Doctor of Musical Arts in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy

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If you are an accomplished pianist with curiosity and an open mind to delve into the study of piano pedagogy to further performance and teaching aspirations, then this is the place for you. In addition to majoring in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy at the DMA level, there is an option for DMA non-pedagogy students to choose a 12-credit Cognate in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy.

DMA in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy at the Frost School of Music consists of 60 credit hours of graduate study beyond the Master of Music in piano-related degrees such as solo performance, pedagogy, or collaborative piano. It is designed to prepare students for varied professional settings such as performance, research, or college teaching.

Consistent with our school-wide belief in the value of “experiential” learning, our graduate curriculum in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy (KPED) is uniquely designed to integrate theoretical studies with performance to the maximum extent possible. All KPED students will have the opportunity to request for performance study with any one of our piano faculty members, and our flexible curriculum affords a customized program of pedagogical study based on the background and interest of each student. Students are strongly encouraged to select a 12-credit Cognate area of study (such as Music Theory, Musicology, or Music Education), which would further enhance credentials for the current competitive job market.

In addition to traditional pedagogy offerings—covering topics such as historical and modern private teaching methodologies, didactic repertoire and sequencing, diagnostics, group piano teaching, injury prevention, and peak performance strategies—our curriculum strives to reflect the most current needs as well as resources gleaned from the job market and related disciplines. For example, students may learn about pianist-specific professional preparations including effective use of technology and higher-education teaching, or learn from the rapidly growing field of cognitive neuroscience as it relates to practicing, performing, and teaching.

A wide variety of options exist for hands-on teaching and learning, and our Preparatory Division provides the platform for those interested in a teaching internship for young students. Research ability is deemed an essential skill for graduate-level study. Students have the opportunity to hone their skills in critical thinking and independent research both through various courses in addition to the culminating DMA project.

The competitive reality of the market for performers and teachers has never been more demanding. We are proud that many piano students (both KPED and MKP) have gone on to win awards at piano competitions, have been invited to publish in recognized periodicals or present at conferences, and are currently in teaching positions both in the U.S. and abroad.

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For more information, please contact:

Naoko Takao, DMA
Program Director, Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy

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