Keyboard

The following degrees are offered in Piano Performance and Organ:

Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science (B.A./B.M./B.S.)

Click here for Undergraduate degree options (Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science)

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

Piano
Perform an audition, up to 20 minutes, on your major instrument for the appropriate faculty. Your audition should include four memorized solos, scales and sight-reading:

  • A Bach Prelude and Fugue or other major work by Bach involving a fugue
  • A sonata-allegro movement from a work of Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • A Romantic work by composers such as Chopin, Brahms, and Schumann
  • A 20th century work by composers such as Debussy, Bartok or other major composers writing after 1900
  • Candidates will be asked to sight-read at least two passages and demonstrate knowledge of major and minor scales.
Prospective music education students whose main instrument is piano or guitar must audition on a second instrument (Voice or Band/Orchestral instrument) at this time as well.

Organ
Perform an audition, up to twenty minutes, on your major instrument for the keyboard faculty. Students wishing to audition on organ should prepare at least three works written specifically for organ (not transcriptions or arrangements) in contrasting styles comprising a total of twenty minutes of music. One of the selections should be a composition by J. S. Bach—we suggest a chorale prelude from the Orgelbüchlein or a work that incorporates a fugue. All the pieces should be chosen carefully to reflect the student’s best work, and do not necessarily have to be the most difficult works possible. The audition pieces will correspond to the student’s experience and technical proficiency. Memorized performance in encouraged for at least one of the audition pieces. All students auditioning on organ will be afforded no less than one hour to prepare at the instrument where the audition will be heard.

Many prospective organ majors choose to also audition in piano performance, and we encourage this. If, however, a student does not also play a piano performance audition, the organ professor will arrange a ten-minute meeting with the student on the audition day to assess basic keyboard skills such as sight-reading, scales,  and rudimentary harmonization of a melody. Performance of a solo piano piece is not necessary for this assessment.

Master of Music (M.M.)

Piano Performance Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

The M.M. in Piano Performance requires high performance standards in a variety of solo and chamber settings. It stipulates coursework in the areas of piano, music history, and music theory and aims to graduate performing musicians with professional level general music knowledge.

  • Masters Level-Piano (664-501), 8 cr.
  • Masters Recital (664-990), 4 cr.
  • Chamber Recitals: (664-990), 2 cr. and (664-542), 2 cr. (4 cr. total)
  • Piano Pedagogy (660-547/548, 551, or 751), 3 cr.
  • Piano Literature (660-791, 346 or 796), 3 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.
  • Electives (300 level and above)

Piano Performance Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: M.M. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of their preliminary recordings and the completion of their application file.

Audition: Candidates invited to audition should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 20 minutes of excerpts. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

Organ Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

  • Masters Level-Organ (664-503), 8 cr.
  • Masters Recital (664-990), 4 cr.
  • Organ Literature and Design (660-591/592), 4 cr.
  • Music Research Methods and Materials (660-619), 3 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.
  • Electives (300 level and above)
Organ Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

M.M. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Preliminary recording and complete application file must be received by December 1. Candidates who wish to audition in November must submit preliminary recordings and have a complete application file by October 15 to qualify for consideration.

If invited to audition, M.M. organ performance candidates will be required to perform an audition consisting of approximately fifteen minutes of performance followed by a brief interview. The audition should include an extended work of J. S. Bach (either a free work or a large chorale prelude); a work from 1830-1930; and one additional work contrasting in style with the other two selections. The audition jury may make a request to hear only a portion of some of the repertoire. Memory is not required, but memorized performance of at least one work is preferred. Please contact Professor Stowe to arrange practice on the audition instrument prior to the recital, and to address any questions about audition repertoire.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

Piano Performance Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

The D.M.A. in Piano Performance is designed to train and prepare pianists to perform, teach, and coach a broad range of keyboard repertoire at the highest artistic level. The degree requires the student to perform at this level in solo, concerto, chamber, as well as lecture/recital situations and to demonstrate comprehensive cultural and artistic knowledge of the field of music.

  • Doctoral Level-Piano (664-701), 16 cr. total
  • Recitals (664-999),1 cr. each, 6 cr. total
  • Music Research Methods and Materials (660-619), 3 cr.
  • Piano Literature (660-791 or 796), 6 cr.
  • Minor, 10-12 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.
  • Language: one language at intermediate level (credits and method of completion varies).
Piano Performance Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: D.M.A. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of their preliminary recordings and the completion of their application file.

Submit an example of scholarly writing, such as a paper from a graduate seminar in music history or theory, in PDF format as part of your School of Music application.

Audition: Candidates invited to audition should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 30 minutes of excerpts. Candidates who would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship may need to sight-read or provide information about teaching experience and philosophy. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

Organ Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

  • Doctoral Level-Organ (660-703), 16 cr.
  • Recitals (664-999), 1 cr. each, 5 cr. total
  • Music Research Methods and Materials (660-619), 3 cr.
  • Organ Literature (660-591, 660-592, 660-793), 6 cr.
  • Organ Improvisation and Liturgy (664-561, 664-562), 4 cr.
  • Minor, 10-12 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.
  • Language: one language at intermediate level (credits and method of completion varies)

Organ Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

D.M.A. candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Preliminary recording and complete application file must be received by December 1. Candidates who wish to audition in November must submit preliminary recording and have a complete application file by October 15 to qualify for consideration.

If invited to audition, D.M.A. organ performance candidates will be required to perform an audition consisting of approximately twenty minutes of performance followed by a brief interview. The audition should include an extended free work of J.S. Bach, a chorale-based work of J.S. Bach, and two additional works (not by Bach) that contrast in genre, style and historical period. The audition jury may make a request to hear only a portion of some of the repertoire. Memorized performance of at least one of the works is strongly encouraged. Please contact Professor Stowe to arrange practice on the audition instrument prior to the recital, and to address any questions about audition repertoire.

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

The following graduate degrees are offered in Collaborative Piano and Piano Performance & Pedagogy:

Master of Music (M.M.) in Collaborative Piano

COLLABORATIVE PIANO The M.M. in Collaborative Piano is designed to train pianists in the art of making music with others. This individualized program is tailored to the experience level of the student entering and involves extensive study of both instrumental and vocal repertoire. Study of diction, languages, coaching and ensemble techniques will be emphasized.

Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

  • Applied study — Advanced Accompanying (664-542), 8 cr. total (2 cr. per semester)
  • Recitals
    • Masters Recital (664-990), 2 recitals, vocal and instrumental, 2 cr. total (1 cr. per recital)
  • Additional Requirements — Vocal and Instrumental Accompanying – 7-11 credits total (Students choose one of the following tracks, or consult with major professor on an individualized plan):
    • For emphasis in Vocal Accompanying:
      Diction for Singers (660-467), 2 cr. AND
      (660-468), 2 cr. Opera Workshop (600-557), 2 cr.
    • For emphasis in Instrumental Accompanying:
      Diction for Singers (660-497), 2 cr. AND
      Chamber Music (Adv Ensemble)-(660-561/563/545/567/568/569), 1 cr.
    • All students: Accompanying Lab (664-342), 2 cr. total (waived if Accompanying PA)
    • All students: Duo Sonata Seminar (660-796), 3 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory. 9 cr.
  • Vocal Literature (660-346), 2 cr. AND/OR Vocal Literature Seminar (660-792), 2 cr.

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: Candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. In addition to the solo pieces, please include a representative sample of one or two collaborative works. The repertoire need NOT be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of preliminary recordings and the completion of the application file.

Audition: The audition will be a total of 20 minutes and will be chosen from: A major sonata for a string instrument and piano (i.e., Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, Prokofiev); a song cycle (i.e., Ariettes Oubliees of Debussy; Frauenliebe und Leben of Schumann); and a short (6-10 minutes) memorized solo work that exhibits technical facility. The entire audition should reflect contrasting styles and technical range.

Auditions will also include an interview with Professor Fischer, to include sight-reading. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list (chamber, accompanying, and solo) to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy). Contact Professor Fischer to schedule the audition and to arrange for musical partners.

Master of Music (M.M.) in Piano Performance & Pedagogy

PIANO PERFORMANCE & PEDAGOGY The M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy combines high performance standards with diverse pedagogical offerings. Based on each candidate’s prior coursework and/or teaching experience, an individualized program is established to focus on areas of specialized research. Candidates gain practical teaching experience in private and group pre-college lessons, class piano for music majors and non-majors, and private lessons for advanced college students.

Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

  • Pedagogy:* 8 cr. total
    Any combination of: Pedagogy I–Elementary (660-547), 2 cr.; Piano Pedagogy II–Intermediate-Advanced (660-548), 3 cr.; Class Piano Pedagogy (660-551), 3 cr.; Seminar in Piano Pedagogy (660-751), 3 cr.; OR, Piano Pedagogy Workshop (660-752), 1 cr.; Feldenkrais, 660-497 (2 credits)
  • Practicum in Advanced Studio Teaching (660-560), 1 cr.
  • Final Project: document/workshop (660-799), 1 cr.
  • Masters Level Piano (664-501), 8 cr.
  • Masters Recital (664-990), 4 cr.
  • Piano Literature (660-791), Repertoire (660-346) or Piano Duo-Sonata Literature (660-796), 3 cr. total
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.

* Applicants with significant background in piano pedagogy and/or teaching experience may place out of required pedagogy courses and enroll in more advanced pedagogy coursework for a total of 10 credit hours in this area.

Piano Pedagogy Course Offerings *

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: Candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of the preliminary recordings and the completion of the application file.

Audition: Candidates should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 20 minutes of excerpts. Candidates who would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship may need to sight-read or provide information about teaching experience and philosophy. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Collaborative Piano

COLLABORATIVE PIANO The D.M.A. in Collaborative Piano is designed to train and prepare pianists to perform, teach, and coach the broad range of repertoire pertinent to this field and to do so at the highest artistic level. This individualized program is tailored to the experience level of the student entering and involves extensive study of both instrumental and vocal repertoire. Study of diction, languages, coaching and ensemble techniques will be emphasized. Students may “lean” toward vocal or chamber music; thorough preparation in both areas is essential.

Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

  • Applied study — Doctoral Level Private Instruction in Accompanying and Coaching, 664-742 – 8 cr. total (2 cr. per semester)
  • Recitals — 664-999, 6 recitals, at least 1 vocal and 1 instrumental, 1 lecture recital and a final recital (prepared independently), 6 cr. total (1 cr. per recital)
  • Reference & Research Materials, 660-619 – 3 cr.
  • Duo Sonata Seminar — 660-796, 3 cr.
  • Seminar in Vocal Literature – 660-792, 2 cr. (Pre-requisite Repertoire: Vocal, 660-346, or equivalent)
  • Diction for Singers, 660-767/768, two semesters, total 4 credits
  • Doctoral Minor – 10-12 cr. (cannot be in the keyboard area)
  • Musicology and Music Theory – 9 cr.
  • Language: Proficiency in the pronunciation of English, French, German and Italian, and knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet system are required and determined by the major professor.*The basis for doctoral study in collaborative piano is 2 semesters each of elementary German, French and Italian. Depending on the area of focus (instrumental or vocal accompanying), doctoral students normally continue to the intermediate level in 2 languages. This requirement is monitored by the major professor.

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: Candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation in order to be invited to audition. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. In addition to the solo pieces, please include a representative sample of one or two collaborative works. The repertoire need NOT be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of the preliminary recordings and completion of the application file.

*Submit a sample of your academic writing (topic does not need to be collaborative piano) in PDF format as part of your School of Music application.

Audition: The audition will be a total of 30 minutes and will be chosen from: A major sonata for a string instrument and piano (i.e., Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, Prokofiev); a song cycle or a group of songs in both French and German (i.e., Ariettes Oubliees of Debussy; Frauenliebe und Leben of Schumann); and a short (6-10 minutes) memorized solo work that exhibits technical facility. The entire audition should reflect contrasting styles and technical range.

Auditions will also include an interview with Professor Fischer, to include sight-reading. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list (chamber, accompanying, and solo) to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy). Contact Professor Fischer to schedule the audition, discuss repertoire, and to arrange for musical partners.

