submit a weekly practice room schedule as requested by the piano area. We need this information for virus contact-tracing!


Your final grade will be influenced by the following factors: 1. The quality of your work during the semester: a. Preparation for each individual lesson b. Amount of the repertoire learned c. Amount of the repertoire performed d. Prompt attendance 2. Attendance and participation in the performance seminars. 3. Quality of performance (Prior to Covid-19) a. public recital b piano area juries c. studio performance seminars

How to reach me

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The fastest way to reach me is by E-mail, unless I am traveling. You may schedule an office hour appointment with me. To do so, please email your request for a meeting, and I will try to accommodate your request the best I can. You may call my studio and leave a message on the answering machine. You may also call me at 319-321-0238.

Rights and Responsibilities

All students in the College of the Liberal Arts have specific rights and responsibilities. You have the right to adjudication of any complaints you have about studio activities or instructor actions. Information on these procedures is available in the Schedule of Courses and on-line in the College's Student Academic Handbook (http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/academic_handbook/). You also have the right to expect a studio environment that enables you to learn, including modifications if you have a disability. I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, performing, or other studio requirements so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

Accommodations for Disabilities

A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet with a SDS counselor who determines eligibility for services. A student approved for accommodations should meet privately with the course instructor to arrange particular accommodations. See www.uiowa.edu/~sds/

Complaint procedure

(from CLAS Student Academic Handbook, http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/academic_handbook/ix.shtml#4 1. Ordinarily, the student should attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor first. Students may talk first to someone other than the instructor (for instance, to the department's director of undergraduate studies, the departmental executive officer, or the University Ombudsperson) if they do not feel, for whatever reason, that they can directly approach the instructor. 2. If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student should go to the course supervisor (if the instructor is a teaching assistant), to the Associate Director for (Undergraduate/Graduate) Studies, or the departmental executive officer. 3. If the matter remains unresolved, the student may submit a written complaint to the associate dean for academic programs. The associate dean will attempt to resolve the complaint and, if necessary, may convene a special committee to recommend appropriate action. In any event, the associate dean will respond to the student in writing regarding the disposition of the complaint.

University Ombudsperson

Ombudspersons Office, located at C108 Seashore Hall (335-3608), provides conflict resolution services, as well as general information about University policies and procedures. (http://www.uiowa.edu/~ooombuds/)

Respect for Diversity

“The University of Iowa values diversity among students, faculty, and staff, and regards Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action as tools to achieve diversity. The University believes that a rich diversity of people and the many points of view they bring serve to enhance the quality of the educational experience at The University of Iowa.” (http://www.uiowa.edu/~our/opmanual/ii/08.htm#82)

Reacting Safely to Severe Weather

If severe weather is indicated by the UI outdoor warning system, class members will seek shelter in the innermost part of the building, if possible at the lowest level, staying clear of windows and of free-standing expanses which might prove unstable. The class will resume after the severe weather has ended. See the Operations Manual section 16.14. i.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. See www.sexualharassment.uiowa.edu/

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Information for Undergraduates

Absences and Attendance Students are responsible for attending class and for contributing to the learning environment of a course. Students are also responsible for knowing their course absence policies, which will vary by instructor. All absence policies, however, must uphold the UI policy related to student illness, mandatory religious obligations, including Holy Day obligations, unavoidable circumstances, or University authorized activities (https://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/attendance-absences). Students may use this absence form to aid communication; the instructor will decide if the absence is excused or unexcused (https://clas.uiowa.edu/sites/default/files/ABSENCE%20EXPLANATION%20FORM2019.pdf). Academic Integrity All undergraduates enrolled in courses offered by CLAS have, in essence, agreed to the College's Code of Academic Honesty. Misconduct is reported to the College, resulting in suspension or other sanctions, with sanctions communicated with the student through the UI email address (https://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/academic-fraud-honor-code). Accommodations for Disabilities UI is committed to an educational experience that is accessible to all students. A student may request academic accommodations for a disability (such as mental health, attention, learning, vision, and physical or health-related condition) by registering with Student Disability Services (SDS). The student is then responsible for discussing specific accommodations with the instructor. More information is at https://sds.studentlife.uiowa.edu/. Administrative Home of the Course The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the administrative home of this course and governs its add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and related policies. Other colleges may have different policies. CLAS policies may be found here: https://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook. Communication and the Required Use of UI Email Students are responsible for official correspondences sent to the UI email address (uiowa.edu) and must use this address for all communication within UI (Operations Manual, III.15.2). Complaints Students with a complaint about an academic issue should first visit with the instructor or course supervisor and then with the Chair of the department or program offering the course; students may next bring the issue to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, see https://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/student-rights-responsibilities. Final Examination Policies The final exam schedule is announced around the fifth week of classes; students are responsible for knowing the date, time, and place of a final exam. Students should not make travel plans until knowing this information. No exams of any kind are allowed the week before finals. Visit https://registrar.uiowa.edu/final-examination-scheduling-policies. Nondiscrimination in the Classroom UI is committed to making the classroom a respectful and inclusive space for all people irrespective of their gender, sexual, racial, religious or other identities. Toward this goal, students are invited to optionally share their preferred names and pronouns with their instructors and classmates. The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination and harassment against individuals on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and other identity categories set forth in the University’s Human Rights policy. For more information, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (diversity.uiowa.edu). Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community must uphold the UI mission and contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment must be reported immediately. For assistance, please see https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/. 2020 Syllabus Insert

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