U Piano Outreach

Elementary school students in Salt Lake City School District Title I schools, which have high percentages of students from families living in poverty, receive piano lessons from U students after school through the Piano Outreach Program. The program not only helps them learn a life-long skill, but also seeks to improve their performance in core academic subjects, like math and reading, and to prevent behavior and truancy problems.


School of Music piano majors hone their teaching skills and learn valuable life lessons through service, preparing them for future careers. This five-year partnership between the U, the Salt Lake City School District and generous community supporters offers a win-win learning experience for elementary and college students alike.

Currently at three sites, the program serves approximately 40-90 children from grades 3-6 at each with 4-6 hours of piano instruction per student per week for 32 weeks. The keyboard lab size determines the number of children served. Two graduate teaching assistants lead each site, with four volunteer undergraduate piano majors assisting them, using an instructional curriculum developed by our doctoral piano students, under the supervision of our piano faculty. 

School Sites

Backman Elementary

601 North 1500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Each year, 50 Backman Elementary students learn how to play the piano through free 45-minute piano classes every day after school through out the school year. More…

Newman Elementary

1269 Colorado Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

At Newman Elementary, 60 students take free 45-minute piano lessons after school four days a week, learning keyboard skills, how to read music, and music theory. More…

Washington Elementary

420 North 200 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Started last year, students apply for 37 spots to take free 45-minute piano classes four days a week; at year end they perform their pieces for the entire school. More…

Susan Duehlemeier
Faculty Director

Cassie Olsen
Site Director

Give to the U

Program Needs

  • Classroom Supplies $10
  • Piano music $15
  • Headphones $25
  • Incentives $50
  • Site-wide music $75
  • Piano bench $100
  • Recital sponsorship $250
  • Computer $500
  • Keyboard $1,000
  • Instructor support $2,500-$12,000
Last Updated: 7/17/14