Piano

Piano student performs on Steinway piano with her reflection on the lid

Piano study at CCM emphasizes the development of pianistic, musical, performing and teaching skills.

All degree programs are designed to integrate the great traditions of the past with the development of skills necessary for the demands of the music profession in the 21st century. The various degree programs are rigorous in their challenges, while retaining flexibility in order to address each student's relative strengths and weaknesses on an individual basis. Piano students at CCM can avail themselves of the enormous variety of programs offered by the college and the university to supplement the core music curriculum.

The philosophy of the CCM Piano Department is one of strong reliance on the mentoring process, by which the students' private teachers guide them both pianistically and musically, and advise them in all aspects of their overall education and development. Our goal is to prepare our students to excel in the demands of college life as well as to prepare them for the rigors of today's professional world.

Degree Programs

A Bachelor of Music (BM) is available in piano, as well as in organ and harpsichord. There is also a degree in Music Education with concentration in these instruments. The Music Education program can be completed in conjunction with major study, constituting a double major which is normally a five year program.

CCM also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree, with concentration in piano. This degree offers a greater emphasis on non-music academics, and is designed for students who do not seek either a performing or a music education degree.

A Master of Music (MM) degree is offered in both piano and collaborative piano. Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Artist Diploma (AD) degrees are also offered in piano.

Headshot of Dror Biran

Dror Biran

Associate Professor of Piano

513-556-2061

Headshot of Michael S. Chertock

Michael S. Chertock

Professor of Piano; Piano Department Chair

513-556-9531

Headshot of Ran Dank

Ran Dank

Assistant Professor of Piano

513-556-4041

Headshot of Soyeon Kate Lee

Soyeon Kate Lee

Associate Professor of Music in Piano

513-556-4041

Headshot of Awadagin K.A. Pratt

Awadagin K.A. Pratt

Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence

513-556-2063

Headshot of James V. Tocco

James V. Tocco

Professor of Piano, Eminent Scholar of Chamber Music and Piano

513-556-6963

Headshot of Andrew C Villemez

Andrew C Villemez

Assistant Professor-Educator

501-517-0491

Headshot of Jane Michelle Conda

Jane Michelle Conda

Professor of Piano; Coordinator of Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy; Division Head, Keyboard Studies; CCM Prep Master Teacher, Piano

513-556-9525

Headshot of Andrew C Villemez

Andrew C Villemez

Assistant Professor-Educator

501-517-0491

Headshot of Kenneth R. Griffiths

Kenneth R. Griffiths

Professor of Collaborative Piano; Director of Collaborative Piano Activities

513-556-9514

Headshot of Donna H. Loewy

Donna H. Loewy

Field Service Professor of Collaborative Piano; Accompanist-in-Residence

513-556-9532

Headshot of Sandra M. Rivers

Sandra M. Rivers

Professor of Collaborative Piano

513-556-9552

CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • At least three solo pieces from contrasting style periods and must include a complete sonata of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (excluding Opus 49) or Schubert
  • Compositions should be performed by memory with the exception of extraordinarily prohibitive 20th and 21st century compositions

Audition

Audition Requirements

BM Piano Performance and Double Majors
  • The repertoire requirements are the same as the pre-screening requirements
  • The audition will last up to 10 minutes
BM Music Education (Piano concentration)
  • At least three solo pieces from contrasting style periods and must include an allegro movement from a sonata of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert
  • Compositions should be performed by memory with the exception of extraordinarily prohibitive 20th and 21st century compositions
  • The audition will last up to 10 minutes

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • At least three solo pieces from contrasting style periods and must include a complete sonata of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (excluding Opus 49) or Schubert and a substantial etude from the romantic or 20th-21st century.
  • Compositions should be performed by memory with the exception of extraordinarily prohibitive 20th and 21st century compositions.
  • The choice of repertoire should be indicative of the capacity to thrive artistically in graduate level piano study.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Repertoire is the same as the pre-screening requirements
  • MM audition will last up to 15 minutes
  • DMA audition will last up to 20 minutes
  • DMA candidates will be scheduled for a comprehensive exam that will test their ability to think about and discuss music

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • At least 60 minutes of solo repertoire, preferably from diverse style periods, giving ample evidence of the capacity to perform, record and compete at an international level.
    • Included should be an etude from the romantic or 20th-21st century

Audition

Audition Requirements

  •  At least 60 minutes of solo repertoire, preferably from diverse style periods, giving ample evidence of the capacity to perform, record and compete at an international level.
  • Included should be an etude from the romantic or 20th-21st century.

Additional Application Requirements

Upload the following three-page PDF document to your graduate application:

Page One: General Info

  • Your name, address, phone, email
  • Previous degrees
  • The degree program you are applying for in CCM 
  • Name and email of three references

Page Two: Experience

  • Pedagogy courses
  • Teaching background
  • Experience in any sort of working environment

Page Three: Teaching Philosophy

  • Why you want a teaching assistantship?
  • What qualifications do you have that would make you a good fit for the position?
  • Anything that would be of benefit when we are looking at potential graduate assistants

*An interview is required if the pre-screening is accepted.

Pre-screening and Audition

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 14 in order to be considered for admissions.

