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Piano M.A., D.M.A.

Master of Arts in Piano (M.A.)

Degree Requirements


The solo piano master's recital for the performance track must consist of at least 50 minutes of memorized repertory.

The Master's recital for the pedagogy track must be either:

  • A solo piano recital consisting of at least 50 minutes of memorized repertory or
  • A lecture recital with at least 35 minutes of memorized solo piano repertory and at least 50 minutes in total duration.

Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano (D.M.A.)

Degree Requirements

Language Requirement or Secondary Area of Music

The D.M.A. student has a choice of satisfying a proficiency requirement in French or German (other languages must be approved by the piano area) OR completing coursework in a Secondary Area of music. See details for these requirements on the D.M.A. checklist.

Specific Performance Requirements -- Recitals

MUS:7899 D.M.A. Qualifying Recital (0 s.h.)
This recital is to be presented by the end of the second semester of registration (excluding summer session). In the event a qualifying recital is unacceptable, one additional recital with different repertoire may be given at the discretion of the examining committee. A UI master's recital may serve as a qualifying recital with the prior approval of the area; a full doctoral recital committee of four members must hear the recital.

The qualifying recital is the first recital required after admission into the D.M.A. curriculum and must be presented by the end of the second semester of registration (excluding summer session). Until this recital is given the student's status is tantamount to probation. If voted satisfactory by the examining committee, the student is deemed qualified for full candidacy in the D.M.A. program. The repertoire for this recital is selected or approved by the student's piano instructor. The works selected should not have been previously studied in depth or publicly performed by the student: It is a test of learning ability as well as performance excellence. Students have the option of requesting that the qualifying recital count as one of the three recitals required for the D.M.A. dissertation. A qualifying recital may count as one of the required recitals only (1) if it is open to the public, (2) if it is not a recital given to fulfill the requirements of the M.A. degree, and (3) if it is evaluated as satisfactory (grade of A or B) by the student's examining committee.

The qualifying recital is evaluated by a committee consisting of all members of the piano faculty. A qualifying recital (of different repertoire) may be repeated once at the discretion of the examining committee within the time limits imposed by it. If a majority of the student's examining committee grades the qualifying recital lower than B the student will be so notified by the Head of the Piano Area and warned that should a similar result obtain on the repeat of the qualifying recital (of different repertoire) they will be automatically dismissed from the D.M.A. program.

Three degree recitals are required for the D.M.A. In lieu of one solo recital and with the approval of the thesis supervisor, one or two of the following options may be substituted:
(1) a concerto performance with orchestra;
(2) a recital of at least two concertos with piano accompaniment;
(3) a full-length recital of major chamber works with piano;
(4) a lecture recital.

For the Pedagogy Track, the three recitals are:

  1. One solo recital
  2. One lecture recital (This must include at least 35 minutes of memorized solo repertoire and at least 20 minutes of lecture.)
  3. One piano pedagogy workshop/lecture (This should be 45-50 minutes in length, plus 5-10 minutes of Q&A.)

Students in the Pedagogy Track may not have their qualifying recital count as DMA Recital #1.

D.M.A. Essay or Thesis

D.M.A. candidates must give evidence of their ability to make a scholarly investigation of limited scope by means of a written essay. The essay supervisor and essay topic are to be selected by the student and their advisor. A prospectus describing the project must be approved by the thesis committee. The "final" version of the thesis/essay must be in the hands of the committee members no less than two weeks prior to the scheduled final exam/defense.

D.M.A. Recording Option

In lieu of the D.M.A. Essay/Thesis, students may opt for the D.M.A. Recording Option. In consultation with their advisor, students will choose a Compact Disc recording project, which must feature unique repertoire or be an otherwise important contribution to the field.


For the composition of the various committees (recital, essay, comprehensive exam, recording option), please see the graduate checklist.