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

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Piano Professor Uriel Tsachor teaches a lesson.

The Piano Area at the UI School of Music is vibrant with artist-teachers who are active as soloists, chamber musicians, recording artists, clinicians, authors, and lecturers. Dedicated to a comprehensive and versatile educational approach, the Piano Area offers intensive instruction. The graduate program is among the most substantial in the U.S. and prepares students for rewarding careers in both teaching and in performance. The piano area is known for the personal attention students receive, supporting the individual musical interests of each student within the program of study.

The University of Iowa School of Music and its brand new state-of-the-art Voxman Music Building offers excellent facilities for pianists. We offer one of the best maintained stable of over 90 Steinway grand pianos, extraordinary recital and recording spaces, world-class acoustics, and beautiful rehearsal spaces. Our teaching assistants enjoy large offices, which are only shared with one other TA.

Master of Arts in Piano (M.A.)

Degree Requirements
General Admission Requirements
  1. The piano area conducts a pre-screening audition. For details, please go to the following link: https://music.uiowa.edu/future-students/graduate-students-auditions/graduate-piano-auditions
  2. To register for an audition, please complete the submission of program-specific materials online. For more details: https://music.uiowa.edu/future-students/graduate-students/graduate-auditions
  3. The audition committee comprises the professorial members of the piano faculty. The committee votes to approve or disapprove the application for admission. A majority vote by the committee constitutes its decision. If disapproved, an audition may be repeated once at the discretion of the committee.
Recital and Final Exam Committees

Both committees, selected by the student and approved by the applied teacher, shall consist of three members. Both committees must include the major applied teacher and at least one other faculty member from the piano area.

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
General Admission Requirements
  1. The piano area conducts a pre-screening audition. For details, please go to the following link: https://music.uiowa.edu/future-students/graduate-students-auditions/graduate-piano-auditions
  2. To register for an audition, please complete the submission of program-specific materials online. For more details: https://music.uiowa.edu/future-students/graduate-students/graduate-auditions
  3. The audition committee comprises the professorial members of the piano faculty. The committee votes to approve or disapprove the application for admission. A majority vote by the committee constitutes its decision. If disapproved, an audition may be repeated once at the discretion of the committee.

Acceptance to graduate performance degree programs in the piano area is dependent upon a successful audition and the approval of the application materials by the Associate Director of Graduate Studies. The piano area gives priority to D.M.A. candidates whose auditions and applications are completed by the last official audition day of each audition season. Later candidates will be considered according to studio space, but cannot be considered for teaching assistantships.

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

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. In the performance track, an outstanding qualifying recital may, at the discretion of the committee, also be counted as DMA Recital #1.

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 two or more committee members deem the qualifying (or any other recital) to not be of passing quality, the student will be notified by his/her studio instructor and warned that should a similar result occur on the repeat of said recital (with different repertoire) he/she will automatically be dismissed from the D.M.A. program.

Three degree recitals are required for the D.M.A. Performance Track. 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 his/her 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 30 days 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.

Committees

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

Questions?

For any inquiries and scheduling piano auditions please contact:

Dr. Ksenia Nosikova
Professor and Co-Head, Piano Area
School of Music
93 E. Burlington Street
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
USA
Phone: + 319-335-1651
E-Mail: ksenia-nosikova@uiowa.edu

Dr. Rene Lecuona
Professor and Co-Head, Piano Area
School of Music
93 E. Burlington Street
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
USA
Phone: + 319-335-1716
E-Mail: rene-lecuona@uiowa.edu