Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is APPI?
    • APPI stands for the Association of Professional Piano Instructors. The organization was founded by piano teachers to unite instructors together by providing resources for students and teachers to maximize their musical potential.

  • Where is APPI’s office located?

    • APPI does not yet have an office open to the public. For official correspondence, APPI’s official business address is:

      3655 Washburn Avenue North
      Minneapolis, MN 55412
      (612) 521-3739

  • When is the next APPI meeting?

    • All public APPI events to include open meetings may be found on the annual calendar of events. Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming deadlines and events so you can prepare yourself and your students. We’re going to have fun!

  • Where is the next APPI meeting?

    • Most regular APPI functions take place at Schmitt Music in Roseville, MN. APPI typically holds monthly member meetings here and some professional development classes for both instructors and students. Other APPI events take place over a wide range of locations, so be sure to check the Calendar of Events or get in touch with an "APPIcer" to double check times and locations.

  • What does it cost to be an APPI Member?
    • The cost for APPI Membership is $25, which includes a free APPI T-shirt. Members receive a packet of information and registration materials forall APPI events. Students of APPI members are eligible to participate in any APPI event or program. But remember, the cost to attend monthly meetings, living room sessions is still $0. Yep, that’s right! Completely free professional development and networking opportunities open to all piano instructors. APPI knows the hard work that independent piano instructors put into their studios in order to have the income that they do. We want to make using APPI and its resources as easy and affordable as possible.
  • What are the requirements to obtain membership in APPI? Do I need a certification or degree?
    • No. The only requirement is that you love music and want to share your passion by helping others to enjoy it the same by teaching them how to play. It doesn’t matter if you have been instructing piano for two months or for thirty years, we think APPI has something for you.

  • What do I get from APPI?
    • APPI helps professional piano instructors become better at what they love to do – instructing piano. APPI does this through round-table discussions, theory and history classes for teachers and students, performance opportunities, information on studio growth, networking with other instructors, tax information for the self-employed, and much more!

  • How do I contact APPI?
    • Feel free to get in touch with any of APPI's Officers ("APPIcers") for any questions that you may have regarding APPI. If they are unable to answer you questions immediately, they will be able to research the answer for you or direct you towards an APPIcer who is more qualified. Also, feel free to show up at one of the monthly meetings for a chance to speak with other APPI members and officers.

  • How can I help APPI?
    • Any donations of time, money and support are greatly appreciated. For more information on how to help APPI succeed, please see our "Wish List", call (612) 521-3739 or email

APPI -- Thank You

Thank You to the Supporters of APPI and those Who Keep Music Alive in Our Community!

The Association of Professional Piano Instructors (APPI) would like to cordially extend their unending thanks and gratitude to the following individuals and organizations for all their help in making APPI and APPI-sponsored events possible through their generous donations of gifts and time. Without individuals and organizations such as this, APPI would not beable to provide services and support to independent piano instructors and their students. Thank you all!

Alfred Publishing Company, Inc.

APPI Board of Directors

Melody Bober

Marianne Fleming-Bryan

FJH Faber and Faber

Hal Leonard Corporation

H & R Block

J. Johnson Music Publications

Joyce Grill and the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse Music Department

David Moulton

Mr. & Mrs. Doug & Etta Overland

Myklas Music Press

Neil A. Kjos Music Company

Pathways Music, LLC

PBJ Music Publications

Rising Software

Wynn-Anne Rossi

Schmitt Music

Schuam Publications, Inc.

Summary Birchard Inc.

Treblis Software

Warner Brothers Music

APPI -- Resources

Multimedia Resources

APPI is pleased to offer resources to instructors in order to enhance their teaching or learning experience. Please feel free to use this material at no charge; APPI only requests that all copyrighted material is treated appropriately.

If you have suggestions or comments on additions or improvements, please send any requests to APPI and we will do our best to fulfill your needs.

