MM 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 the Frost School of Music is the place for you.

The Master of Music in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy consists of 30 credit hours of graduate study beyond the Bachelor of Music degree in piano-related degrees, such as solo performance, pedagogy, or collaborative piano. This degree program prepares students for advanced teaching as independent studio teachers or for continued doctoral-level study in related disciplines.

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 have the opportunity to request performance study with any one of our outstanding piano faculty members.  Furthermore, our flexible curriculum affords a customized program of pedagogical study based on the background and interests of each student.

Our innovative curriculum includes both traditional and progressive offerings.  Our traditional pedagogy offerings cover topics such as historical and modern private teaching methodologies, didactic repertoire and sequencing, group piano teaching, injury prevention, and peak performance strategies.  To help students acquire and maintain a competitive edge, our curriculum also addresses relevant knowledge in other disciplines, such as latest findings about the cognitive process or sport psychology, while providing every opportunity possible to guide students through the process of professional preparation.

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 Master’s Thesis.

The competitive reality of the market for performers and teachers has never been more demanding. We are proud that many of our piano students (both KPED and MKP) have gone on to DMA studies, won awards at national and international piano competitions, or invited to publish in recognized periodicals or present at conferences.

If you would like to know the latest on our current and past students, please visit and Like us on our Facebook page.

For more information about the program, please contact:
Naoko Takao, DMA
Program Director, Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy
n.takao@miami.edu

For more information regarding curriculum, please visit the Academic Bulletin.

For admission information and financial support, please click here.

MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy

The MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy is for serious piano students who also have an interest in teaching. This graduate degree combines dual emphases: you will finely hone your keyboard performance skills as you learn how to teach others your skill sets. This MM sets you up for a variety of careers in the musical field. Because learning keyboard skills can be the basis for playing many different kinds of music, you will be poised to teach a wide range of music students.

What Are the Benefits of Combining Performance and Pedagogy?

The field of piano performance is more competitive than ever before. Many serious competitors are seizing the reins as they vie to place in competitions and play with symphonies. This kind of lifestyle can require constant travel and endless hours in the studio. Many pianists are willing to put in that kind of time, but a good number of these students also find great satisfaction in teaching. A wide range of fulfilling job opportunities are available to those who can play well and want to teach. The benefit of a Performance and Pedagogy MM degree is that you don’t have to choose between these emphases: you can do both.

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

Just like any other music degree, your MM will culminate in a grand recital at the end of your course of study. You will begin preparing for this recital early on and continue to polish your performances until your final semester. Depending on the school you attend, you may also choose from some of the following classes:

  • Keyboard pedagogy
  • Seminars in baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary music
  • Accompanying
  • Advanced repertoire
  • Practice strategies
  • Music bibliography
  • Analytical techniques
  • Keyboard pedagogy diagnostics

You may also have the opportunity to work on a master’s pedagogy project or participate in an internship. Your exact sequence of work will depend on your goals: do you plan to teach group lessons? Teach at the university level? Work with small children who are learning piano for the first time? Work as a university researcher? There are plenty of opportunities to tailor your degree to your specific interests. Meeting with an advisor early on in your program can help you determine the best classes to take and the order in which you should take them.

Will There Be an Opportunity for Collaboration?

While some keyboardists like to perform alone, many keyboardists have found much satisfaction collaborating with other musicians. Whether you’re used to collaboration or not, it can be a valuable learning opportunity. Grad school is a ripe time for collaboration because you are in proximity to so many other kinds of musicians. With over three dozen ensembles, the Frost School offers musical collaboration opportunities to all sorts of students. You may even find yourself clicking with particular students and want to start an ensemble of your own. Many of the finest ensembles in the world were formed when the musicians met each other in graduate school.

Who Will Teach My Classes?

Your classes will be taught by faculty members who have extensive experience both as performers and as teachers. As you practice the craft of keyboard performance, you will also be learning from teachers who have spent extensive time practicing how to teach others what they’ve learned. The best practices for teaching music have been developed over centuries. In recent decades, these methods have been tested using brain science and other evidence-based techniques. Learning pedagogy from those who’ve taken diverse approaches to the field of instruction is a great way to become an excellent teacher.

What Does an MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy Entail?

Your MM will begin with semester-by-semester coursework, similar to your undergraduate studies. Each semester, you will embark upon intensive work in key areas of focus in both performance and pedagogy. You will also take weekly lessons from a music faculty member. Your faculty mentors will work with your closely as you begin preparation for another important part of your degree: your graduate recital. You will develop and polish a repertoire that displays what you have learned throughout your degree. You will also likely have the opportunity to teach your own classes or workshops to get experience that you can add to your CV. It’s important, during your master’s degree, to try out as many experiences as you can. The diverse range of sharp skills you’re honing will aid you no matter what specific career path you choose to pursue later on.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with an MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy?

Some MM students go on to perform professionally, teaching master classes and playing music in front of diverse audiences. Other MM students open up small private music schools, teach in the community, or work in schools. Many MM students have gone on to pursue DMA degrees so that they can teach at the university level. A MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy can set you up for music-adjacent jobs as well: entertainment law, music therapy, and nonprofit administration are all jobs held by MM graduates. Your career journey will depend on your interests and expertise. Contact an MM program directly to speak to graduates and hear more about what they’ve done in their post-graduate lives.

How Do I Find the MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy that is Right for Me?

Assessing the cost, faculty qualifications, location of the school, success of alumni, and other factors are all important considerations as you consider where to apply to MM programs. The MM in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy at the Frost School of the University of Miami is a recognized program with a storied history. Our numerous alumni have gone on to successful performance and teaching careers around the country and across the world.