Press Contact:
Lauren Thompson
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sara Ernst Completes Degree at Top-Rated University of Oklahoma

The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy congratulates Sara Ernst on the completion of her PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from The University of Oklahoma, heralded as one of the top institutions in the field. Dr. Ernst’s dissertation, The Legacy of Master Piano Teacher Marvin Blickenstaff: His Pedagogy and Philosophy, chronicles the important contributions to piano teaching made by Marvin Blickenstaff, Past President of the FCCKP and faculty member at The New School.



Sara Ernst, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), was appointed Administrative Director of The New School in 2010 and has avid interests in piano performing, teaching, and research. Since 2008, she has spent her summers as a faculty member of the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, and she has been on the faculty at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Ernst frequently serves as an adjudicator for piano auditions and has presented at state conferences of MTNA affiliates, regional conferences of the College Music Society, and for a national audience of teachers at The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

“Dr. Ernst compiled and analyzed a wide range of materials from Marvin Blickenstaff's life to document thoroughly his philosophy, pedagogical style, and contributions to piano pedagogy in her doctoral dissertation,” OU Professor Jane Magrath comments. “It is an outstanding contribution to the field and a model for future such research in the field. She conducted twenty-two interviews with Blickenstaff's colleagues and students, and six interviews with Blickenstaff.  In addition, she observed twenty-one piano lessons, collected and studied existing materials and documentation, analyzed recorded source material, analyzed primary and secondary written sources. Ernst left no stone unturned in creating an eminently readable as well as distinguished resource to document Mr. Blickenstaff and his career.”   

The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy is a not-for-profit educational institution (501c3) located in Kingston, New Jersey. The Center serves local, national, and international audiences through its three divisions: The New School for Music Study, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and Clavier Companion magazine. For more information, visit