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Keyboard Instruments


Keyboard instruments programs teach people how to play and perform on the piano, organ, or related keyboard instruments.

This program includes topics such as:


In keyboarding instruments programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in keyboard instruments. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Most universities offer graduate degrees in keyboard instruments. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Private lessons and performing in your community can be valuable preparation as well.

You may also need to send in a recording of your playing or perform a live audition.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and a strong record of performance. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

You should preferably major in music or a music-related field. If not, you should take several courses in music theory, history, and performance. You may have to take an exam in theory and history to determine whether you need to take "make-up" courses before starting graduate study.

You also typically have to send in a recording of your playing and perform a live audition. You might be asked to sight-read and prepare a variety of pieces from different periods of music.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

You also take second language courses in French, German, or Italian.

Because this is typically a performance-based major, you usually perform regularly as part of your curriculum. You might perform as a soloist; with an orchestra, chamber, or choral ensemble; or accompanying other solo musicians.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary from program to program. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Most schools require graduate students in this program to learn a basic repertoire of keyboard music, including composers of different styles and time periods.

You also need to develop reading abilities in one to two languages other than English - usually French, German, or Italian.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Walla Walla University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Cornish College of the Arts

Seattle Pacific University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College