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Rackham Graduate: Piano, Requirements and Dates

Three programs of study leading to the degree Doctor of Musical Arts are available in Piano:

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

 

Required Materials

To apply for admission, submit your official application, transcripts, recommendations, and other materials as instructed below. Indicate on your application form whether you wish to apply for Program I, Program II, or Program III. The deadline for applications is December 1 for the fall term.  No applications are considered for the winter term in any DMA Piano Program.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or higher on the Internet based test (250 on the computer based test or 600 on the paper test) or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 83 or higher before the audition may be scheduled.

 

ALL APPLICANTS  Be certain to include the following information on the application (attach additional pages, if necessary):

  1. A summary of your previous piano study, including degrees received or expected at the time of your proposed initial enrollment
  2. The term or date of your proposed initial enrollment at UM
  3. A complete list of the works you propose to play for the audition

 

Program I (Piano Performance)

Pre-screening Requirement

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. The recording submitted should be approximately 30 minutes in length, consisting of contrasting repertoire from at least two stylistic periods. The specific repertoire for the screening recording is left up to the applicant. Individual movements of a larger work are acceptable. In addition, please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

All recordings must be submitted below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate piano majors applying to the DMA program.

upload now

 

Audition/Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  1. A major baroque composition
  2. A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  3. A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  4. A selection of the applicant's choice

Your audition may also include a brief assessment of collaborative performance.

 

 

Program II (Collaborative Piano)

Prerequisites
  • Master's degree in piano, collaborative piano, or an equivalent.
  • Demonstrated pronunciation and comprehension ability from two European languages into English.
  • Repertoire including approximately one-third of the repertoire requirement for achieving the degree (see repertoire requirements).
  • Significant performance experience to suggest successful completion of the degree.
 
Pre-screening Requirement
  1. Applicants should upload an unedited video recording of 2 contrasting vocal pieces and 1 movement of a larger instrumental work. These should all consist of repertoire with a significant role for the piano.
  2. Applicants should upload a comprehensive list of collaborative repertoire, both vocal and instrumental.
  3. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or higher on the Internet based test (250 on the computer based test or 600 on the paper test) or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 83 or higher.
  4. ALL 3 OF THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET BY DECEMBER 1ST IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED FOR AN AUDITION.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the DMA program.

All recordings must be uploaded below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until all of your materials have been received and approved. If any of the above materials are missing, no audition date will be given.

 

upload now

 

Audition/Interview

Prepare a sixty-minute program, including at least three diverse styles or periods of music. A minimum of twenty minutes each of vocal and instrumental repertoire must be included. A maximum of fifteen minutes of solo piano repertoire may be included. Your proposed audition program will be approved or amended in advance by Professor Martin Katz (see above).

Sight-reading and language proficiency will be examined during the audition.

If it is not possible to bring the necessary soloists with you for your audition, the school will do its best to provide you with partners and rehearsal time. If this is requested, your application should specify for which works you require soloists.

 

In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition. If you wish to upload a recorded audition, please contact Professor Katz for permission and instructions before proceeding.

 

Program III (Piano Pedagogy & Performance)

Pre-screening Requirement

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Pedagogy & Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. Please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

Additionally, applicants are required to submit a video recording of sample teaching. The video should be at least 30 minutes in length and should include both private and group teaching, if possible.

All pre-screening materials must be uploaded below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

upload now

 

Audition/Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  • A major Baroque composition
  • A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  • A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  • A selection of the applicant's choice

Note that an audition for Pedagogy & Performance (Program III) may require two days. If so, you will be advised when the audition is scheduled. The process will include a teaching demonstration, an interview, and a solo performance audition.

 

 

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admission/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition for Programs I and III, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the School, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission for second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admission decisions are made by the Office of Admissions and Student Services and are generally decided within five to seven weeks after your audition. All auditionees are considered for merit scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information), with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the University of Michigan concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.

 

Audition Schedule and Application Deadline Dates

General Rackham Graduate Audition and Interview Information

 

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