Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s piano performance program boasts a small faculty of world-renowned pianists with illustrious performance careers. Offering valuable industry experience and mentorship, Conservatory faculty members are dedicated to providing their students with the personalized attention needed to sharpen their technical skills, shape their artistry, and build their confidence as concert pianists.
The Conservatory’s rigorous undergraduate program helps students gain a rich understanding of standard piano repertoire through their own practice and intensive courses in baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th-century solo and concerto music for piano. In addition, pedagogy courses and performance seminars allow students to explore their technical and artistic boundaries.
Because the program is designed for concert pianists, it offers a multitude of opportunities for students to perform for public audiences. Students also have regular exposure to high-profile artists who visit campus as part of the school’s revered Piano Masters Series, or who are in Boston to perform with the nearby Boston Symphony Orchestra. These guest artists give master classes that offer artistic guidance and career advice to Conservatory piano students.
Students who flourish in the Conservatory’s piano performance program are deeply committed to discovering their individual voices as performing artists. They are supportive of their peers and enjoy musical collaborations that inspire creativity. They appreciate the work of today’s eminent pianists and aspire to join them at the forefront of the art form.
The first two years of the Conservatory’s piano performance program focus on strengthening performance technique through private lessons and soloist engagements in the school’s weekly seminar and studio classes. At the same time, students take courses designed to reinforce musical skills, such as sight-reading, harmonization, and music theory. In their second year, students begin in-depth collaborative studies with various Conservatory ensembles and groups.
In their junior and senior years, students showcase their progress in solo and ensemble recitals that are well attended by Conservatory and local audiences. Additionally, students delve into a comprehensive study of standard piano repertoire and explore pedagogical techniques and methods for piano aimed to help round out their understanding of the instrument. In their senior year, students may choose to either continue their collaborative work with their peers or focus on refining their solo repertoire and performance skills.
As part of their classroom work, students are expected to perform regularly as soloists and collaborators alongside their talented peers in studio and solo recitals, chamber groups, and contemporary ensembles, as well as in symphonic orchestras and pit orchestras for the Conservatory’s dance, opera, and theater productions.
View the program’s requirements listed below and/or details.
The Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance requires students to complete 120 credits, consisting of the course requirements listed below. View the Sample Curriculum by Semester for additional details.
- M-SK 1101 Harmony & Counterpoint 1 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1102 Harmont & Counterpoint 2 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1103 Ear Training 1 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1104 Ear Training 2 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1105 Time & Rhythm 1 (1 credit)
- M-SK 1106 Time & Rhythm 2 (1 credit)
- M-SK 2101 Harmony & Counterpoint 3 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2102 Harmont & Counterpoint 4 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2103 Ear Training 3 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2104 Ear Training 4 (2 credits)
- M-SK 719xx Applied Theory and/or M-LT 711xx Theory & Musicology electives (6 credits)
- M-AP 0009 Applied Lessons (24 credits)
- M-EN 0079 Chamber Music (2 credits)
- M-EN 0399 Improvisation Workshop (1 credit)
- M-EN 0601 Collaborative Options: Accompanying (2 credits)
- M-EN 0xxx Collaborative Options (2 credits)
- M-LT 0601 Piano Literature 1 (1 credit)
- M-LT 0602 Piano Literature 2 (1 credit)
- M-LT 0603 Piano Literature 3 (1 credit)
- M-LT 0604 Piano Literature 4 (1 credit)
- M-PD 0611 Pedagogy 1: Piano (1 credit)
- M-PD 0612 Pedagogy 2: Piano (1 credit)
- M-PR 1601 Foundations of Instrumental Studies 1: Piano (1 credit)
- M-PR 1602 Foundations of Instrumental Studies 2: Piano (1 credit)
- M-SK 0009 Recital (0 credit)
- M-SK 0991 Conducting 1 (1 credit)
- M-ST 0619 Performance Seminar: Piano (6 credits)
General Education and Liberal Arts
- C-PR 1001 Introduction to i-Pad Media Technology (1 credit)
- L-CM 1301 Introduction to College Writing (3 credits)
- L-CM 1302 Literature Topics (3 credits)
- L-CM 739xx Liberal Arts elective: Arts & Humanities (3 credits)
- L-CM 749xx Liberal Arts elective: Social Sciences (3 credits)
- L-CM 759xx Liberal Arts elective: Math/Science (3 credits)
- L-CM 7x9xx Liberal Arts electives (12 credits)
- M-LT 1101 Music History 1: Ancient to Renaissance (3 credits)
- M-LT 1102 Music History 2: Baroque to Classical (3 credits)
- M-LT 2101 Music History 3: Classical to Post-Romantic (3 credits)
- M-LT 2102 Music History 4: Modern (3 credits)
- Xxxxx General electives (8 credits)
What You Will Learn
The Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance program features a range of course experiences to allow students to build a toolkit of the skills required for success as an impactful artist-performer today. Upon successful completion of the program, students will:
- prepare and accurately perform a wide range of musical styles, genre, and repertoire through the foundation of technique and musical comprehension developed in applied instrumental lessons, chamber ensemble experiences, coachings, master classes, and observations, as well as through genre-specific repertoire courses, and the study of piano pedagogy, music theory, and music history;
- apply ear-training skills, knowledge of theoretical and harmonic analysis, as well as historical context to the study and performance of a score;
- sustain and build upon their instrumental technique, based upon their understanding of the foundational techniques of their instrument, studied in applied lessons as well as in piano pedagogy;
- perform with meaning and context, informed by an ability to analyze and place into context the material of a score;
- develop and foster meaningful artistic collaborations with partners across the musical and artistic spectrum;
- cultivate meaningful connections to the communities in which they perform and teach, informed by their experiences in large and small ensembles, and through special partnership programs at Boston Conservatory; and
- establish an artistic identity that represents their individuality, celebrating music of past and present, and serving as a champion for the future of our industry.
Alumni of the Conservatory’s piano performance program have gone on to win international competitions and awards, and have performed with some of the world’s leading ensembles.
- Dallas International Piano Competition
- Honens International Piano Competition
- International Franz Liszt Competition
- Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition
- Piano Teachers National Association Competition
- Unisa International Piano Competition
- Baden-Baden Philharmonic
- Berliner Symphoniker
- Calgary Philharmonic
- Finnish Radio Symphony
- Gstaad Festival Orchestra
- Guangzhou Symphony
- Hamburg Symphony
- Johannesburg Philharmonic
- Juilliard Symphony
- La Havana Symphony
- Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra
- Miami Symphony
- National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
- Northern Sinfonia
- Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
- San Francisco Symphony
- St. Petersburg Philharmonic
- Tokyo City Symphony
- Winnipeg Symphony