Robert Pace: His life and contributions to piano pedagogy and music education

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Kenon Renfrow - Committee Chair


This study documents the life of Robert Pace and his contributions to piano pedagogy and music education. The career of Pace spans over six decades and encompasses his work as a performer, professor, composer, clinician, writer, administrator and editor. The study is divided into six sections. Chapter One serves as an introduction, providing statements of the problem, purpose of the study, need for the study, survey of related literature, method of investigation, limitations, and an organization of the remainder of the study. Chapter Two contains biographical background on Pace, including his ancestry, early musical influences, study with the Lhevinnes, and the many facets of his career as a pedagogue, including his teaching career at Columbia Teachers College. The philosophies of the educational theorists, Abraham Maslow, Jerome Bruner, and Henry Mursell, are featured in Chapter Three. In addition, the Pace philosophy on practicing, interpretation, parental involvement, and the early and adult beginners is included in this chapter.Chapter Four assesses the data accumulated from eighty-two Pace teacher/consultants who responded to a questionnaire concerning the Pace approach. Additionally, this chapter documents the Pace contributions to piano pedagogy, highlighting his teacher-training program through the International Piano Teachers Foundation, group and dyad teaching, and his view concerning the attributes of a good teacher. The contributions to music education are investigated in Chapter Five. Chapter Six documents the development of the Pace approach over four decades through four sets of teaching materials.Robert Pace has enlarged the teaching of piano to include the teaching of comprehensive musicianship in the studio lesson. His innovative concept of incorporating group teaching and the dyad/partner has been at the forefront of successful music education for hundreds of piano students.


Biography; American Studies; Education, Music

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text