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#1978172 - 10/24/12 06:53 PM Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads?
princesspea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 12
Can y'all talk to me in general about obtaining a performance certificate in college? For undergraduate students. I have seen a couple of schools that offer this - actually some of the tippy top ones like Stanford and Princeton do. Often, however, one isn't admitted until junior year. How do you keep up your playing in the meantime if you are not a music major - via private lessons?

I really don't know anything about piano performance certificates/diplomas. Does anyone have any insights? Might this be a good option for someone who doesn't necessarily want to major in music but who wants to continue in his/her studies? Just wondering what sort of folks do these. And, also - how they are perceived in the music world?

Thanks!

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#1978200 - 10/24/12 08:24 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
I am not familiar with university-based certificates, but there are a few other options to pursue if you wanted to (each of which is looked at fairly well, I think):

abrsm.org
--> http://www.abrsm.org/en/exams/diplomas/

http://www.uwl.ac.uk/lcmexams/
--> http://www.uwl.ac.uk/lcmexams/Exam_levels.jsp#Diplomas

http://www.theachievementprogram.org/
--> http://www.theachievementprogram.org/program/program-details/diploma

These are certificates, each with their own requirements that you can read over, that are the same level as various university degrees (though, of course, they may not hold the same prestige and they don't require as intense study [aka courses]).
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

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#1978251 - 10/24/12 10:17 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19299
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: princesspea
....How do you keep up your playing in the meantime if you are not a music major - via private lessons?

I'm not sure why you think this is an issue at all. Even in the worst case you could take private lessons (as you said) and do plenty of practicing on the side. You ought to have enough free time that you could practice a couple of hours a day most of the time, if you're interested enough. And I think at most schools, you can do piano study with a faculty member for credit even if you're not a music major, and be very much a part of the school's music community. Or at least that's how it was when I was in college, and it's what I did. I can't be sure it's still like that at most schools.

BTW I'm not familiar either with that kind of "certificate" -- in fact, never heard of it before, I don't know if it's really good for anything, and I'm not sure why you care about it. Why not just think in terms of doing as much piano study as you can (and I think that will be A LOT, wherever you go), and not worry about any certificate? If you can get one, fine; if not, I don't think it's any big deal. And since you say you don't know a lot about these certificates either, maybe as you look into the different possibilities you'll decide it's not that important.

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#1978296 - 10/25/12 01:18 AM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1371
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I'd almost argue most universities offer such degrees as piano is one of the more popular instruments and performance degrees are one of the more popular pursued degrees; a simple google search would reveal what degree programs are offered by university x

The respective schools' department websites will list audition requirements for all respective degree programs (yes most, if not all programs, have pretty rigorous audition requirements).

To keep up your playing in the meantime (question doesn't make much sense), you should already be practicing learning/maintaining repertoire, technique, and sight-reading daily. Beyond that, it's highly recommended that you find a teacher familiar with preparing students for university auditions to prep you in the small window of time you have. Ask around for help if you need it; school/music teachers, counselors, university transfer advisers, and any other knowledgeable persons around.
_________________________
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Bernhard - Always Have a [Good] Plan

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#1978344 - 10/25/12 04:50 AM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: Mark_C]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 523
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: princesspea
....How do you keep up your playing in the meantime if you are not a music major - via private lessons?

I'm not sure why you think this is an issue at all. Even in the worst case you could take private lessons (as you said) and do plenty of practicing on the side. You ought to have enough free time that you could practice a couple of hours a day most of the time, if you're interested enough. And I think at most schools, you can do piano study with a faculty member for credit even if you're not a music major, and be very much a part of the school's music community. Or at least that's how it was when I was in college, and it's what I did. I can't be sure it's still like that at most schools.


At UC Berkeley the only way to study with a faculty instructor is to be a declared music major, so private lessons are the only option...

However at money packed Stanford, I think you can take lessons without being a music major.

I think it varies widely from school to school.


Edited by trigalg693 (10/25/12 04:50 AM)

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#1978513 - 10/25/12 02:23 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
princesspea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 12
Thank you for the replies.

Sorry - I should have indicated that I was asking on behalf of my son. He is trying to decide to what degree (no pun intended!) he wants to do music in college. He may or may not want to pursue a BM and is trying to sort all that out now (he is a junior). I realize a BA is an option for him, but what he truly loves is performing. The limited information I could find about performance certificates/diplomas seemed to indicate that their focus is on applied music. Taking lessons, chamber work, etc. My son is academically strong but isn't exactly sure what he wants to study in college. However, I believe he will want to continue to do music in some structured way and just wondered if this was a good option for him.

Of course, he can always continue to take private lessons without university credit. I do think accessibility to top faculty depends on where on is in school.

My concern about keeping practicing up was simply coming from the standpoint of being a parent - how much will he really practice if he is not enrolled as a music student? I imagine he would if he were taking private lessons. And, I guess the reality is if he doesn't keep it up, then it probably wasn't what he was meant to do.

Thanks, again.

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#1978516 - 10/25/12 02:26 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: trigalg693]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
At UC Berkeley the only way to study with a faculty instructor is to be a declared music major, so private lessons are the only option...

However at money packed Stanford, I think you can take lessons without being a music major.

I think it varies widely from school to school.

It does depend on the school. At UCSB, you can take music lessons after an audition and if there are spaces. I'm not a music major or minor and I'm enrolled in private weekly lessons - the same ones that music majors have access to (though I'm learning with a grad student and not the lower-level piano performance teacher).

A lot of schools allow you to take private lessons through Community Education, too, though that requires payment (and it's usually quite pricey).

