Sara M. Ernst, PhD

Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, University of South Carolina

For Piano Students

My goal is to nurture the unique, musical artist within all of my students, and to build an inclusive and encouraging studio environment.

For Prospective UofSC Students
Thank you for your interest in studying piano and piano pedagogy with me. I work with a small studio of undergraduate and graduate pianists perusing BM, MM, or DMA degrees. You can contact me to request information on studio openings in upcoming terms.

Please visit the following links for more information on become a UofSC piano student:
I teach music at the piano because... I am inspired by the sound of the piano ... and how learning to play piano inspires personal growth and creativity.
For Prospective Students (Non-University)
As part of my role at UofSC, I direct the Center for Piano Studies, which was established in 2015. In this program, children and adults from the Columbia area study piano with graduate students who teach under my mentorship. Group classes and private lessons are offered for all ages and stages of piano education. Please visit the Center for Piano Studies website for more information.

I teach a limited number of pre-college students as part of my ongoing professional development and creative activity. You can contact me to request consideration, although note that I often have a waiting list.

Students in my studio and in the Center for Piano Studies learn comprehensive musicianship at the piano, exploring technique, creativity, theory, reading, and repertoire. They participate in regular performing opportunities and events, including local festivals, SCMTA auditions, and RCM certificate exams.