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Valerie C. Cisler


Valerie Cisler is Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. A champion of American music, Cisler has given numerous performances and presentations at state, regional, national, and international conferences, including the premieres of eight state-commissioned works for Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), most recently, Ghosts of Old Pianos by Grammy Award Winner Libby Larsen, in addition to performances at Regional NATS (Texas), the American Composers Alliance (New York City), Festival of Women Composers (Pennsylvania), and at CMS, NASA, GP3, and NASM conferences in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., San Jose, Costa Rica, and Bangkok, Thailand.

As a professional clinician for Alfred Publishing, she has presented numerous workshops for piano teachers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Her D.M.A. document, The Piano Sonatas of Robert Muczynski (University of Oklahoma) was selected for The Center for American History permanent collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Her professional service extended to state board membership and election to the office of President with the Nebraska Music Teachers Association. Cisler currently serves on the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Board.

Cisler previously held an appointment as Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska Kearney, where she served as Director of the Piano Pedagogy Program, Graduate Music Program Chair, and then as Chair of the Department of Music & Performing Arts (ten years). Her teaching encompassed applied and class piano, a three-year piano pedagogy/internship curriculum, along with graduate aesthetics of music coursework. Her mentorship of students included a number of state and national conference presentations, performance competition awards, master class performances, and grant awards, and extended to service as Reviewer for the National Council on Undergraduate Research.

Cisler’s awards and honors include the UNK campus-wide Pratt-Heins Foundation Faculty Award for Research, the Creative Teaching Award, and the Leland Holdt/Security Mutual Life Faculty Award for Superior Teaching, Scholarship, and Service; the University of Nebraska system-wide Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award; and multi-year selection for the roster of the Nebraska Arts Council Touring Artist Program.

Selected Publications

  • Composition Book series for Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, Alfred Publishing, Van Nuys, CA, series of six books (1996-1998). The books receive international distribution, including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the U.S., with translation of four books to Korean.
  • Technique for Advancing Pianists, with Maurice Hinson, Alfred Publishing, Van Nuys, CA (2004).
  • Functional Skills for Pianists, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (2022).


Current research is focused on piano pedagogy, specifically the successful development of fundamental keyboard skills inclusive of theory, technique, sight reading, transposition, harmonization and improvisation for college level music majors and keyboard performance students at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Professional Membership

  • College Music Society
  • Society for American Music
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Pi Kappa Lambda
  • Wisconsin Music Teachers Association
  • Music Teachers National Association (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in Piano, Pedagogy, and Theory


Valerie Cisler
Dean - College of Fine Arts & Communication
Professor - Piano/Piano Pedagogy

101 Noel Fine Arts Center


DMA - Piano Performance and Pedagogy
University of Oklahoma

MM - Piano Performance and Pedagogy
Eastern New Mexico University

BM - Studio: Piano/Music Business
Silver Lake College

Arts Administration
University of Connecticut