• pianopianopiano

    Pershing Piano 


    During the last years, the piano program at J. J. Pershing Middle School has experienced considerable growth, attracting more and more amazing and enthusiastic students, who look for a school where they can experience art through learning how to play piano, from beginner to advanced levels. From forty-five students a few years ago to 102 students now, our program is stronger than ever. Pershing’s Piano program offers three levels of abilities and experience: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.


    Our students share a common trait: they are passionate about playing piano. They have an intrinsic motivation to have fun playing the piano on their own and discovering new pieces to play. Our students learn from each other, they have a mutual admiration for their accomplishments and celebrate them, they get inspired by their peers and they have a state of mind towards excellence.


    How to get into the Pershing Piano Program? For inexperienced beginners, a friendly audition where they will have a music aptitude test and a short interview to find out why they want to be in the piano program. For intermediate and advanced students, a more formal audition where they demonstrate their current repertoire, methods and technique for placement is required.


    The Pershing piano program is a performance program. That means that there are two mandatory and graded performances per year. We are proud to have a culturally diverse program open to all students who want to play piano seriously. Our teachers believe that art is not reserved for a privileged minority but for enjoyment for everyone. We have students who have never played piano, do not have a piano at home and do not have access to a private teacher, as well as the opposite. The piano is not reserved for only gifted students, but for everyone who genuinely wants to experience practicing the instrument, including students with diverse needs.


    Our piano classes perform for their choir peers, in collaboration with the choir class. Selected students performed at the Spaghetti Supper, Veteran’s Day Celebration, participated at the HISD Meyerland P&VAMS Piano Festival, and all groups performed at their Winter Recital. In the spring, intermediate students will participate in the UIL Solo and Ensemble assessment, and everyone is expected to perform at the Spring Recital.


    Dr. Torres-Chibras believes that a child who is exposed to art, and experiences making music – in this case, playing piano – is a child ascending towards a higher level of civilization and civility, and an asset to our democracy.


    We have wonderful stories from our amazing students and welcome future piano students who want to be part of this remarkable learning community.


    The piano program offers something fun to do during school time.

    Rory Smith, piano student


    Teachers help students with technique issues, fingering and reading the notes.

    Cameron McNulty, piano student


    It feels like a community and is a safe place to experience express yourself.

    Promise Allen, piano student



    Contact :

    Dr. Armando Torres-Chibras, piano teacher          atorre17@houstonisd.org

    Ms. Katherine Shupe, piano teacher                      katherine.shupe@houstonisd.org