Requirements

Collaborative Piano applicants will submit extended video recordings that will function both as prescreening and the official audition.

Applicants are required to submit the following selections:

  1. A solo piano piece demonstrating pianistic facility and technique (3’-5’)
  2. A 20’-30’ selection of video recordings from the past three years that includes both instrumental and vocal works of approximately equal proportions
  3. New video recordings with associate artists of the following repertoire:
    1. “Du bist die Ruh” OR “Frühlingsglaube” by Schubert
    2. “Quando m’en vo” (Musetta’s aria from Puccini’s La Boheme) OR Recit and first section of the Count’s aria from Act III of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
    3. Flute and Piano Sonata OR Clarinet and Piano Sonata by Poulenc (first movement only)
  4. Professional resume

  5. Personal statement, which should include a brief, frank statement as to your abilities to learn music quickly and under pressure. In other words, please let us know how you would rank your sight-reading skills.

Pre-screen and Audition Details for Accompanying Assistantships

Open to all pianists, no pre-screening.

  • Play something you know well; musical theatre repertoire OK but not necessary
  • Sight read material from the musical theatre repertoire
  • Knowledge and experience in musical theatre repertoire is mandatory 
  • Questions should be directed to Roger Grodsky

See AD Opera Coaching for more information about pre-screening and live audition requirements.

Pre-screening Requirements

Pianists wishing to apply for a studio accompanying assistantship should upload video recordings of live performances you have played within the past three years. 

All applicants should submit approximately 20 minutes of such performances:

  • Vocal Studio Accompanying: include art songs and opera arias
  • Instrumental Studio Accompanying: submit contrasting instrumental repertoire
  • Vocal and Instrumental Studio Accompanying: submit 20-30 minutes of material from both repertoires (approximately half-and-half)
  • Professional Resume or CV
  • Personal Statement as to why you should be considered for the assistantship
  • Repertoire List (vocal or instrumental or both) 

These recordings will function as both prescreen and audition. No additional audition is required. 

Incoming music majors (except piano majors) must sign up for the appropriate piano sequence.

Requirements for Incoming Students

  • Piano for Music Education and Jazz Majors: 16PIAN1020
  • Functional Keyboard Skills for Performance Majors:  16PIAN1040
  • Functional Keyboard Skills for Composition, Music Theory and Music History: 16PIAN1040

After you have completed your requirements, you may take Elective Piano Study.

For those majors expecting proof of piano proficiency, an examination is issued by your area of study.  See your advisor for the administration of this proficiency.

Proficiencies

  • MM Theory: See your advisor
  • MM Music History: See your advisor
  • MM Composition: See your advisor
  • MM Music Education: See your advisor
  • MM/DMA Voice: See your advisor
  • MM/DMA Instrumental: NO piano requirement
  • MM/DMA Conducting: See your advisor
  • DMA Composition: NO proficiency required
  • PhD Theory: NO proficiency required
  • PhD Musicology: NO proficiency required

Course Requirements

If you are required by your advisor to take piano courses to become proficient, sign up for:

  • MM/DMA Voice: 16PIAN8020
  • MM Composition, Music Theory, Musicology: 16PIAN8022
  • MM/DMA Conducting: 16PIAN8040 (if not available, 8022)
  • MM Music Education: 16PIAN8024

Group Piano for Non-Music Majors

Group piano for non-music majors is designed for students who wish to learn music reading, piano technique, music theory and chord playing. Courses are geared towards students with 0-2 years of piano backgrround and are open to non-CCM students.

  • Group Piano for Non-Music Majors: 16PIAN1001
  • Group Piano for Non-Music Majors (Graduate Students): 16PIAN8001
  • Group Piano for Non-Music Majors II: 16PIAN1002
  • Group Piano for Non-Music Majors II (Graduate Students): 16PIAN8002

Private Piano Lessons

The piano elective is available for CCM students who have completed their degree requirements and for university students with previous piano experience. Eight years of previous piano study is usually necessary, and an audition may be required.

Students need the permission of CCM's Keyboard Studies Division head in order to sign up for the piano elective. Contact Professor Michelle Conda for more information.

If the class is closed, sign up on the waiting list outside 5221 Mary Emery Hall. If a spot opens up, you will be contacted.

  • 16PIAN5030 (Undergraduates)
  • 16PIAN8030 (Graduate Students)

Direct all questions to Michelle Conda, Coordinator of Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy.

In state-of-the-art facilities, students practice and perform on instruments that include 200 pianos, eight harpsichords, a fortepiano, a clavichord and seven pipe organs. Keyboard Studies majors have separate practice rooms, and CCM's performance spaces include four traditional halls plus other chamber spaces. These features contribute to an environment conducive to improving musical and performing skills, helping to prepare students for their professional careers. Learn more about the CCM Village.

The city of Cincinnati offers a rich cultural environment for our piano students. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a world-class ensemble, and features top soloists throughout the season. In addition there are piano recital and chamber music series in several venues around Cincinnati, as well as ballet, opera and art museums. Visiting artists are often invited to give master classes at CCM; recent guests include Emanuel Ax, Barry Douglas, Gary Graffman and Claude Frank.


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