MM in Keyboard Performance

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Candidates for the Master of Music in Keyboard Performance (M.M.) must possess excellent pianistic skills, musicality, and artistic curiosity. Invited candidates are strongly advised to audition in person in order to receive the best consideration for Teaching Assistantship awards. Following the live audition, every MM candidate must attend an interview with members of the performance faculty.

The curriculum encompasses many of the important components necessary for a career in the music profession; whether in performance, academia, or both. The Frost School of Music prides itself in being an institution that honors the traditional values of learning while incorporating the necessary curricular requirements that present-day performers and teachers must have, and that will prepare students for further study at the doctoral level. The faculty of the Keyboard Performance department is composed of world-class artists/teachers who are dedicated to the principle that the individuality and talent of every student must be recognized, respected, and nurtured, for these qualities form the essence of successful careers in music.

The MM degree requires one solo recital by the end of the two-year curriculum. A performance Forum is held every week where students who are ready to present new repertoire are given the opportunity to do so in front of the faculty and their classmates. Students may also have the opportunity to perform with two of our renowned ensembles:  the Frost Symphony Orchestra and the Frost Wind Ensemble.  Both ensembles have featured piano students in concerto performances conducted by members of our illustrious faculty as well as by guest artists such as Leon Fleisher. The opportunity to collaborate with other talented instrumentalists and vocalists at the Frost School is also readily available and encouraged.

Many performance venues in the greater-Miami area host our students in solo and chamber music performances, including . All of our students also benefit greatly from Miami’s rich cultural life, which includes solo, and collaborative concerts by world-famous recitalists and chamber groups, as well as orchestral performances by the New World Symphony and the visiting Cleveland Orchestra. The piano department presents master-classes by visiting artists and pedagogues throughout the year.

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

Current and past FSOM piano students have participated and won prizes at competitions such as

  • Tchaikovsky Competition
  • Queen Elizabeth Competition
  • Van Cliburn Competition
  • Sydney International Piano Competition
  • Paderewski Piano Competition

Our mission at the Frost School of Music is to have you join them!

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 regarding curriculum, please visit the Academic Bulletin.

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MM in Keyboard Performance

An MM in Keyboard Performance is an advanced degree for serious pianists with the curiosity and drive to push themselves to advanced levels in the field of keyboard studies. Students in this program are interested in a career in performance, teaching, or another keyboard-related area. The MM degree gives keyboard students the time and space to continue intensive performance preparation work in an academic environment. MM students train for competitions, for further graduate study, or for a combination of both. Your path in the MM program will depend on your individual aptitudes and goals.

Who Teaches in an MM in Keyboard Performance Program?

Faculty in an MM program are performers as well as teachers. Many of them have performed piano globally, reaching a high level of positive notoriety in their field. These faculty have also spent significant time learning the best methods of teaching piano. As an MM student, you’ll benefit from studying under these dual expertises.

Who Will I Work With?

MM students typically work closely with one or two faculty members during the course of their degrees. This kind of close mentorship allows you to be treated as an individual performer and take your musicianship to the next level. The faculty in an MM program have extensive experience in professional performance and pedagogy. They’re equipped to use the most effective techniques to help you become the musician you’ve always dreamed you could be. Hard work plus mentorship equals success.

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

The course of study differs slightly depending on which school you choose to attend, but many of the basic requirements are the same from school-to-school. Individual lessons with faculty members are a core component of any MM program. These lessons are the place in which you will receive valuable face-to-face time with mentors who’ve invested thousands of hours into your shared craft. Ask any musician: they’ll tell you about how their success was made possible by excellent teaching.

In addition to individual lessons and the opportunity to participate in ensembles, you may also take classes in some or all of the following areas:

  • Arts leadership
  • Media creation
  • Seminars in areas like classical performance, romantic performance, baroque performance, and more
  • Accompanying
  • Peak performance strategies
  • Communication, marketing, and publicity for the performing artist
  • Practice strategies

In addition to these classes, you may have opportunities to participate in internships, professional organizations, and other enrichment opportunities. Your master’s degree is your time to delve into the craft! Taking advantage of every opportunity you have available not only enriches your CV, but makes you a more well-rounded musician.

Will I Have the Chance to Work with Other Students?

While a significant amount of keyboard repertoire is composed of music written for the keyboard alone, there is plenty of musical literature that requires you to play with other musicians. Music school is a perfect opportunity to work in tandem with other students because of your close proximity in the program. You’ll be encouraged to join ensembles, audition for solos, and perhaps even do some complimentary work in a non-focus instrument. All of the work that you do will culminate in your final master’s recital. You may find that the hardest part is choosing between all of the exciting opportunities available to you.

What Can I Do with an MM in Keyboard Performance?

Many MM students seek to become internationally-competitive keyboard performers. If this is your goal, it’s in your interest to invest the time and energy into an MM degree. Other MM students want to gain more time to practice their craft and creativity as they prepare for a career in teaching. This is another worthy goal, and any time spent in the academy as a student will prepare you to succeed as a teacher. Some MM students have gone on to pursue additional kinds of careers: arts administration, entertainment law, music marketing and promotions, and art therapy are all options for which an MM can be a good foundation.

Will I Get to Do A Master’s Recital?

All MM in Keyboard Performance students are required to complete a master’s recital. This performance opportunity allows you to showcase what you have learned during your degree. You may also have the opportunity to participate in a second recital if you are interested in such an opportunity. The more performance experience you have, the better. You will be encouraged to push yourself to the healthy boundaries of your intellectual and performance comfort zones.

Will an MM Prepare Me for Graduate Auditions and Piano Competitions?

Yes! In fact, this is one of the core goals of the program. The MM faculty are invested in equipping you with the tools, skills, and strategies you need to compete on a national or international level. Depending on your intentions for your own career, you may also be interested in pursuing further graduate studies which, of course, will require auditions. The MM faculty are well-acquainted with what admissions committees are looking for. They will pass this knowledge along to you as they help you prepare for further graduate auditions for a DMA or other advanced degree.

Are Assistantships, Stipends, Scholarships, and Other Funding Options Available?

Funding options are available for MM in Keyboard Performance students. The range of options depends on the program. Scholarships may be available from the school’s endowment, private foundations, or the federal government. Stipends are typically associated with assistantships and require you to teach a class or provide research support for a faculty member. These assistantships can provide you with valuable teaching experience which you can document on your CV. Loans, of course, are also available for many students as they complete their degree. Approach an admissions officer or a faculty member to learn more about what kinds of funding opportunities might be available to you as an MM student.

How Do I Find the MM Program that is Right for Me?

Visiting a school is a great way to learn more about the in’s and out’s of a program and whether it is right for you. There is nothing like actually meeting faculty members and current students to get a feel for the atmosphere of the program and the rigorous nature of a serious program. The Frost School at the University of Miami offers a well-established MM in Keyboard Performance program for serious pianists interested in advanced study.