Welcome to McKee Music Studios
We are Renée Hyche McKee and Richard McKee. We founded McKee Music Studios after moving to North Carolina from New York City in 1980. We have taught private piano since then, now bringing years of teaching experience into our students’ lessons. McKee Music Studios is based in classical piano technique and repertoire, and also offers improvisation, theory and composition as well.
We bring technology into the lessons by using dedicated software for sight reading, theory and listening to the great artists who have recorded music throughout the years. For students who are interested in composition we teach how to use music notation software and can even take them through the steps necessary to get their music published. We strive to be clear in our communication with parents and students. Our students leave each lesson with a clearly written assignment sheet for that week's practice at home, and we encourage parents to read the expectations and progress notes each week. We encourage conversation with parents that gives us insight to each child's interests inside and outside the music studio.
Located in Cary, N.C., our studio is known in the Raleigh area for excellence in music-making and also for teaching according to the individual learning styles of each student. We train our students through helping them set goals, encouraging them, and setting an atmosphere that brings out the very best in every one of them. We teach beginning through advanced students, offering thirty minute lessons for the young beginners, and forty-five and sixty minute lessons for the intermediate and advanced students. Students have the opportunity to perform through recitals, musicales, optional competitions and class performances. We look forward to working with you to develop the unique talents of your student.
Over 70 years experience
Dr. Richard and Renée McKee have a combined experience of over 70 years of teaching, with multiple degrees in music.
Tailored Teaching Styles
We listen to the interests of your student and can focus on classical piano, improvisation, music theory, or music composition.
Digital Teaching Tools
We use interactive computer programs and gaming to improve sight reading, music theory comprehension, and music composition
Music Composition & Publishing
Richard and Renée will teach their students how to use music-writing notation software and how to publish their new creations.
Close Parent Communitation
We send weekly reports to parents about their students, and love to talk with them about their students' interests and potential.
Our students have multiple oppurtunities to perform publicly via recitals, musicales, class performances, and optional competitions.
Renée Hyche McKee
Renée Hyche McKee has taught private classical piano lessons since 1980 and from 1992-1996 taught as an adjunct piano instructor at Campbell University. An arranger, composer and improvisationalist, she brings these skills along with music theory into her teaching studio. She has performed her original compositions, arrangements, and piano works of the great composers on concert stages since childhood. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Birmingham-Southern College where she studied with Hugh Thomas, Dolores Hodgens Howard and Chris Sager. Renee was a finalist in the 1975 Miss Alabama pageant where she receved scholarships for winning the Most Talented award. In New York City she worked with Columbia Artists Management, developed a duo-piano partnership with pianist and husband Richard McKee and with him launched a family of four sons, all of whom are musicians. In June 2017 Renée and Richard performed as a duet team at the Kammermusiksaal, Bonn, Germany as part of the Beethoven House concert series.
Her students have a high level of success, including one-hundred percent admittance rate to undergraduate music programs, superior ratings in
Raleigh’s Young Artists Competitions, and multiple First Place Winners in the Young Artists Composition Division. Renée is also an adjudicator for Piano Festivals and Competitions throughout North Carolina. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, North Carolina Music Teachers Association, served as co-chair of the Young Artists Auditions and currently serves as Chair of the Artist Workshop 2018 for the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association. Renée attends the Music Teachers National Association Conference regularly to keep current with the latest trends in piano teaching.
In April 2015 Renée released her first professional recording of pieces she has arranged, Preludes of Peace: Meditative Hymn Settings. The sheet music of these arrangements are available through sheetmusicplus.com. She loves teaching, being a wife and mom, playing piano at church, and mentoring young musicians. She performs regularly in duo-piano concerts with her husband, hand-paints Christmas egg ornaments every year, and does a great deal of creative thinking, praying, and sweating while on her long-distance runs.
Richard McKee, Ph.D.
