The Piano Division is dedicated to training musicians at the highest level of artistic achievement to prepare students for multi-faceted careers in performance, collaborations, and studio teaching. Ongoing partnerships with the San Diego Symphony and the La Jolla Music Society allow students to participate in a minimum of 2 masterclasses a year featuring world-renowned artists such as Jonathan Biss, Emmanuel Ax, and Beatrice Rana. The piano division also houses two reduced-size piano keyboards, including a concert grand, allowing for greater artistic freedom in pianists with smaller hands.
Students are offered weekly private lessons taught by artist-teachers in the following degree programs:
Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance
This degree is designed for students desiring careers as professional pianists and private studio teachers. Upon completion, students will be eligible for graduate study in a Master of Music degree in Performance, Collaborative Piano, or Piano Pedagogy. In this program, students receive weekly 1-hour private lessons.
Bachelor of Music – Music Education
This degree is designed for future public school work as a state-credentialed band, choral, or orchestra director at the junior and high school levels, or a state-credentialed general music elementary school teacher. Upon completion, students will be qualified for graduate study in Music Education. In this program, students receive weekly 30-minute private lessons.
Bachelor of Music – Professional Studies
This degree is designed for a broad spectrum of careers, including teaching private studio piano and collaborative pianist jobs. A student with this degree may also teach in schools that do not require a state teaching credential. Flexibility in electives allow for students to explore musical areas of personal interest. This degree usually does not qualify a student for further graduate study in piano performance. However, graduates of this program may pursue MA programs in piano pedagogy, collaborative piano, music therapy (with required science credits), arts administration, music business (with prerequisite business electives), music history, and music theory. In this program, students receive weekly 30-minute private lessons.
Bachelor of Arts
This degree is designed for students desiring an undergraduate liberal arts degree with a strong music component. This degree will not qualify students for further graduate study in piano. Students desiring to teach piano or become collaborative pianists should choose from the BM degree programs. In this program, students receive weekly 30-minute private lessons.
Master of Music – Piano Performance
This degree includes advanced performance studies in solo and ensemble repertoire, as well as academic courses including music history and music theory seminars, and music research methods. The program is reserved for advanced performers and is designed to provide experience and background needed for a career in performance and studio teaching, and/or to embark upon doctoral study in music. A culminating solo recital is required, as well as an oral examination. Select students will be given the opportunity to teach music-major keyboard courses. A Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance is preferred, but special cases will be considered.
Artist Diploma Advanced Certificate
This degree is a graduate level, non-degree program open to highly accomplished performers. All interested applicants must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music. Students may hold a graduate degree to enter the Artist Diploma program, however one may not simultaneously pursue the Artist Diploma and Master of Music degree. In addition to individual soloists, the program is open to classical, pre-formed ensembles such as string quartets, woodwind quintets, and piano trios.
This is a non-degree program open to highly skilled pre-professional performers who have not earned a university degree. It provides focused instruction in all areas of performance including technique, interpretation, repertoire, ensemble and solo experience, and knowledge of the business of professional performance.
Information for Piano Auditions
- An entrance audition is required for admittance to all performance degree programs.
Tina Chong, Piano Coordinator