Bobpickle, I think the OP were specifically discussing non-degree programs, such as "Certificate in Piano Performance" or such.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

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#1978525 - 10/25/12 02:47 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
jesseoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
Do you mean a certificate like minoring in piano? If so, lots of colleges have them, but be aware that many will charge you for their teachers, and some over priced, I'd argue, for the quality of the program.
I'm a music major at Case Western through the Cleveland Institute of Music (booya!) and, while I get free lessons, I think (don't quote me on this) minors have to pay. Of course, with CIM, you'd be getting top level piano instruction. But you also have to take other courses, such as theory, history, etc. - just fewer of them than us majors.


Edited by JesseOffy (10/25/12 02:48 PM)
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#1978536 - 10/25/12 03:23 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1096
Loc: San Francisco, CA
SFSU - they have it all...anyway, I think so...

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#1978552 - 10/25/12 03:53 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19299
Loc: New York
Thanks for the additional post. It's harder when the student himself isn't here, and I think it affects what we feel we can say, including because this way we can't tell so much what is his 'degree' of interest and, well, who he is. We can tell much more when we get things in someone's own words (as I think we thought we were!) and can get his reactions to what we might say. Hopefully what we say will be helpful anyway, but....might he be interested to come on here?

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#1978856 - 10/26/12 11:03 AM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
princesspea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 12
My son has posted on this forum before, so perhaps he will be back here as time gets closer to making a decision. Right now, I think he is a bit too overwhelmed with all that is going on NOW to think too much on down the road. I think he is feeling a lot of pressure to decide about whether to do music or not in college because he knows if he does performance he will have to start getting auditions ready. It's a big decision and hard to make at such a young age. So, I just came here to ask about this other option in case it was a viable choice for him. I am trying to be helpful but fear I am mostly causing him angst and adding to the sense of pressure in needing to make some decisions. frown Not my intention.


Edited by princesspea (10/26/12 11:04 AM)

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#1978866 - 10/26/12 11:48 AM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
jesseoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
I feel it may be much safer (not knowing his skill level) to go with the other option. Unless he's one of the best, he may go into music and realize just how many other people are trying to do the same as him, being the best at the instrument. It takes a very steady emotion to do this, I think. He could always double major at a school that has good programs in both music and what he's interested in. This takes a bit of work, but I'd definitely encourage this option if he's really into music but unsure - that's what I'm doing right now. He should still audition, even if he wants to minor in music - the schools will most definitely want to see his skill level. I first applied planning to be a music minor, and added an arts supplement to my commonapp (all my colleges were on the common app). It wasn't until after I chose my college that I decided to become a music major along with my other major. I'm definitely glad I made the choice. Good luck to him.
_________________________
Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninov

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#1978891 - 10/26/12 12:58 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19299
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: princesspea
....I am trying to be helpful but fear I am mostly causing him angst and adding to the sense of pressure in needing to make some decisions. frown Not my intention.

That's exactly one of the concerns I'd have in giving info and suggestions here to someone other than the person himself. You're not sure it's a good idea to find out stuff for him and tell him, and we're not so sure that what we'll say is on the mark, because we don't have a direct feel for who he is, and add those things together, and....

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#1978908 - 10/26/12 01:24 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: princesspea]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
My son studies piano. He's a sophomore and he is not a music major. Some places will allow you to study with the faculty this way. Others will put you with a graduate student. And of course, one can always pay a private teacher if there are no resources available within the music department. But at most places one can study piano for credit without being a music major.

You can PM me if you want to hear more about our experiences with the high school to college transition for a student who wants to play an instrument without necessarily signing a contract to be a music major.

[or search my posts from the past. I haven't been shy about discussing our experiences]
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#1979104 - 10/26/12 09:08 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: jesseoffy]
princesspea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: JesseOffy
I feel it may be much safer (not knowing his skill level) to go with the other option. Unless he's one of the best, he may go into music and realize just how many other people are trying to do the same as him, being the best at the instrument. It takes a very steady emotion to do this, I think. He could always double major at a school that has good programs in both music and what he's interested in. This takes a bit of work, but I'd definitely encourage this option if he's really into music but unsure - that's what I'm doing right now. He should still audition, even if he wants to minor in music - the schools will most definitely want to see his skill level. I first applied planning to be a music minor, and added an arts supplement to my commonapp (all my colleges were on the common app). It wasn't until after I chose my college that I decided to become a music major along with my other major. I'm definitely glad I made the choice. Good luck to him.


Thank you. He will do a music supplement for sure. He is playing standard rep required for auditions. He has had three trial lessons at universities. Are you doing two BAs or is your music major a BM?

He will find his way. I was just wanting to learn more about these "artist certificate/diplomas" because I wasn't that familiar with them.

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#1979105 - 10/26/12 09:11 PM Re: Colleges with piano performance certificates for undergrads? [Re: Mark_C]
princesspea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: princesspea
....I am trying to be helpful but fear I am mostly causing him angst and adding to the sense of pressure in needing to make some decisions. frown Not my intention.

That's exactly one of the concerns I'd have in giving info and suggestions here to someone other than the person himself. You're not sure it's a good idea to find out stuff for him and tell him, and we're not so sure that what we'll say is on the mark, because we don't have a direct feel for who he is, and add those things together, and....


I understand your concerns. I am just trying to make sure he is aware of all options, and I was not very familiar with the performance certificate/diploma thing - especially not at an undergraduate level. I truly am not trying to tell him what to do. He can major/minor/study anything he wants to and in any way he wants to. Perhaps he will return to these forums later on with his own questions.

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