Dr. Richard Miles McKee attended Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, receiving the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance. There he studied with Delores Hodgens Howard. He holds a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music where he studied piano with the late Constance Keene and with Marc Silverman. He holds a Master of Arts degree and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Dr. McKee has been a Professor of Music at Campbell University since 1994 and is currently Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts as well as Director of Piano Studies. There he teaches Applied Piano, Music History, Piano Pedagogy, and Piano Literature. His love for teaching is carried over into the private studio as well, where he has been teaching classical piano as well as improvisation to all ages from beginners to advanced since 1980.
Richard has been selected for the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Campbell, and presents lectures and lecture-recitals to professional music organizations at the local and state level. In recent years he has performed as soloist with the Campbell University String and Wind Ensembles, and in June 2017 performed at the Beethoven House with Renée in Bonn, Germany, where he also accompanied soloists from the Campbell Wind Symphony. Dr. McKee is an experienced and much-sought-after adjudicator for numerous piano competitions including the National Federation of Music Clubs, NCMTA Regional Auditions, the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association Young Artists Auditions, Raleigh Music Club Scholarship Auditions and Cary/Apex Piano Teachers Association.
Dr. McKee has authored the book, "No Notes? No Fear! Lead-Sheet Improvisation for the Classically Trained Pianist" and has composed works for choir, piano, and instrumental ensembles. His newest duo-piano work, Fantasy on Wade in the Water was debuted in March of 2018. As a lecturer he has covered topics such as: "What Was He Thinking? Performing Beethoven's Slurs on a Modern Piano" and He has delivered lecture-demonstrations on "No Notes? No Fear". He attends the Music Teachers National Association conference regularly in order to stay current with the latest in academic and teaching ideas for the studio. Richard performs regularly in duo-piano concerts with his wife, plays piano with his church music team, enjoys model railroading, Alabama Football, and Star Trek (Kirk and Spock, of course).
Testimonials from some of our students
We moved from San Francisco Bay Area to the triangle last summer and I was trying to find a good piano teacher for the kids... I was so fortunate to get a friend’s referral and have my 8- year-old daughter Keira study under Mrs. McKee’s teaching since October, 2017.
She had been through a few other music teachers earlier, I did not know what to expect this time. Now about 6 months into the program, I am delighted and grateful to see how Mrs. McKee nurtures Keira through her music journey with patience, love and discipline. I’m particularly thrilled about the semi-annual music recitals that the McKee family puts together. What a great way to form a fun music loving community! And we are so grateful to be part of it...
I’m looking forward to continuing this journey...
About 7 years ago, we discovered the McKees through a friend. We say "discovered" because they are truly like precious jewels. Mrs. Renee McKee taught our oldest son, then our second and now our youngest. The McKees have not only an impressive resume but they have a proven record of their students performing well on recitals and competitions.
They care for the whole child by giving kind and gentle encouragements; firm yet positive feedback when needed. I have seen all three of my sons blossom under her teaching.
Our son David started piano with Dr. McKee in middle school. Dr. McKee has always treated David’s musical pursuits with respect and high expectations. Because David knows expectations are high, and the work important, he has tried hard, practiced willingly, and grown exponentially as a musician. David now spends his free time composing and creating new music. Dr. McKee has helped shape him as a musician, but also as a young man. We are so grateful for all he has done and continues to do for David. We know whether or not he becomes a professional musician when he grows up, piano is a joy he will possess for a lifetime. What a gift!
Dr. McKee and Mrs. McKee are the best. They play wonderful duets and provide so much inspiration to the students. They are knowledgeable, kind, and supportive. My children have improved so much technically and musically. They love their piano teachers! In addition to solos, students are also encouraged to play in ensembles or compose. We have switched piano studios a few times, but we are so glad to have found McKee Music Studios!
Our Tuition Rates & Payment for Piano Year 2018-2019
What we Provide
38 musical learning events per Piano Year (August 27, 2018 - July 25, 2019: Eleven months.) These 38 musical learning events are:
- 34 Private Lessons
- 1 Group Performance Class - Week of November 5th
- 1 Ensemble Rehearsal & Recital - Week of November 12th
- 1 Group Performance Class - Week of April 1st
- 1 Solo Rehearsal and Recital- Week of April 8th
Additional performance and competition opportunities may be available as options throughout the year. Those dates, fees, and locations will be communicated as the information becomes available.
