Composition, Musicianship, Piano
Piano Department Chair

“There is nothing I love more than music, and I strive to share that love with every student I teach. Music is full of surprises: it doesn’t matter how much music you know, or how long you may have studied, there is always something new waiting to be discovered! I am regularly sharing recordings, examples and pointing out how the music we study is spectacular. By challenging my students to listen intentionally, I guide their ears to hear things that might otherwise be missed or overlooked.”

Keith believes very strongly in the power of music and the value of a musical education. “Music study cultivates creativity, builds self-confidence, and teaches awareness of one’s own body. Playing the piano is a very physical endeavor. I work closely with my students to teach safe and natural piano techniques, making playing the instrument easier and reducing the risk of future injury. Keith considers that our ears the most important part of our body for music creation and regularly stresses the importance of exercising the multiple aspects of the brain when studying; playing the piano is about far more than just motor skills! He employs a holistic approach to teaching: though he places a lot of emphasis on the ability to read music, he also teaches students to improvise and compose, integrating music theory, music analysis, critical and creative thinking, and music history into every lesson. “I have a classical background, but I assign a wide variety of musical styles and genres to my students: regardless of our musical interests or preferences, all styles of music offer us a lot to learn.”

Specializing in works that combine interactive electro-acoustics with solo piano, Keith’s Electroacoustic Piano Tour has been presented in ten countries and has spawned three solo albums. He is the co-founder and director of SPLICE, as well as the founder and Artistic Director of Original Gravity Inc

Kirchoff received a B.M. from the  University of Oregon in Piano Performance, summa cum laude his M.M. from the New England Conservatory in Piano Performance, with academic honors and performance excellence, recipient of the John Cage Award for contemporary performance practice.

Keith keeps a well-rounded lifestyle with “far too many hobbies!” He is an avid baseball fan and pitched for three seasons in a high-level amateur league in Los Angeles. He is also a homebrewer, particularly interested in brewing historical Belgian styles and wild brewing.

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"We play piano with our ears."