The piano program is dynamic, ambitious, and rigorous. Purchase is proud to be an all-Steinway school and we provide our students with a first-rate practice situation, with a large number of piano studios, each with its own Steinway B.
The piano program at Purchase College is acclaimed. We offer world-class teaching in a caring environment and attract students from throughout the United States as well as internationally. We award a Bachelors of Music degree, a Performers Certificate, a Masters degree, and an Artist Diploma. Students benefit from a strong emphasis on performance, with abundant performance opportunities in the Conservatory’s Recital Hall, which boasts superb acoustics. Pianists perform in three recitals per semester, each at the Recital Hall. Visiting artists who have given master classes at Purchase include Lang Lang, Vladimir Feltsman, Garrick Ohlsson and Robert McDonald of Juilliard. Pianists also collaborate with instrumentalists and receive chamber music coaching from the piano, strings and wind faculty.
Purchase prides itself on being able to tailor the education it offers to meet the needs of individual students. Pianists at Purchase can pursue interests in a variety of specialties. Pianists interested in contemporary music can participate in Purchase Contemporary Ensemble, which performs significant new music written in the past 50 years, as well as Purchase New Music, in which students collaborate with composition majors in developing and performing new work. Pianists interested in jazz piano are offered the opportunity of classes and lessons with the renowned Purchase jazz faculty. And students who would like to explore an interest in vocal collaboration are given the opportunity to work with singers throughout their time in the program.
Our aim in the piano program is to give each student the opportunity to fully explore and develop their own unique artistic voice. Our students graduate and go on to successful careers as performers, teachers, and musical entrepreneurs. Many students come to Purchase to receive a top conservatory education which will enable them to join the many Purchase graduates who have gone on to both masters and doctoral studies at other first-rate conservatories, earning scholarships and fellowships.
Purchase is located in a beautiful country setting, only 35 minutes away from New York City. At Purchase, students have the ability to breathe, concentrate, and collaborate, and then hop on the train and access one of the most vibrant cultural scenes on the planet.
Bachelor of Music Requirements:
In addition to meeting General Education requirements, undergraduate music performance majors who concentrate in piano must complete the following conservatory requirements (99 credits). Of the 99 credits, up to 8 credits of music history may be counted toward the liberal arts requirement (30 credits minimum) for the degree.
Freshman Year: 27 credits
Sophomore Year: 23 credits
Junior Year: 30 credits
Senior Year: 19 credits
*Music History Electives (Effective Fall 2020)
MUS 1060/Reflections Western Music
MTH 1560/Introduction to World Music
MTH 2130/Music and Politics, 1800-1950
MTH 3170/Techniques of Composition for Performers
MTH 3400/History of Jazz I
MTH 3450/History of Jazz II
MTH 3520/Disruption and Art Music
MTH 3575/Music from Antiquity
MTH 3576/Music of the Common Practice Era
MTH 3577/Expansion of Chromaticism
MTH 3578/Music Since 1945
MTH 3600/The Music of J. S. Bach
MTH 3620/Music of Beethoven
MTH 3630/Berlioz, Wagner, and Liszt
MTH 3670/Mahler and Strauss
MTH 3680/Shostakovich and The Soviet Era
MTH 4075/Post-Tonal Theory & Analysis
MTH 4120/History of Recorded Music I
MTH 4130/History of Recorded Music II
MTH 4235/Opera Queens: LGBTQ Representation in Opera Onstage and Off
MTH 4340/World Traditions in Music
MUS 4520/Trends in Music in Society
Master of Music requirements:
Graduate music majors who concentrate in piano must meet the following conservatory requirements (42 credits) and earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at Purchase College. MPE 5565 may be taken in a different semester in consultation with the head of the piano program.
First Year: 21 credits
Second Year: 21 credits
Music Artist Diploma Requirements:
This diploma is intended for graduate students in music who have completed the master’s degree requirements for their areas of study.
To earn the Artist Diploma in piano, students must meet the following conservatory requirements (18 credits for the one-year program; 38 credits for the two-year program):
First Year: 18 credits
Second Year: 18 credits
Music Performers Certificate Requirements:
This is a postbaccalaureate program for students who have completed the undergraduate requirements for their areas of study and are entering into careers as performers in solo, ensemble, or studio settings.
To earn the Performers Certificate in piano, students must meet the following conservatory requirements (18 credits for the one-year program; 36 credits for the two-year program):
First Year: 18 credits
Second Year: 18 credits
Official Catalog: Published September 22, 2023
Since actual course offerings vary from semester to semester, students should consult the myHeliotrope course schedule to determine whether a particular course is offered in a given semester.
In preparing the College Catalog, every effort is made to provide pertinent and accurate information. However, information contained in the catalog is subject to change, and Purchase College assumes no liability for catalog errors or omissions. Updates and new academic policies or programs will appear in the college’s information notices and will be noted in the online catalog.
It is the responsibility of each student to ascertain current information (particularly degree and major requirements) through frequent reference to current materials and consultation with the student’s faculty advisor, chair or director, and related offices (e.g., enrollment services, advising center).
Notwithstanding anything contained in the catalog, Purchase College expressly reserves the right, whenever it deems advisable, to change or modify its schedule of tuition and fees; withdraw, cancel, reschedule, or modify any course, program of study, degree, or any requirement or policy in connection with the foregoing; and to change or modify any academic or other policy.