  • Papers & Conference Notes
    • Papers
      • Preparing for the Romantic Piano Repertoire (Joyce Grill)
      • Tactics that Encourage Active Learning
      • Piano Music Theory Teaching & Training Software Survey
    • Conference Notes
      • Improvisation Seminar - (APPI: Rachel Malarz)
      • Bach' Ornamentation (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Bach's Short Preludes (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Chopin: Preludes, Op. 28 - Style, Technique, & Thematic Transformation (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • General Concepts in Music & Some Suggestions for "Critical" Thinking (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Lyric Pieces by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Reading: The All-Important Skill (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Interpretation: Tips on Style (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Interpretation Through Analysis (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • Shaping the Sound: Rules of Thumb for the Students (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Marvin Blickenstaff)
      • The Magic of Melody (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Dr. Paul Wirth)
      • Practice Smart; Play Dumb (2002 St. Thomas Summer Music Institute: Lori Sims)
  • Audio & Video Files
  • APPI Library

Some of the resources on this page are in PDF format. To view PDF's on the web or offline you must have either the full Adobe Acrobat product or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. The free Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from:

APPI -- Events

APPI Events

APPI provides many different opportunities for its members and their students to greatly expand on their learning and growing experience at little to no cost. Below you will find brief descriptions of some of the more popular and valuable experiences you can have with APPI and other professional instructors. Be sure to check the Calendar of Events to find out when and where events are taking place, or contact one of the APPIcers to get the latest information.

Monthly Meetings:

APPI provides an opportunity for piano instructors to share ideas and experiences, network, and gain knowledge through continuing educational activities. This is provided at no cost to the instructors. Meetings are held the second Friday of each month at Schmitt Music in Roseville, MN. Monthly meetings are conducted by the officers of APPI and attendance is open to any piano instructor.

APPI Festival:

The APPI Festival is a non-competitive opportunity for students to perform for a panel of judges and the students’ peers to obtain positive and constructive feedback. This is a welcoming initial step into the arts community for budding pianists. This allows independent teachers to band together and support each other, as well as offer an opportunity to their students that they would not be able to provide on their own. The first annual APPI Festival was held on April 6, 2002 at Schmitt Music in Roseville. It is our desire that in future years this will expand into multiple locations in order to accommodate the number of students desiring to participate. This is facilitated under the leadership of APPI Officers with the voluntary assistance of other APPI instructors.

Theory, Compostion & History Classes:

Theory, Composition & History Classes are held each year and are provided to any music student at a minimal cost to the student, and at no cost to their instructor. The classes provide an in-depth study in core topics that are essential to developing well-rounded musicians. Our independent instructors often need this as a supplement to their private teaching, as time constraints limit the depth of focus in these areas. The classes are held in multiple locations in order to accommodate the number of students desiring to participate. This is facilitated under the leadership of APPI Officers with the voluntary assistance of other APPI instructors.

APPI Student Honors Showcase:

The APPI Student Honors Showcase is a concert featuring students of various APPI instructors, showcasing their musical talents. It allows the instructors to select one student from their studio to honor their growth, work ethic and ability. Students receive a certificate for their selection. No admission is charged for this community concert, but freewill donations are accepted.

Living Room Sessions:

The APPI Living Room Sessions are opportunities for piano instructors to play for one another in an informal, low-pressure setting and receive support and/or feedback as desired. Sessions are held several times a year in private homes and performing is never a requirement for attendance. Our teachers enjoy the socializing, food and fun as much as the music.

Guest Speakers:

Experts in various areas relevant to the instructors are brought in periodically during the year for special speaking engagements. These are provided at no cost to attendees and are open to the public. Previous guest speakers include:

  • Melody Bober
  • Kathy Faricy
  • Dr. Marianne Fleming-Bryan
  • Joyce Grill
  • Wynn-Anne Rossi

