5.0 (12)
2 employees

About this pro

Hi there my name is Professor Peter Shu. I have been teaching piano for 30 years, and at the college level for 21 years. My students range from the beginner 6 year old, to the intermediate/advanced 12 year old, to the undergraduate music major, to 40 year veteran music professionals. 

As a professor you will have access to a broad-based music education in a private setting, in topics ranging from beginner piano, to music theory, music history, applied theory, classical and jazz technique, music technology, recording technology, improvisation, jazz theory, arranging, and composition. Genres you can choose from include classical, pop, jazz, fusion, gospel, and world music.

Lesson delivery can be local in one of in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro or online. Lesson lengths are half hour or one hour.

Budget priced beginner and intermediate lessons available with staff faculty at my studio.  

BS in Church Music, North Central University 1998
MMus in Music Education, Boston University 2012

For professional and work experience visit:

Youtube Channel:

Professor Peter Shu
Department Chair of BA in Worship and Music
[email protected]

My proudest moments as a teacher/mentor/professor are to see a musician achieve their dreams and goals. When dreams and passions are met with a work ethic, drive, and determination amazing things can be achieved in an amazingly short time. 

Examples of goals:

- A beginner student having no previous experience to graduate the beginner level courses and performing their first full sonatina in front of an audience within 2 years.

- a student wins their first time at MMTA piano contests in their category and performs the Honors concert.

- An intermediate classical student who has never improvised learns a song off the radio by ear.

- A beginning improviser joins a jazz combo for the first time.

- A music major writes their first original arrangement/orchestration.

- A music major wins their first award at a jazz festival.

- A touring musician discovers the joys of learning how the music he has been making all his life actually works.

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Minneapolis, MN 55418
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12 Reviews


  • Joseph D. Garnier

    Peter Shu is an excellent teacher! I started taking lessons with him beginning in February of 2017. He is very adaptable to each student in his teaching approach where he is constantly emphasizing technique and theory without sacrificing fun or the musical preferences of his pupil. He is patient yet firm and can teach a variety of styles from classical to jazz to popular to sacred. I would highly recommend him for both adult and or child beginner and or advanced!

  • Andrew Dawson

    Peter Shu helped me apply music theory knowledge into real life playing! He made composition, and playing so much fun, while teaching me so much about gospel, jazz, left hand bass, and so much more! I wish I could take lessons from him again. Thanks for all you do, Pete!!

  • Jody Paulsen

    Never experienced anything like working with Peter! His wisdom, creativity and gifting is astounding! What a fabulous, patient Teacher. I wish everyone could have an opportunity to be taught by him!

  • Carol Brown

    Peter is the BEST piano teacher I've ever had. I love his encouraging style and the method he uses is very much better than the old school way, much faster, more efficient, and way more fun! Thank you, Peter.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Lessons begin with an assessment of skills, learning style, musical goals, life stage, and time availability for study. A curriculum is then devised to meet students goals within the available time for study, within the time frame determined necessary to achieve said goals. Special consideration is made to accommodate the specific learning style of the individual student, whether they are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners, intuitive or rational, ear-based or reading-based learners.

After the beginner stage a student will need to choose a path suitable to their learning style and goals. They can either pursue a classical education, or one that is improvisation based and settling on a genre of study. This course of study will chart the path toward their advanced studies.

Typical time frames for the various levels are:

- Beginner to Intermediate: childhood 5 years; adult 2-3 years
- Intermediate to Advanced (including pop music, chords, and lead sheet reading): pre-teen/teen 3 years; adult 1-2 years

Advanced studies: 
- Jazz curriculum including theory 2-3 years
- Composition/Arranging/Applied Theory 1-2 years
- Bebop and advanced improvisation including world music 2-4 years

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

BS in Church Music, North Central University 1998
MMus in Music Education, Boston University 2012

Private Teaching Experience 30 years
Collegiate Teaching Experience 21 years
Professional Performing and Recording with National Touring Experience 30 years
Lecuture in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Pricing is dependent on level of study:

Beginner: $30/half hr
Intermediate: $35/half hr; $70/hr
Advanced: $80/hr

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching beginner lessons at 16 years old traveling all over the Twin Cities metro. At that point I had been playing piano for 12 years. I continued at that level of teaching all the way through my undergraduate years, where upon graduating I was recruited to teach improvisation and synthesizer methods at North Central University, my Alma Mater. I will be starting my 18th school year at NCU this fall.

I went on to get my Master's Degree in 2012, which greatly revolutionized my teaching having learned about how to develop curriculum based on different learning styles of students, with considerations in psychology, sociology, and coaching techniques. My graduate specialty was curriculum design.

What types of students have you worked with?

The youngest I have ever taught was a 3 year old, although my preferred start age is 7 years old. My eldest student is in her early 60's. They range in abilities from fresh beginner, to the hobbist musician, to the undergraduate music major, to the graduate level ethnomusicology student, all the way to 30-year touring professional musicians. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

One of my students performed with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra this summer. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Come ready to work. It will be a blast. You WILL learn to play the piano. Make the life changes necessary to carve out the practice time you need to meet your goals. Learning to play an instrument is a lifelong endeavor with lifelong rewards. This is not a quick fix kind of thing. It will take YEARS, not months. Here are the practice guidelines:

Beginner: 2.5-5 hrs/week
Intermediate: 2.5-10 hrs/week
Advanced: 1-5 hrs/day

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Ask yourself why you are interested in playing an instrument? What or who was inspired you in this decision? Who do you want to play like? What style of music do you want to make on your instrument? What kinds of things do you want to ACHIEVE musically?

Go search on YouTube and find your answers. Hold on to these initial finds, as gaining these insights into what INSPIRES you will be really important as the days turn into weeks, weeks into months. Students flame out without inspiration, goals, and dreams.