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Master of Music (MM) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy


pianist's hands

The MM Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree at Utah State University offers students the unique opportunity to specialize in both performance and teaching at an advanced level. It prepares applicants for successful careers, and offers exceptional opportunities while a student through the Youth Conservatory and Wassermann Festival.

View additional information about piano at USU by viewing the page for Piano Performance & Pedagogy.

Students interested in applying to the MM Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree program at Utah State University must be admitted to the Graduate School and to the Department of Music via a live or recorded audition. For more information, contact Dr. Cahill Smith, Graduate Studies Program Coordinator for the Music Department, or Dr. Kevin Olson, Piano Area Coordinator.

Application

All applications are submitted online through https://gradschool.usu.edu/apply/. Applicants to the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy must complete the following:

  1. Official College Transcripts - To qualify for admission to the MM program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree in any field of study, with a GPA of at least 3.0. Official transcripts must be sent directly from previous institutions to USU.
  2. *GRE or MAT Scores - The GRE or MAT is optional for applicants to the Master of Music degree programs. However, applicants should be advised that the GRE/MAT is a requirement for some tuition waivers and scholarships available through the School of Graduate Studies. For information about these awards, and whether or not you may qualify, please visit https://gradschool.usu.edu/tuition-financial-aid/
  3. Letters of Recommendation – Three satisfactory letters of recommendation must be sent directly by the recommenders through the application server. Applicants are highly encouraged to seek a recommendation from a primary applied teacher and one academic music faculty (theory, history, etc.).
  1. Writing Sample - Please upload a 500–1000 word (1-2 pages, single-spaced) personal statement on one of the following topics. An academic research paper on a musical subject may also be accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Music Committee. The writing sample will be evaluated by the Music Department Graduate Committee and all full-time faculty in the applicant’s primary area of emphasis. Your essay will be evaluated in part on the quality of writing, including organization, concision, and clarity.

Topic 1: Describe a moment or experience in your musical education that convinced you to pursue higher education in music.
Topic 2: How do you hope your career in music will make an impact on today’s musical culture?
Topic 3: Why does/should music matter to individuals or society today?

  1. International Student Requirements - In addition to the General Admissions Requirements, International students must meet the language, degree, and funding requirements of the USU School of Graduate Studies, available at https://gradschool.usu.edu/apply/.
  2. Audition/Interview - Complete a successful live or recorded entrance audition/interview. If travel distance or schedule conflicts prevent you from auditioning live, you may submit a video recording of your audition through the recorded audition form: https://music.usu.edu/students/recorded-audition-form.

Applicants for the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy should prepare two pieces from contrasting periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, etc.) to be performed from memory. Applicants should bring a typed repertoire list to the audition, including solo, concerto, and chamber repertoire studied in the last four years. Applicants who wish to be considered for accompanying stipends may be asked to sight read.

Piano area scholarships are awarded only to applicants who intend to pursue a piano degree. Limited graduate assistantships are available for students entering the M.M. degree program in Piano Performance and Pedagogy.

For additional information, or to schedule another date for a live audition, please contact Dr. Cahill Smith at cahill.smith@usu.edu.

Curriculum

The Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree integrates instruction in piano pedagogy with advanced levels of piano performance, preparing graduates for careers as independent studio teachers, as well as those who will teach in higher education, and/or pursue Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at other institutions. Students in the program must complete a minimum of 36 approved semester credits, divided into three main areas: (1) 12 credits in performance, (2) 12 credits in pedagogy, and (3) 12 credits in history and theory.

Year 1, Fall MUSC 5980    Introduction to Music Research           3 Credits
  MUSC 5420     Piano Literature I                      2 Credits
  MUSC 6430     Special Topics in Perf. and Pedagogy 2 Credits
  MUSC 6630    Individual Instruction for Graduates 2 Credits
     
       
Year 1, Spring MUSC 6130   Music History Seminar              3 Credits
  MUSC 6440     Piano Literature II                     2 Credits
  MUSC 6630     Individual Instruction for Graduates 2 Credits
  MUSC 6430     Special Topics in Perf. and Pedagogy 2 Credits
     
       
Year 2, Fall MUSC 6140 Music Theory Seminar              3 Credits
  MUSC 6410 Collaborative Artistry                2 Credits
  MUSC 6420     Pedagogy Practicum               2 Credits
  MUSC 6630     Individual Instruction for Graduates 2 Credits
     
       
Year 2, Spring MUSC 6xxx Elective - 6130, 6140, 6430, 6900, 6970 2-3 Credits
  MUSC 6420     Pedagogy Practicum               2 Credits
  MUSC 6630     Individual Instruction for Graduates 2 Credits
  MUSC 6910     Individual Recital                      2-3 Credits