Master of Music (MM) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy
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.
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:
- 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.
- *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/
- 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.).
- 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?
- 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/.
- 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.
Graduate Piano AuditionsPre-Screening Videos
For the M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, students should submit pre-screening videos in advance of the actual audition date. These videos would be submitted through the Recorded Audition Submission Form, and applicants must submit at least 30 minutes of repertoire, memorized, including the following:
- A sonata-allegro movement from a classical sonata, preferably by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
- A Romantic work
- 1 or 2 additional pieces of applicant’s choice, from any style or period
Auditions will take place in the Russell/Wanless Performance Hall on Saturday, February 13, 2021, from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. If another time needs to be arranged, or if you would prefer to audition by video, contact Dr. Kevin Olson at email@example.com.
For the M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, students should prepare the following for the audition:
A polyphonic work by J.S. Bach
A full classical sonata, preferably by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
A Romantic, Impressionist, modern, or contemporary work
One other freely chosen work of the applicant’s choice
Applicants will receive a short “Independent Study Piece” 2-3 weeks before the audition, and will perform the piece in the audition. Memory is not required, and applicants are welcome to bring their own scores with notes.
- Applicants who wish to be considered for collaborative piano stipends may be asked to sight-read.
A list of significant repertoire studied should be brought to your audition.
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. These assistantships cover up to full tuition plus a salary stipend.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Cahill Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.