Ronald  Shinn

Ronald Shinn

Professor, Piano, Music Theory
School of the Arts
Division of Music
Office: Buchanan Hall 307
Phone: 205-726-2501

Dr. Ronald Shinn has been a Professor of Piano at Samford since 2007, and previously was Dowling Professor of Music at Huntingdon College where he was a member of the music faculty for thirty years. His B.M. in Piano Performance is from The University of New Mexico (George Robert, teacher), his M.M. from The University of Wisconsin (Madison; Howard Karp), and his D.M.A. from The University of Alabama (Amanda Penick).

Dr. Shinn has regularly presented solo and chamber music recitals and has also presented a number of duet/duo-piano recitals with his wife Barbara. He has given numerous workshops on such topics as duet teaching repertoire, sonata/sonatina repertoire, 20th century teaching literature, piano concerto repertoire, college & conservatory audition preparation and computer usage in the piano studio. He has presented workshops locally and on the state and national levels.

Shinn's students have won first-place awards in many events, including MTNA state, regional and national competitions; Yamaha National Piano Competition; the 2014 New York International Artist Association Competition; AMTA solo and concerto events; Blount-Slawson (Montgomery; National competition), Tuscaloosa, Brevard, Shoals, Columbus, La Grange and the Alabama Symphony concerto competitions; the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs and Birmingham Music Clubs and the Samford Concerto-Aria and Morris Festival. He has judged many piano competitions throughout the U.S., including the Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Southwest MTNA Competitions (all levels).

Ronald Shinn and his wife Barbara have for 17 years co-directed a summer program for talented junior and senior high students (Samford Piano & Chamber Music Institute, and has been on the faculty for the outstanding summer piano program known as the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM,, which has included such esteemed piano faculty as Emilio del Rosario, Alan Chow, Jack Winerock, Larry Graham, and John Perry. The Shinn’s also assist their son and daughter-in-law with their outstanding festival for adult piano students each year in California, pianoSonoma (

Shinn’s former students hold degrees from Juilliard, Eastman, Manhattan School of Music, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Royal Academy of Music in London, New England Conservatory and other prestigious undergraduate and graduate programs in piano.

In 1993 he was awarded the Exemplary Teaching Award through Huntingdon and was honored as the recipient of the 1999 AMTA Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Shinn was the recipient of the Presidential Scholars' Teacher Recognition Award in Washington, D.C., in June, 2007.

Along with colleague Brian Viliunas, he has completed his first CD, “French & German Clarinet & Piano Classics,” available as a CD or digitally from iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets.

After a number of years teaching full-time at Juilliard, their son Michael has recently been appointed Dean of Music at Boston Conservatory at Berkeley (

Ronald Shinn has recently become a Yamaha Artist. 

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.M. begun at University of Colorado with Storm Bull
  • B.M. completed at University of New Mexico with George Robert
  • M.M., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Howard Karp
  • D.M.A., The University of Alabama, Amanda Penick


  • Samford Piano & Chamber Music Institute (
    • Co-direct with wife Barbara, also on piano faculty
    • Completed 17 years of program for talented high school and junior high students
    • Generally son Michael and his wife Jessica (both formerly of Juilliard School of music, now at Boston Conservatory) teach with faculty
    • Faculty includes Samford pianists Don Sanders & Kathryn Fouse, clarinetist Brian Viliunas, Cellist Samuel Nordlund and violinist Carolyn Nordlund


  • Piano
  • Music Theory
  • Piano Pedagogy

Awards and Honors

  • Huntingdon College Exemplary Teaching Award
  • Dowling Professor of Music, Huntingdon College
  • AMTA Teacher of the Year Award, 1999
  • U.S. Presidential Scholars’ Teacher Recognition Award
  • Past President, Alabama Music Teachers Association 2001-2002


  • Piano Technique Books (4 levels), used throughout Alabama for AMTA Participants.
  • Articles in Piano Journals
  • Dissertation: “The Mirror Inversion Piano Practice Method and the Mirror Music of Vincent Persichetti”
  • 2017: CD: “French & German Clarinet & Piano Classics”


  • MTNA National Conference Workshop, "iPods, YouTube and Podcasts in the Studio," Spring, 2009
  • Nov. 4-6, 2010 Guest Clinician: Judge of Concerto Competition, Master Class Teacher, and presenter of Piano Concerto Repertoire to members of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association for the annual MMTA State Conference.
  • Numerous other workshops on duet-duo teaching repertoire, 20th century teaching repertoire, conservatory/college/university audition preparation, computer usage in the piano studio
  • Some performances:
    • Dr. & Mrs. Shinn performed Carmina Burana with the Montgomery Civic Chorale and the Civic Ballet at the Davis Theater, Fall, 2010.
    • Brahms Requiem in Birmingham (two-piano, four-hands with soloists/choir)
    • Numerous concerts with Nancy Vinson, principle flute in Montgomery Symphony
    • Numerous clarinet and piano concerts with colleague Brian Viliunas, including ones at Columbus State (GA), University of Southern Mississippi, Parlor Concert for The Birmingham Music Club


  • Focal Hand Dystonia
  • Mirror music practice techniques


  • Metro Music Teachers Forum (Webmaster, Birmingham)
  • Alabama Music Teachers Association (Past President, Webmaster)
  • Music Teachers National Association
  • Alabama Federation of Music Clubs
  • National Federation of Music Clubs
  • National Guild of Piano Teachers


  • Son Michael recently (2017) appointed Dean of Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee
  • Daughter Anne is former Peace Corps, with extensive travel, based in NYC
  • Daughter-in-law Jessica is duo pianist with son Michael
  • Wife Barbara has taught and performed together with husband for over 40 years