The Cliburn designed Cliburn in the Classroom, its signature music education program, to introduce young audiences to classical music. Cliburn in the Classroom programs present the excitement of live piano performances to second-, third-, and fourth-grade students and reinforce the basic elements of music through fun, interactive activities within the context of classical piano repertoire. Cliburn in the Classroom is presented annually to more than 57,000 public elementary students across North Texas. The programs are offered at no cost to participating schools.

Dr. John Feierabend, nationally known director of music education at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, and Shields-Collins Bray, principal keyboardist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, developed Cliburn in the Classroom presentations. Each interactive concert, which lasts about 40 minutes, features a program facilitator and guest pianist. A grand piano is brought into the school, and a camcorder and projector are used to project the pianist’s hands onto a screen for all students to view. Illustrations further enhance the students’ experiences.

These programs enable students to approach music through multiple intelligences: linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. In addition, they address national standards in the arts for music education.

The Cliburn produces a study guide in collaboration with the Fort Worth Independent School District for classroom use. The study guide reinforces the schools’ core curriculum through classroom activities and research materials, thus extending the benefits of the Cliburn in the Classroom program and meeting state-mandated education guidelines.

Music Education Consultant – Dr. John Feierabend
Artistic Advisor – Shields-Collins Bray

For more information about Cliburn in the Classroom, please contact Melinda Willmann at or call 817.738.6536.





Alcon Foundation
Arts Council of Fort Worth
Atmos Energy Corporation
Black Mountain Oil & Gas LLC
BNSF Foundation
Capital One, N.A.
Elizabeth L. and Russell F. Hallberg Foundation
Fash Foundation
Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas
James Avery Artisan Jewelry
The Ninnie L. Baird Foundation
Lowe Foundation
Hodges Fund of the North Texas Community Foundation
Paul E. Andrews, Jr. Foundation
R4 Foundation
Scot and Melissa Hollmann Foundation Endowment of the Arkansas Community Foundation
Texas Commission on the Arts