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  • BM Music Performance - Piano Emphasis

    The piano performance degree is designed for students that want to pursue careers in solo and collaborative performance, operate high-level teaching studios, and apply for and excel in the best graduate piano programs. Students receive multiple opportunities for collaborative and solo performing opportunities during their studies, and are able to study with a renowned group of piano faculty. USU became an All-Steinway school in 2012, offering students the ability to perform on the highest-quality pianos in the practice rooms and performing halls.



    Dr. Kevin Olson

    Associate Professor

    Interim USU Piano Program Coordinator



    Professor R. Dennis Hirst

    Associate Professor

    Director of Wassermann Festival

    Director of Youth Conservatory


    Professor Dallas Heaton

    Professional Practice Instructor

    Collaborative Piano 


    Emily Ezola

    Faculty Associate

    Program Coordinator, Youth Conservatory

    Program Coordinator, Keyboard Harmony



    The piano performance degree combines music core instruction with piano-specific courses emphasizing piano instruction and performance. Significant background in piano piano is required, and students can only enter the program with a successful audition. Students complete performance juries each semester, as well as a 30-minute sophomore recital and a 60-minute senior recital. Piano Performance majors also receive training as teachers in the USU Youth Conservatory, a preparatory lab program that provides private and group instruction to over 200 pre-college pianists each week.

    View the degree map online in the University Catalog


    In addition to applying for admission to the University, all applicants interested in pursuing a music degree must perform an audition on their major instrument to gain admission into the Department of Music. Specific audition information can be found here.


    Auditions for the piano performance program typically take place in early spring. Requirements include the performance of two contrasting piano pieces at an early advanced level. Contact Cary Youmans at 435-797-3015 or cary.youmans@usu.edu for more details and to schedule an audition time.


    Faculty in the program are nationally and internationally-recognized as performers, teachers, and composers. Present and past students of the program are consistent competition winners, in demand as accompanists, and many have gone on to teach at prestigious universities around the country or have high-level independent studios.