Piano Performance & Pedagogy BM

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Program Overview

The piano performance & pedagogy degree is designed for students that want to pursue careers in solo and collaborative performance, operate high-level teaching studios, and apply for and excel in the best graduate piano programs. Students receive multiple opportunities for collaborative and solo performing opportunities during their studies, and are able to study with a renowned group of piano faculty. USU became an All-Steinway school in 2012, offering students the ability to perform on the highest-quality pianos in the practice rooms and performing halls. We  invite you to follow our piano program on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on exciting developments in our program and students.

Program Specifics

The degree combines music core instruction with piano pedagogy and performance courses, preparing prospective piano teachers for careers in the teaching field. A unique aspect of this degree is the opportunity to receive hands-on teaching training in the USU Youth Conservatory, a preparatory lab program that provides private and group instruction to over 200 pre-college pianists each week. USU became an All-Steinway school in 2012, offering students the ability to perform on the highest-quality pianos in the practice rooms and performance venues. For more information, refer to the Piano Performance and Pedagogy BM degree map.

Admissions

In addition to applying for admission to the University, all applicants interested in pursuing a music degree must perform an audition on their major instrument to gain admission into the Department of Music. View specific audition information on the Admissions and Auditions page.

Undergraduate Piano Auditions

Pre-Screening Videos

Admission to the Music Department is granted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applicants seeking priority scholarship consideration should submit a prescreening video by December 15th and audition on or before February 27th. Submit a pre-screening video using the Piano Pre-Screening form. Applicants should submit any two pieces, one from the Baroque or Classical eras and one from the Romantic or Modern eras, performed from memory. Pieces may be recorded as separate videos, or all in one take. Applicants should also include a list of significant repertoire studied on the submission form.

Audition Day

Auditions will take place in the Russell/Wanless Performance Hall on Saturday, February 12, 2022 and Saturday, February 26, 2022, 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 kevin.olson@usu.edu.

Applicants for the undergraduate degree in Piano Performance & Pedagogy or a B.A. in Music should prepare the following for their audition:

  1. Two contrasting pieces, performed from memory: one piece must be from either the Baroque or Classical eras, and the other from the Romantic or Modern eras.
  2. 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.
  3. Applicants who wish to be considered for collaborative piano stipends may be asked to sight-read. 

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kevin Olson at kevin.olson@usu.edu.

Graduate Piano Auditions

Pre-Screening Videos

Admission to the M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy is granted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applicants seeking priority scholarship consideration should submit a Pre-Screening video by December 15th and audition before February 27th. Submit a Pre-Screening video using the Piano Pre-Screening Video form. Applicants for the M.M. program must submit at least 30 minutes of memorized repertoire, including the following:

  1. A sonata-allegro movement from a classical sonata, preferably by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
  2. A Romantic work
  3. 1 or 2 additional pieces of applicant’s choice, from any style or period

Include a list of significant repertoire studied with prescreening submission.

Audition Day

Auditions will take place in the Russell/Wanless Performance Hall on Saturday, February 12, 2022 and Saturday, February 26, 2022, 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 kevin.olson@usu.edu.

For the M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, students should prepare the following for the audition:

  1. A polyphonic work by J.S. Bach
  2. A full classical sonata, preferably by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A Romantic, Impressionist, modern, or contemporary work
  4. One other freely chosen work of the applicant’s choice
  5. 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.
  6. 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 cahill.smith@usu.edu.

Highlights

Faculty in the program are nationally and internationally-recognized as performers, teachers, and composers. Present and past students of the program are consistent competition winners, in demand as accompanists, and many have gone on to teach at prestigious universities around the country or have high-level independent studios.

Faculty

Elżbieta Bilicka

Elżbieta Bilicka

Faculty Associate

Music (Piano)

Office Location: FAC 203
Emily Ezola

Emily Ezola

Youth Conservatory Director

Music

Phone: (435) 797-2756
Office Location: FA 217B
Dallas Heaton

Dallas Heaton

Lecturer

Music

Phone: (435) 797-3038
Office Location: FAV 129
Mayumi Matzen

Mayumi Matzen

Faculty Associate

Music (Piano)

Office Location: FA 203
Kevin Olson

Kevin Olson

Professor

Music (Piano)

Phone: (435) 797-3033
Office Location: FA 101
Cahill Smith

Cahill Smith

Assistant Professor

Music (Piano)

Office Location: FA 201