Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Piano Performance

Undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance. The heart of the Piano Performance major is the private studio instruction by Carnegie Mellon’s world-class faculty. Master classes by renowned visiting artists augment those of the resident faculty.

Collaborative playing is an important component of the keyboard curriculum. Piano majors receive supervised instruction in collaborative piano, keyboard harmony, and chamber music.

A two-year program leading to certification in piano pedagogy is available to interested piano majors. Students learn to teach piano in a closely supervised environment of class piano instruction through the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School. This program has received national acclaim as a model of excellence, with Preparatory School students consistently capturing prestigious awards in national piano competitions.

The foundation of the Undergraduate curriculum contains five elements:

  • Studio: weekly individualized instruction within a major area of study
  • Theory: to develop listening skills, to acquire theoretical knowledge, to recognize structural techniques, and to manipulate technological resources
  • History: in depth study of western music and survey of non-western styles and structures
  • Ensemble Work: student participation in some of the School of Music Ensembles
  • Academics: one General Studies course outside of the School of Music per semester and six semesters of Elective courses

Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. More information here

Piano:

COURSE TYPE

SEMESTERS REQUIRED

Studio

8

Music History

8

Music Support Courses

8

General Studies

7

Major Ensemble

6

Performance Electives

6

General Electives

5

Music Theory

4

Eurhythmics

4

Solfege

4

Accompanying

2

Music Technology

1

For more specific information regarding curricula for the undergraduate Piano Performance program please refer to the Undergraduate Course Catalog.