Piano Degree Programs
A master's degree in piano or its equivalent is required for admission.
Although residence and fee hour requirements must be satisfied, the doctoral degree is not awarded on the basis of a specified number of credit hours but rather on the basis of demonstrated competence. Completion of the program normally requires six terms of full-time study beyond the master's degree. Students are expected to attain candidacy effective at the beginning of the sixth term.
Course elections must include the following:
Music Performance 891, Directed Performance (4-6 hrs.), including weekly studio class and piano forum, elected each term in residence as a precandidate
Musicology 503, Bibliography of Music (3 hrs), elected in the first term of enrollment as a precandidate
A minimum of fifteen hours of graduate work in music theory and musicology, or at least five courses totaling a minimum of twelve hours. At least one of the musicology courses must be at the 600-level.
A minimum of nine hours of graduate work in Piano Pedagogy selected from Piano Pedagogy 581, 582, 585, and 586.
Music Performance 781, Seminar in Performance Problems (2-6 hrs.), elected each term in residence as a precandidate.
Music Performance 591, Directed Performance in Chamber Music, Accompanying, Fortepiano or Harpsichord, to be elected if the candidate is preparing for recital performance in any of these areas or desires optional keyboard study
Music Performance 995, Dissertation Candidate (8 hrs.), including weekly studio class and piano forum, elected each term in residence as a candidate, or at least one term
At least one academic year of full-time residence is required.
Language: a basic reading knowledge of one European language (other than English) chosen from among the following: French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. Applicants are strongly encouraged to undertake language instruction prior to admission. Languages should ideally relate to the student's chosen repertoire of emphasis. Competence will be demonstrated by one of the following acceptable ways: passing the School of Music, Theatre & Dance language examination; acceptable performance on standardized national examinations; or successful completion of appropriate courses at the University of Michigan. (Entering students deficient in this area will be encouraged to complete the language requirement as soon as possible since it must be satisfied before any preliminary examination is taken. It is expected that the language requirement be satisfied during the first two terms of enrollment in the doctoral program.)
Pedagogy: every doctoral student in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance must satisfy the pedagogy requirement during the first two terms of enrollment.
Preliminary Examinations Prior to Candidacy:
The preliminary examinations required for admission to candidacy are taken after the student has satisfied the language, residence, and pedagogy requirements; has completed most of the course work; and is prepared to concentrate his or her efforts on the dissertation recitals. At least two courses in musicology, including MHM 503, must be completed prior to taking the preliminary examination in that field, and at least two courses in music theory must be completed prior to taking the preliminary examination in theory. During the examination in performance the applicant must satisfy a jury that he or she has achieved the requisite musical competence to undertake the preparation of the public programs to be presented in lieu of a written dissertation. Both the performance and comprehensive oral preliminary examinations are administered by a committee from the Piano Department.
Candidacy will be conferred upon completion of these requirements and examinations. A dissertation committee must have been appointed by the time candidacy is achieved.
Three public performances are required after achieving candidacy: one recital, one lecture-recital, and one workshop. At least one-half of the recital repertory must be for solo piano. The remaining repertory may be comprised of accompanying, chamber music, ensemble (2 piano or 4 hands), fortepiano, harpsichord, or electronic keyboard. The workshop may address any approved area of keyboard pedagogy.
In addition to the public performances, the candidate must complete a written document, which will be a thesis on a topic approved by his or her committee. It must be delivered to the Directory of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy no later than three weeks after the beginning of the first semester of candidacy. The document shall be a minimum of fifty double-spaced pages. Information on topic proposal, document format and procedure can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy.
The dissertation candidate submits a topic proposal to the Director of the Pedagogy & Performance program no later than the third week of the first term of candidacy.
The topic proposal shall include:
The Director will make written comments on the proposal and deliver copies to the candidate's committee members requesting their written opinions. Based on these comments the topic will be approved, rejected, or approved with recommendations. Approval with recommendations requires the candidate to resubmit the proposal within a time frame determined by the committee, but not extending beyond the end of the first term of candidacy. Rejection requires the candidate to submit a new proposal within a time frame determined by the committee, but not extending beyond the end of the first semester of candidacy.
The completed document—which shall be a minimum of fifty double-spaced pages, presented in accordance with the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style—must be read and approved by the Director of the Pedagogy and Performance program as well as by a second reader chosen from the candidate's committee. If a reader with a desired expertise is not represented on the committee, an outside faculty member may be sought as the second reader.
An abstract listing the music performed and, if space permits, providing program notes and commentary is required.
A final oral examination concerned primarily with the field of specialization will be conducted by the dissertation committee after all of the other requirements have been completed.
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