What we Charge
|1 Student, 30 minutes||$147||$809||$1617|
|2 Students, 30 minutes each||$250||$1375||$2750|
|3 Students, 30 minutes each||$375||$2063||$4125|
|1 Student, 45 minutes||$220||$1210||$2420|
|2 Students, 45 minutes each||$374||$2057||$4114|
|3 Students, 45 minutes each||$561||$3086||$6171|
|1 Student, 60 minutes||$285||$1568||$3135|
|2 Students, 60 minutes each||$485||$2668||$5335|
|3 Students, 60 minutes each||$727||$3999||$7997|
|1 Student 45 min + 1 Student 30 min||$312||$1716||$3432|
|1 Student 60 min + 1 Student 45 min||$430||$2365||$4730|
How you can pay
For the entire year
Payment is due at the first lesson of the Piano Year. August start dates are included in the September monthly payment.
Twice per year
The first half of the payment is due at the first lesson of the Piano Year, the second half is due at the first February lesson.
With monthly payments
Payment is due at the first lesson of each month paid in eleven equal payments.
A$15.00 late fee is added when payments are not received on or before the 10th of each month.
- Automatic Bank Check - most banks will allow you to set up a monthly payment to be received by McKee Music Studios via U.S. Mail. In order to avoid a late fee, we recommend setting the pay date a few days before the 1st of the month to get the payment processed by the 10th.
- Personal Check - make all checks payable to McKee Music Studios
- Google Wallet - if you have a Google Wallet account or the app, you may send payment to email@example.com.
- Paypal - if you have a Paypal account, you may send payment via PayPal.Me/ReneeMcKee.
- Recital Fee - a $20 recital fee per family is due at the first Fall Lesson. You may combine the recital fee with your first monthly payment, semester payment, or annual payment.
- Materials Fee - $50 per student. This fee is OPTIONAL. If you choose to pay it you are giving your teacher permission to purchase printed music on your behalf through the piano year. No unspent funds will be rolled over to the next year. You will not be billed for any overage incurred during the current piano year.
- Competition, festival, and audition fees - These fees are OPTIONAL and are due only if and when the student, parent, and teacher agree to participate. Fees vary according to the event.
- Recital DVD - A DVD and/or digital recording by a videographer will be available after each student recital. The price of the recording will be announced at recital if you chooose to purchase a copy.
Our Studio's Policy
In order to maintain clear communication about tuition, fees, summer scheduling and practice expectations, we ask that the parent(s) read, print out, sign and return to us the Policy Agreement that will be sent to you as an email attachment the week before Fall Lessons begin. Please return the signed document to us at your student's first Fall Lesson.
Our studio will be open no matter the weather, even if schools have been closed. If you are able to safely come to lesson on time, please come. If not, call us before your regularly scheduled lesson and together we will schedule a make-up lesson on the soonest weekend available.
Make up Lessons
There will be no make-up lessons during the school year. The exceptions are 1) if the teacher cancels or 2) inclement weather. We will try to work with you if you have an urgent situation that may require missing a lesson.
Recent studies have shown that learning to play an instrument greatly increases brain function. Practicing and playing a musical instrument makes patterns in the brain that make it easier to learn other information. This is why students who learn to play a musical instrument well by practicing regularly do better in school than those who don't.
Any activity that coordinates the brain with the body requires consistent, persistent repetition. In order to master any skill, especially one as multi-tasking as reading music and playing the piano, students need encouragement both from teacher and from home. Parents who provide a designated practice time each day with a well-maintained instrument, and who are willing to enforce the practice time at home will be giving their child the necessary tools for success and confidence.
The rule of thumb for the amount of practice time is to spend 6 sessions per week, each session being the length of the lesson. So a student taking a 45-minute lesson each week should be practicing 45 minutes each day, 6 days a week.
