teacher talking to student before recital
teacher helping student on piano

Join us in February for KeysFest 2023! Check back for more information about next year’s clinician lineup, special events, and registration in December.

KeysFest is an annual day-long learning event for West Michigan piano students grades 1-12. Students perform in a master class environment with an audience of supportive peers and adults. They receive one-on-one instruction from professional pianists and educators and participate in workshops and performances by KeysFest clinicians and other guest presenters.

Applicants may select their preference for clinician as well as time of master class (morning or afternoon) on the registration form. Classes are then scheduled based on age and performance level. Each student will be scheduled for one master class session, which will range from 30 to 90 minutes. All students should plan to be present for the duration of the class.

KeysFest costs $25 per student and is payable online after you register. If you would like to inquire about financial assistance, please contact Leslie Baron, Education and Community Engagement Manager, at 

Our 2022 Clinicians

Matthew Bengtson
University of Michigan

Sookkyung Cho
Grand Valley State University

Ruth Goveia
Kalamazoo College / Kalamazoo Area Music Teachers Association

Yu-Lien The
Western Michigan University


Special KeysFest Features and Events

The World of Collaborative Piano – 9:00 AM

Tina Gorter | WMU / MSU, DMA candidate

Pianists aren’t always playing solo! The music industry needs collaborative pianists more than ever. Join Tina Gorter in an exploration and demonstration of collaborative piano and all of the possibilities it offers.


KeysFest Community Concert (Guest Recital) 12:30 PM

A collaborative concert featuring saxophonist / recording artist / composer / producer Stratøs, and pianist Rufus Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Jazz, Albion College — both MMA graduates of Western Michigan University’s Jazz Studies program.

Get Your Livestream Ticket

KeysFest students attend master classes in person at the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo. Classes last between 30 and 60 minutes and have up to 6 participants, depending on student level, repertoire, and age. Students will also have the ability to participate in other student sessions as observers, including those in which they are not performing. 

COVID-19 Safety Protocol
Please note, all KeysFest attendees must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 upon entry to the Epic Center and wear a face mask covering nose and mouth for the duration of their visit.

A Day of Master Classes
What is a Master Class? A master class is a public piano lesson with your peers. Students perform a prepared piece before a small audience and receive immediate feedback and instruction from their clinicians. Master classes typically last 30-90 minutes and have an average of 3-6 students per session. Participants stay for the entire class and learn from their fellow performers as well.
In addition to master classes, the day also includes a recital and workshops, which are open to all participating students, families, and teachers. 

Student Qualifications
All students grades 1–12 who are currently studying piano may register.
Students must have the signed permission of their piano teacher.
Students must bring one copy of the music to the event.

Student Preparation
Students choose one selection, with the help of their teachers, and prepare it for performance. Beginning students may play two pieces, not to exceed 1.5 minutes.
Students should be very comfortable performing the piece and starting at various spots in the piece.
Piano selections do not need to be memorized; however, they should be well-prepared.

Questions About Education?

Please direct questions to Adam Schumaker, Director of Education, or Leslie Baron, Education and Community Engagement Manager. Telephone: 269.342.1166.

All content © 2022 Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival