The College of Arts and Architecture

Master of Music in Pedagogy and Performance with track in Piano

Note This track is also available for Spring admission.

Program Goals

The Master of Music in Pedagogy and Performance with track in Piano is intended to offer the Penn State graduate piano major an intensive curriculum not only in the performance of the instrument, but also in piano methods, literature, and teaching strategies at a variety of levels. It provides students the opportunity to diversify their interests in the two fields without diluting either. Students who complete the degree can expect to achieve not only a high standard of piano performance, but also a thorough working knowledge of the pedagogy and literature of the instrument. It is intended to prepare students for entrance to the world of professional music as performers and teachers or for admission to doctoral-level study.

Study, Performance, and Teaching Environment

The piano faculty comprises three distinguished artists and pedagogues. The Castalia Ensemble is one of several resident artist chamber groups. The piano laboratory is newly equipped with fully modern Yamaha Clavinovas. Both the Penn State Philharmonic and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble sponsor annual student concerto competitions.

Each year the School of Music sponsors more than 200 student and faculty recitals and concerts, while the University's Center for the Performing Arts brings internationally known soloists, ensembles, and orchestras to the Penn State campus.

Program Description

The Master of Music in Pedagogy and Performance with track in Piano requires 36 credits of coursework. At least 18 credits must be 500-level courses (or higher), and at least 30 credits must be taken at University Park. Knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music must be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of competency examinations or completion of specified remedial courses in addition to the curricular requirements listed here. An oral examination must be passed in the major area near completion of the program.

The 36-credit requirement is as follows:

Requirements Credits
*Performance major (Keybd 530) 16
**Piano pedagogy (Music 419, 424, 589) 6
Master's paper or lecture-recital (specified in an area of piano pedagogy) (Music 594) 1
Internship in piano pedagogy 1-4
Introduction to Music Reference and Research Materials (Music 500) 2
Ensemble (Music 493 or Music 489) 1
Keyboard literature (Music 481) 1
Seminar in music literature of the major performance area 2
+Music theory or history 3
Graduate degree recital (Music 891) 1

*A maximum of 16 credits may be counted toward meeting the minimum total credits for the degree.

**May be repeated for credit, depending on qualifications and background of the candidate.

+To be selected from approved list.

Unsatisfactory performance on the competency examinations in music history and theory taken at the beginning of the program may result in the necessity of additional course work.

Admission Requirements

A candidate applying for admission to the Master of Music in Pedagogy and Performance with track in Piano must have earned a recognized bachelor's degree in music with at least a 2.8 junior-senior grade-point average. A typical bachelor’s degree in music includes the following:

  • 12-16 credits in music theory and analysis
  • 6-9 credits in music history

A candidate who is deficient in any area may be considered for admission, but must be prepared to make up the deficiency, without credit toward the degree.

Pedagogy and Performance degree applicants must show evidence of performance abilities and repertoire consistent with those expected of graduating Penn State students in the bachelor of music in performance program.

Student Aid

For an overview of current tuition and fees as well as the financial assistance programs available to graduate students at Penn State, see Graduate Financial Aid.

Admission Procedure Summary

Please click on "piano" in graduate audition requirements to discover what is required. Then, access Application Process for directions.

Please note that ALL application materials are to be uploaded to the online application EXCEPT DVD audition recordings.  Upload the following materials:

  • an official transcript - NOT an advising or unofficial transcript - (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction)
    Chinese applicants must also submit an official graduation certificate and official diploma, in Chinese and translated English, if the applicant has already earned the previous degree(s).
  • names of two references and their email addresses (Penn State will contact your references directly)
  • statement of purpose (your professional goals and how graduate study will help you attain these goals)
  • statement detailing teaching experience (if any) and pedagogy course work (can be submitted in a resumé)
  • repertoire list of solo material, noting works performed
  • recital program(s) from a solo recital or other major performance (i.e. a performance with orchestra)
  • application for School of Music Graduate Assistantship (optional), see Graduate Financial Aid

The following should be submitted to Penn State by the testing agencies at your request.  Select "Penn State University" as the destination for your TOEFL or IELTS scores by selecting the correct school code below:

  • TOEFL and IELTS scores (international applicants only) - School Code 2660

An audition is required. A live audition is preferred when possible; however, international students and others from distant localities are sometimes admitted on the strength of a recital recording. Please see the audition requirements page for further information. The audition will be conducted by a jury consisting of faculty members in the major area.

Mail DVD audition recording to:

School of Music Graduate Admissions

The Pennsylvania State University

233 Music Building I

University Park, PA 16802-1901

Phone: 814-865-5568
Fax: 814-865-6785