APPI -- APPIcer Directory

APPIcer Directory

Sue Ruby
(612) 521-3739

Jeremy Hanson
(763) 257-2128

Laura Harding
(612) 251-7566

Monica Allen
(651) 330-5412

APPI -- Board of Directors

Association of Professional Piano Instructors
Board of Directors 2006-2007

Mrs. Angie Wood
Board Member, Financial Advisor

Mrs. Krista Lundblad
Board Member

Mrs. Sue Ruby
Board Member, APPI President

Mrs. Kathy Smith
Board Chair

Mr. Delwin Derksen
Board Member

Mr. Andy Wood
Board Member, Marketing

Ms. Rachel Kelm
Board Member

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Fontaine
Board Member

APPI -- Founders

Sue Ruby, President

Mrs. Sue Ruby serves as the President of APPI. One of the three APPI co-founders, Sue brings over 16 years of experience in private and group instruction to the association. Mrs. Ruby graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a Bachelors of Music, emphasis on piano pedagogy. Mrs. Ruby then obtained her Masters of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia where she spent four additional years a a staff accompanist for the university. Mrs. Ruby has extensive performing and accompanying experience in a wide variety of genres and venues. Currently, she is a full-time member of the Keyboard Staff at MacPhail Center for the Arts where she provides private and class piano instruction including community partnerships with City Academy and the Cargill Scholars program.

Kathy Smith, Board Chair
Kathy Smith is the current Vice President and one of three co-founders of APPI. Mrs. Smith is a piano teacher in the Maplewood area and also teaches at Liberty Christian Academy in Maplewood. Ms. Smith also teaches Biblical Finances at various churches and community sites. She attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she received her Bachelors of Music with an emphasis on Choral Education K-12. She has held the positions of President of Music Educators National Conference Collegiate chapter, Senator, School of Fine Arts, and President of UMD's Music Student Advisory Council. She also received the awards of SFA Award for Academic Excellence, the Music Department Fanfare Award and the MENC National Certificate of Achievement.

Krista Lundblad, Board Member

Mrs. Krista Lundblad has 9 years experience affecting over 130 students, ranging in ages 5 through retired adults. She has been on staff at Metropolitan Music Conservatory, Annunciation Catholic School, and is currently serving a studio of 75 students at Home Educators Resource Organization (H.E.R.O.) and at Maranatha Christian Academy.

During highschool, Mrs. Lundblad worked as a background pianist for Crescent Beach restaurant & resort. In college, she was an accompanist for the Bethel Royal Players, the Bethel Singers, Bethel Choir, various recitals, church choirs, and other groups while working on her performance degree. While there, she placed first in both the Performance Prize competition and the Concerto-Aria competitions, with one of the prizes being the opportunity to perform the concerto with a professional orchestra.

Mrs. Lundblad graduated from Bethel College with a Bachelor’s of Music degree in piano performance, and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in sacred music.

APPI -- History

The History of the

Association of Professional Piano Instructors

On a bright, sunny April aftenoon in 2001, three piano teachers met for the first time over coffee. Bonded by mutual frustrations and aspirations, they sketched out the framework of a radical new organization. These founders, Krista Lundblad, Sue Ruby and Kathy Smith, grew excited at the potential of drawing independent piano teachers together, of pooling resources for the betterment of all. And they were insistent that this could be accomplished without charging excessive fees or collecting annual dues. The idea of APPI was brought from the restaurant table to the Secretary of State and on July 3, 2001 APPI was registered as a corporation and steps went into place to receive non-profit status, a non-profit organization that would someday connect the teachers of the greater Twin Cities area and beyond. The first teacher meeting was held in August of 2001 at the Schmitt Music in Roseville, Minnesota. It was at these monthly meetings that a line of exceptional piano instructors began to surface. The first year of APPI's existence included Theory & History classes, Special Guest Joyce Grill, APPI Bash, APPI Festival and a joyous Piano & Pasta Celebration. The organization also implemented a Patron of the Arts award and handed out 60 composer busts to students that completed requirements. The highlight of APPI's inaugural year was hosting the APPI Fesitval on the one-year anniversary of the inception of APPI. The atmosphere was charged and the judges did a tremendous job of lifting up the students and challenging them to grow. As APPI moves forward, we continue to explore new territories and ideas and to strive for goals well beyond the initial dreams of its founders.