Participant FAQs

Attending the Piano Institute?

All participants who have verified their attendance in the Summer Piano Institute by June 1 will receive an email with detailed information about what to bring to the institute, where you will be living, forms that might still be needed, and where and when to arrive at Ithaca College.

In the meantime, these FAQs should help answer your questions.


Accepted to the Piano Institute? If you plan to attend, forms are required to be submitted by June 1st. You can find the required forms by logging into CampMinder with the PARENT/GUARDIAN user ID and password you created when you first applied. A list of required forms, and whether or not you've submit them, will be available once you login and click on the DOCUMENTS link. 


When is Check-in and Check-out?

Check-in: Thursday 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Check-in will be held in McHenry Lobby, located in the James J. Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College. Signs will be posted directing families to check-in and parking. Families are encouraged to leave their bags in the car, as the residence hall is in a different location from check-in. Check-in times also apply to commuter participants.

At check-in, participants will receive a room key, dining hall pass, personal schedule, campus map, and lots of other information. Once students arrive on campus, we need to know where you are at all times, so if you are here early and would like to explore the campus, just let the counselors know where you are going.

If you decide to drift away after checking in, be sure you find your way back to the McHenry Lobby by 4:45 pm for an orientation meeting. This meeting is for participants only.

Check-out: Saturday 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

A closing luncheon will be held on Saturday (following the final recital) from 12:30 - 2:00 pm.

Program fees cover closing luncheon tickets for participant and two family members. Please be prepared to give us an idea at check-in of how many people will be attending. That way we can order enough food!

What types of classes and activities are available?

* Small group lessons with a faculty member and two private lessons.
* Private piano lessons, theory class, master class, collaborative master class, and final showcase recital.
* Special evening events, including a jazz recital, state park picnic, Hangar Theatre performance, and ice cream!
* Movie nights!
* Daily piano ensemble and sight reading culminating in a piano ensemble concert Friday afternoon.
* Supervised practice is provided. Optional additional practice time is available.
* A singing experience! Find out how singing can help your piano playing!
* Mini-elective class choices throughout the week.

What is the daily schedule for the piano institute?

Students will also have individual schedules.

On Friday morning, each student will play a brief (5 min. maximum) audition. Plan to play a repertoire piece that is polished and memorized. The purpose of this audition is twofold: first, we will be choosing a few students to play in the master classes, and second, we will be recording a DVD of each student to use in the video analysis class on Saturday.

Each day you will have at least two hours of required practice. Plan accordingly. Bring a few polished and memorized repertoire, but also bring repertoire that is not yet polished so you do not run out of things to practice. You will have two private lessons and four group lessons, so that is another reason to bring all of the music you are currently preparing or plan to work on in the coming year.

There will be two final showcase recitals: we simply cannot fit everyone on one recital Saturday morning! The recital Friday evening will feature solo, ensemble, and choral music. Students are expected to attend both recitals. Parents, guests, and friends are welcome to attend one or both.

Will my performances be recorded?

Professional audio recordings will be available of the evening concerts and the final showcase recitals. Forms will be available outside the recording studio on campus or you may use the online services to request an audio recording: https://www.ithaca.edu/music/recordingsvcs/

No DVD recordings will be made by Ithaca College, but you are welcome to record the showcase recitals if you wish.

All events are open to the public.

Will there be other activities?

Recreational and social activities will include local field trips such as a picnic and hiking at Taughannock Falls State Park, and/or attending a Hangar Theatre performance.


Where will I be staying during the program?

Participants live in a residence hall dorm room with one other roommate. The residence hall is supervised by male and female advisers who live in the residence hall with the students. You will receive your dorm room assignment at check-in.

Who is in charge?

A live-in residential director is in charge of non-musical portions of the program including life in the residence hall. A staff of 4-6 resident advisers, in addition, live on the residence hall floors throughout the duration of the program. This team of RAs is closely supervised by both the resident director and the faculty director.