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the DMA or PhD degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Piano Performance & Pedagogy

PIANO PERFORMANCE & PEDAGOGY The D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, a selective program designed for candidates predominantly pursuing a professional career in college teaching, combines high performance standards with diverse pedagogical offerings. Based on each candidate’s prior coursework and/or teaching experience, an individualized program is established to focus on areas of specialized research. Candidates gain practical teaching experience in private and group pre-college lessons, class piano for music majors and non-majors, private lessons for advanced college students, and college piano classes team-taught with UW piano pedagogy faculty.

Degree Overview [See Worksheet for specifics]

28 credits in the area:

  • Doctoral Level-Piano (664-701), 8 cr.
  • Recitals (664-999), 1 cr. each, 4 cr. total
  • Seminars in Piano Pedagogy (660-751), 9 cr. total, may include 660-799 (advisor approved), and/or up to 2 credits of the total may be 660-497, Feldenkrais
  • Piano Pedagogy Workshop (660-752), 1 cr.;
  • Practicum in Advanced College Teaching (660-560), 1 cr.
  • Advanced Accompanying (664-542/742) AND/OR
    Advanced Ensemble (660-565) woodwinds/(660-567) brass/(660-569) strings, 2 cr. total
  • Piano Literature (660-791) or Piano Duo Sonata Literature (660-796), 3 cr.

13 credits outside of the area:

  • Reference and Research Materials (660-619), 3 cr.
  • Doctoral Minor Area, 10-12 cr.
  • Musicology and Music Theory, 9 cr.
  • Language: one language at intermediate level (credits and method of completion varies).

Piano Pedagogy Course Offerings *

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process. In addition:

Preliminary recording: Candidates are required to submit a preliminary recording in MP3 format for evaluation. Recordings should include a sampling of SOLO works from at least 3 historical periods, but may consist of movements rather than complete works. The repertoire need not be the same as that which will be performed at the audition. Candidates will be invited to audition based on the quality of the preliminary recordings and the completion of the application file.

Submit an example of scholarly writing, such as a paper from a graduate seminar in music history or theory, in PDF format as part of your School of Music application.

Audition: Candidates should prepare a recital program consisting of works representing at least three of the major historical periods. The program should consist of 50-60 minutes of music, from which the audition committee will select 20 minutes of excerpts. Candidates who would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship may need to sight-read or provide information about teaching experience and philosophy. Before your audition, please send a complete repertoire list to the Graduate Admissions Office (PDF or paper copy).

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the DMA or PhD degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Our keyboard program offers an array of innovative courses and experiences for 21st century young artists, where they strive for and attain the highest artistic ideals while developing a unique musical voice and professional skill set.

Situated within an enormous university with a fantastic variety of intellectual options, and within the beautiful and vibrant city of Madison, our keyboard students also find themselves part of an intimate and supportive community of musical peers, the high caliber of which will provide inspiration as well as encouragement.

Our world-class faculty offers instruction and professional advice to students that is grounded not only in extensive real-world performance experience, but in the maintenance of the highest intellectual standards. In addition to personalized lesson time, students meet weekly with their professors and peers for studio classes in which they perform for each other, acquiring both experience on-stage and valuable feedback. Other performance opportunities are abundant: regular departmental recitals; annual competitions (several of which provide monetary prizes along with opportunities to perform before larger audiences); chamber concerts with outstanding peers from other instrumental areas; special marathon events (past examples include concerts where the students collaborated to perform the complete Mozart piano sonatas and the complete Chopin mazurkas); and of course senior recitals and required graduate-level performances. Opportunities to play for visiting musical luminaries in a master-class setting also arise regularly; in recent years, Leon Fleischer, Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, and Peter Takacs, among others, have inspired many of our students in this way.

With its outstanding instruction and its opportunities for practical experience, its friendly and inviting atmosphere, its varied possibilities for financial assistance at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and its record of students who successfully progress after graduation to the next stages of their careers, the University of Wisconsin keyboard program provides an environment par excellence for serious students who want to nurture their musical ambitions and cultivate their artistic spirits.