Music with an Emphasis in Piano Performance (BM)


Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Music Department

Program Description

The BM in piano is designed for students with a serious commitment to the highest level of performance. In addition to solo recitals, piano majors are expected to participate in chamber music ensembles and to serve regularly as vocal, instrumental, or ensemble accompanists.

Music majors with a piano performance emphasis should expect to perform in University-sponsored ensemble concerts, including choral concerts, musical theatre performances, or Opera Studio as designated by the faculty.

All music majors with an emphasis in piano performance must spend a minimum of one hour per week accompanying vocalists and/or instrumentalists, beginning with the sophomore year or earlier at the discretion of the teacher.

Students with a piano performance emphasis are expected to perform in a student recital at least twice every semester. Students with this emphasis will also spend time as performance assistants for recitals.

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Admission and Audition Requirements

To be admitted as an undergraduate music major or music minor, applicants must complete an in-person audition/interview with the music faculty and complete various diagnostic examinations. Auditions are arranged through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Specific information on the audition requirements for each music degree program is available from the department’s website. Priority consideration for performance scholarships is given to students who complete all admission requirements before March 30 of the application year.

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Ensemble Requirements

Each of the undergraduate degree programs in music includes multiple semesters of participation in a major ensemble. De-pending upon specific degree requirements, the major ensembles include Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble (combo), Jazz Singers, Big Band, and New Music Ensemble.

Music scholarship students are expected to participate in performing ensembles in addition to those for which they receive credit. In general, music majors are expected to participate in at least two ensembles per semester.

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Candidacy Examination

Each undergraduate music major must take a Candidacy Examination in spring of the sophomore year or upon completion of 45 or more credit hours as music majors (whichever comes first). The Candidacy Examination assesses a student's success in the first two years of music study. The examination helps the music faculty determine a student's potential for graduation within a given degree program.

The examination includes the performance of one or more works and an interview with the faculty. While most students declare their intention from their first semester (BM in performance, BA in music, and so on), no student is actually accepted into the department as a major until the Candidacy Examination is completed successfully.

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Piano Proficiency

Each undergraduate music major must demonstrate proficiency on the piano keyboard.  Proficiency is demonstrated through at least two semesters of piano lessons or classes. Piano Proficiency content is described in the Department of Music Handbook.  Music Education majors take a separate proficiency exam no later than the junior year, the contents of which are described in the Department of Music Handbook.

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Performance Requirements

Much of the music that we make is collaborative in nature, with a mix of keyboard, wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments, and voices. So that performance majors develop an ability to work with others beyond an accompanist, all performance majors presenting junior and senior recitals will include on each recital or in a Thursday student recital at least one 3-minute work that includes collaboration with a performer other than or in addition to piano. Works longer than 3 minutes are encouraged.

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Degree Requirements

  • 96-97 required credit hours
  • 12 general education credit hours
  • 20 elective credit hours

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Required Courses

Core Music Courses

  • MUSC 1010, 1020, 2010, 2020 Music Theory I-IV (12 hours)
  • MUSC 1810, 1820, 2810, 2820 Musicianship I-IV (8 hours)
  • MUSC 2030, 2040 Survey of Music History I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 4700 Advanced Variable Topic (taken in junior or senior year only) (2-3 hours)

Performance Courses

  • MUSC 0890 Recital Attendance (six semesters required) (0 hours)
  • MUSC 0990 Master Class (taken every semester) (0 hours)
  • MUSC 4001 Applied Piano (24 hours)
  • MUSC 4170, 4175, 4180 Piano Literature I, II, III (6 hours)
  • Junior and Senior Recital (0 hours)
  • MUSC 4950 Chamber Music (4 hours)

Major Ensemble 8 hours over eight semesters to be selected from:

  • MUSC 4900 Webster University Concert Choir (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4910 Webster University Chamber Singers (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4940 Webster University Orchestra (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4980 Webster University Wind Ensemble (1 hour per semester)

Supportive Courses

  • MUSC 1080, 1085, 2001, 2501 Secondary Instrument: Class Piano, Secondary and Non-Major Piano (six consecutive semesters required; minimum four hours of applied instruction in individual lessons) (6 hours)
  • MUSC 3070, 3080 Orchestration I, II (5 hours)
  • MUSC 3410 Conducting I (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4020 Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4030 Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4040 Music of the Twentieth Century (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4260, 4270 Piano Pedagogy I, II (3 hours)

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-Revised September 9, 2013-

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