The primary goal of the keyboard studies department is the artistic and technical development of aspiring pianists through mentoring and challenging them in their study and performance of a widely varied repertoire as solo pianists and as collaborative artists. Courses offered by the department include guidance in solo performance, keyboard literature, piano pedagogy, piano four-hands and duo repertoire, collaborative performance with singers and other instrumentalists and harpsichord. The artist/teacher faculty in piano, keyboard literature, pedagogy, harpsichord and collaborative pianism is among the nation’s most prominent. These acclaimed and devoted teachers are noted internationally as soloists, recitalists, adjudicators and teachers of master classes and workshops. Although there is no provision for a major in piano pedagogy, faculty specialists offer students who plan teaching careers ample opportunity for intensive study in that field.
BM, MM, DMA, Graduate Certificate
The BM in piano performance is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (individual instruction, piano literature, functional skills, piano pedagogy, interpretation of baroque music), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, conducting, large ensemble) and USC's general education and writing program. A senior recital is required.
The MM in piano performance is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual piano instruction, piano pedagogy, piano literature, ensemble, music history and electives. Two graduate recitals are required.
The DMA in piano performance requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor's degree and consists of five areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. Four doctoral recitals are required.
The Graduate Certificate in piano performance is a two-year, 16-unit program consisting of individual instruction, studio class, and two ensembles, or the equivalent thereof, each semester.
Alan L. Smith
Department of Keyboard Studies
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851