Piano Programs

It's not magic, It's Mastery!

WPS is Florida's only Royal Conservatory of Music Founding School

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At Wendelken Piano Studio, we recognize the need for first-rate coaching in classical music. Nothing else, no corners cut, will produce the kind of musicians we train here. And in order to reach that level of beauty and professionalism, we must be engaged. But is it possible to learn to play masterfully and still have fun? Yes, absolutely!

It is just this, the right combination of technical skill and artistry, taught with kindness and humor and care, that sets us apart, far apart, from other music programs.
With our students, after a year or two with us, they find music is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. Our students come to identify as musicians, artists. This is a fundamental difference in our students, identifying themselves as someone who knows and values culture and self-expression.
The cornerstone of our program is centered around the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. Wendelken Piano Studio is proud to be named “Founding School” of the Prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music, and we remain the only RCM Founding School on this side of Florida. Indeed, we were the first school chosen to represent the Royal  Conservatory in the South. That speaks volumes about the commitment to excellence and dedication to helping our students receive the finest classical training in Piano and Voice anywhere. Our trailblazing leader, Ms. Mary Wendelken, was Named RCM Founding Teacher for being the visionary who brought her students to Toronto, Canada for exams in the mid-90’s until RCM agreed to have Ms. Wendelken host yearly exams in Tampa Bay/New Tampa. Wendelken Piano Studio, together with our affiliate, the Royal Conservatory of Music, have made the RCM exams available to literally hundreds, even thousands of students; from every walk of life, every age, every ability. Royal Conservatory exams do many things: provide verification of the level of achievement one has reached on their instrument, assist students with getting into better colleges and universities by adding back the “A” to STEAM, and perhaps most importantly, ensuring that years of study was thorough enough to remain a skill and talent for life.
WPS brought RCM to the state of Florida in 2003. Our program is as simple as it is ambitious: We work with students of all ages and levels whose goal is to learn to play the piano masterfully. We offer our students the finest training available in the fine art of classical piano. From that excellent basis, our students can also play: Baroque, Romantic, Impressionistic, Atonal and Freely tonal contemporary music, jazz, blues, ragtime, rock, new-age, sacred and popular music of all types.
We offer our students more opportunities to perform than any other music school in Florida, including: Royal Conservatory of Music practical exams, NFMC district Festival and State Competition, American Protege’ International Piano and Strings Competition and Carnegie Hall Recital, Pittsburgh International Piano Competition, Spotlight On Talent Competition, NFMC Composition Competition, community outreach recitals, formal recitals, Youtube videos, and much more.
Each year, our students achieve honors for their skill and mastery at piano and voice, winning competitions near and far; awards, scholarships, admission to summer camps and college programs. It’s amazing what just a few months with us will do for your child’s attitude toward music! Expect to hear more practicing, see your child bloom and grow musically. Our adult students also have the option of participating in many of the same events and enjoy getting to play and receive feedback from judges. Participation in many musical events throughout the year is just one of the things that sets WPS apart from the rest.

So, whatever you are coming to us with, whether you are an advanced pianist who wants to take their music to the next level, an intermediate level student who is feeling burnt out and needs something special to ignite their interest again, or an absolute beginner who wants the best possible start, you’ve found your place. Welcome to the friendliest music studio we know. Welcome to Wendelken Piano Studio (and voice too!) Tampa Bay/New Tampa

Beginner Piano Program

Beginner and Elementary Level: All ages, adults. Children 6 and under, by interview to access readiness.

From that very first lesson to late Beginner playing simple Bach pieces, our Prep level includes careful instruction for correct body and hand position, note reading, finger and wrist technique, articulation, and our own patented method for teaching rhythms! Games and storytelling ensure that each lesson is fun, rewarding, and progressive. Our students are taught to play with beauty of tone and accuracy that gives even our youngest beginners a professional sound.

Most of our students present a “Story Recital” before moving to the Intermediate level. Late beginner students may choose to learn a concerto, or join others in a piano duo or trio.
Corresponding Royal Conservatory of Music Level: Prep A, Prep B, Grade 1.

Intermediate Piano Program

RCM grade 3-6. Interview with our Director to establish your current level.

Students reaching an intermediate level are often at a crossroads: They are now experienced enough to really begin to play well, yet are faced with increased workload at school. Predictably, if the music student doesn’t love where their music is taking them, students may quit piano at this time.

Because of this, we are very attentive to our middle school/high school students. The key to success is to keep everyone engaged and challenged with exciting challenges like: Learning their first concerto, playing in a duo, composing, and making Youtube videos. Motivation is everything.

Our Intermediate Program is for students with a few years of study behind them. Students are now able to play music from Baroque to Contemporary. The music available at this level is varied and inspiring. Further, we allow our students to choose the music the most inspires them from each period. Corresponding Royal Conservatory of Music Level: Grade 2- 6.

Advanced Piano Program

RCM grade 7-10. Interview with our Director to establish your current level.

Our Advanced Program is for Advanced students: RCM Grade 7-10 and beyond. I am thrilled to say that almost all of our students stay with us and reach the Advanced level. Some of these students are quite young, and they all play with remarkable passion, beauty and skill. Our Advanced students can choose from many events and options: concerti, ensembles, competitions, music composition, and much more.

All of our seniors make a video of their repertoire, useful for college applications and as a permanent memory for their family. Many of our students choose to keep growing with their music by choosing to minor in piano when they go to college. We are proud to say 100% of our alumni who have auditioned to major or minor in piano have been accepted by schools from Vanderbilt to Georgetown to Florida State to Penn State.

Performance and Exams


As a concert-trained pianist, I emphasize this aspect with my students of all ages. Frequent group performance classes at our studio help give our students the extra experience needed to look calm and professional on stage, in exams, or when making a video for Youtube. Performance experience helps us to enjoy sharing our music with others!

Competitions and Awards

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Each year, our studio participates in RCM practical exams, FFMC Festival and State Competition, Pittsburgh International Piano Competition, Philadelphia International Piano Competition, American Protege’ international Piano and Strings Competition, and lighter things like Pasco County’s “Spotlight on Talent”, Solo and Ensembles, local outreaches to area retirement homes and hospitals, and formal and casual recitals.