Dates to Note for the 2018-2019 Piano Year
|Mon. Aug. 27||First Day of Lessons for 2018-2019 Piano Year|
|Mon. Sep. 3||No lessons - Labor Day|
|Fri. Sep. 28||Mrs. McKee - No lessons
Dr. McKee will have lessons.
|Fri. Oct. 12||Dr. McKee - No lessons
Mrs. McKee will have lessons.
|Mon. - Thu. Nov. 5 - 8
4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
|Performance Classes at McKee Music Studios|
|Fri. Nov. 9||No lessons|
|Mon. Nov. 12
4:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
|Rehearsal for Ensemble Recital I at Peace Church|
|Tue. Nov. 13
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
|Ensemble Recital I at Peace Church|
|Wed. Nov. 14
4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
|Rehearsal for Ensemble Recital II at Peace Church|
|Thu. Nov. 15
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
|Ensemble Recital II at Peace Church|
|Fri. Nov. 16||No lessons|
|Tue. - Fri. Nov. 20 - 23||No lessons - Thanksgiving Break|
|Thu. - Wed. Dec. 20 - Jan. 2||No lessons - Christmas Break|
|Thu. Jan 3||Lessons resume|
|March TBA||RPTA Young Artists Auditions|
|March TBA||RPTA Young Artists Honors (Winners) Recital|
|Mon. - Thu. Apr. 1 - 4||Performance Classes at McKee Music Studios|
|Fri. Apr. 5||No lessons|
|Mon. Apr. 8
4:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
|Rehearsal for Solo Recital I at Peace Church|
|Tue. Apr. 9
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
|Solo Recital I at Peace Church|
|Wed. Apr. 10
4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
|Rehearsal for Solo Recital II at Peace Church|
|Thu. Apr. 11
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
|Solo Recital II at Peace Church|
|Fri. Apr. 12||No lessons|
|Mon. - Fri. Apr. 15 - 19||No lessons - Spring Break|
|Mon. Apr. 22||Lessons resume|
|Mon. May 27||No lessons - Memorial Day|
|Mon. June 3||Last day of regularly scheduled lessons|
|Tue. - Tue. June 4 - 11||No lessons - Summer Break|
|Wed. June 12||First day of Summer Flex Schedule|
|Thu. July 4||No lessons - Holiday|
|Thu. July 25||Last Day of Lessons for 2018-2019 Piano Year|
Get in Touch with usStill have Questions? Contact Us using the Form below.
Preludes of Peace
by Renée Hychee McKee
Classical renditions of much beloved hymns, these pieces will ease your heart and sooth your soul. Available as a physical disc or digital downloads.Order the physical disc
Available online at Sheet Music Plus!
McKee Music Studios is proud to be associated with these fine local musicians who teach private lessons. Contact them directly for scheduling and rates.
Bethany McGehee McKee
Bethany lives in Raleigh and has been teaching since 2011. She graduated from Campbell University summa cum laude in May of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Piano Pedagogy. Bethany loves giving her students the opportunity to pursue an art that not only teaches discipline and patience but is also emotionally rewarding and fulfilling. By teaching her students classical techniques, she hopes to give them a foundation that will inspire life-long musical passion and appreciation. She teaches beginners through advanced levels in Apex.
Alex McKee lives in Raleigh and is the songwriter/guitarist for the band Waking April. He has been performing, recording and teaching full time since graduating from Campbell University in 2016 and has performed his original music in many states from New York City to the Rocky Mountains to Red Hat Amphitheater here in Raleigh, NC. You can hear his songs on Waking April’s latest EP, “Bones” which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Sound Cloud. Alex teaches beginning piano through intermediate level, electric bass, guitar and song-writing at the McKee Studios in Cary.
Mike McKee lives in Raleigh and is the drummer/percussionist for the band Delta Rae (Big Machine Records). He has traveled the world with Delta Rae non-stop since 2009, and has performed on Conan O’ Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Seth Meyers, and more. Mike teaches in North Raleigh when he is off the road and works with students of all ages who can flex with his touring schedule.