The Office of Public Safety open 24 hours and can be reached at 607-274-3333 for actual emergencies.

The J. David Hammond Center for Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday. If necessary, referrals are made to local physicians and medical facilities. Payment for off-campus services and for medications is the student's responsibility.

The Office of Extended Studies can be reached at 607-274-3143 during regular business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by email at pianoinstitute@ithaca.edu.

What should I bring?

The College provides sheets, a blanket and a small towel. You may want to bring an extra towel and your own pillow. You may also want to bring coat hangers, a reading lamp, a telephone, and a fan as dorms are not air conditioned. The College also offers a variety of recreational facilities, including an outdoor pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, a track, and two gyms. You must be 16 years old to use the Fitness Center and are required to bring a clean pair of shoes to wear inside the building. 

Students are allowed to have cell phones, but rules for using them will be enforced. Students are not allowed to use cell phones during classes, performances, practice time or after 10 pm. If you must contact your son or daughter, the best time will probably be during the noon hour or dinner (5:30-6:30 pm) as those are about the only times students are consistently free.

Dress will be informal. Bring one formal outfit for your performance. Be prepared for warm (occasionally hot) days. Nights are usually cooler and a sweater or light jacket may be needed. Bring a swimsuit for the outdoor pool (swim tests will be implemented shortly after students' arrival). If you plan on participating in sports, bring your tennis racket and balls, frisbee, baseball, softball glove, or whatever you most like to do.

Will I need to bring additional money?

Pocket money will provide for incidentals such as snacks, supplies, movies, and miscellaneous purchases at the Campus Store and general store. ATMs are available on campus. Unfortunately, personal checks cannot be cashed on campus.

What if I have medications?

All your medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) will be under lock and key and cared for by our resident director. Students are not allowed to even have aspirin in their possession. Be prepared to turn these over as soon as you arrive at the dorm. PRNs and rescue inhalers are the only medications that may remain in the student's possession.

Will I be able to receive mail/packages while at IC?

Yes, your mail will need to be addressed as follows:

Your Name
Ithaca College
c/o Summer Piano Institute
Phillips Hall Post Office
Ithaca, NY 14850


The Ithaca Bus Terminal is located at 710 W. State Street and N. Fulton Street and is less than 10 minutes from Ithaca College. The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is located on Brown Road and Warren Road. Below is contact information for the transportation you may plan to use.

• Greyhound Bus Lines (800-229-9424)
• Shortline Bus (800-631-8405)
• New York Trailways (800-225-6815)
• Swarthout Coaches (800-772-7267), (607-257-2660)
• Cornell University- express bus service from campus to campus (607-255-4628)
• Amtrak’s Syracuse Station (800-872-7245)
• Ithaca Airline Limousine (607-273-3030) will also pick up from Amtrak in Syracuse and the airport.
• Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is 15 minutes from Ithaca College and serviced by DELTA, UNITED, and US Airways.

• Local Taxi service is operated by Ithaca Dispatch (888-321-1149)

Where can my family stay while in Ithaca?

Families who wish to accompany participants to Ithaca are encouraged to stay at the Country Inn & Suites where a block of rooms has been reserved at a reduced rate of $139 per night. Call the front desk to make your reservation and reference Ithaca College's "Summer Piano Institute" to receive the special rate. Reservations must be made by May 22 in order to receive the discounted rate.

Country Inn & Suites Ithaca
1100 Danby Road (Route 96B)
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 256-1100

How do I find out about Ithaca College and the town of Ithaca?

To find out about Ithaca College and the surrounding area please peruse the following informative websites:

 About Ithaca College: 

Ithaca Guide:  https://www.ithaca.edu/ithacaguide

The Ithaca Guide is the Ithaca College information guide to Ithaca, NY.  Get information on anything from apartments, banks, transportation, and where to eat!

Ithaca College Campus Tour:

Campus Map:  https://www.ithaca.edu/map/