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Musical discoveries of the greatest variety and depth await Furman's piano and organ students. Our keyboard faculty members combine decades of performance and teaching experience – a rich asset from which students benefit every day. Furman piano performance graduates hold major positions in the musical world, including the current Dean of the Yale School of Music, the Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and a faculty member of the Musical Theater Department at the Juilliard School. Many piano and organ performance graduates hold important university and church positions, and maintain professional careers and studios throughout the world.

Read about organ study at Furman.

Furman's comprehensive piano curriculum includes courses in keyboard literature, chamber music, piano pedagogy, music technology, and jazz piano. It provides a professional level of instruction, guidance and mentorship and lays the groundwork for graduate studies at many of the finest programs across the country.

PIANO

Furman piano students gain extensive performing experience through solo and chamber music recitals, accompanying, and participation in Furman's biennial concerto competition. They may also explore additional performance opportunities on and off campus, nurturing confidence, enhancing artistry, and stimulating musical growth.

An outstanding feature of piano study at Furman is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Piano, who is in residence several times during the academic year. Nationally and internationally renowned artists hold this position, giving recitals and sharing their insights in individual lessons and master classes. Past Distinguished Visiting Professors of Piano have included Richard Cass, Anne Koscielny, Marvin Blickenstaff, and Eduardus Halim. Additional teachers / performers of the highest caliber are also featured each year in performance and master class settings.

Open to qualified non-music majors as well, piano study at Furman offers exceptional musical training and experiences within a liberal arts education of the highest level.

Collaborative piano

Educational experiences abound in the field of collaborative piano. As a piano major, you'll get guidance and individual coaching throughout your studies. We provide introductory group instruction for freshmen and a course on advanced chamber music for upperclassmen.

Audition and declaration requirements

Furman students intending to major in music must perform an audition and complete a music theory placement examination. Final approval for a music degree takes place during your sophomore year.

General requirements

The bachelor of music in organ or piano performance provides our students with an opportunity to perfect their skills through one-on-one instruction and performance studies. You must accompany for two senior recitals or three junior recitals during the same term. Permission for exercising this option must be obtained in advance and in writing from our department chair.

Core courses:

  • Basic Musicianship I (MUS-111)
  • Basic Musicianship II (MUS-112)
  • Introduction to Music Literature (MUS-120)
  • Basic Musicianship III (MUS-211)
  • Basic Musicianship IV (MUS-212)
  • World Music I (MUS-220)
  • Music History I (MUS-221)
  • Music History II (MUS-320)
  • Music History III (MUS-321)
  • Basic Conducting (MUS-352)
  • Two credits of performance topics
  • Recital Attendance for seven semesters (MUS-050)
  • Freshman Music Colloquium for one semester (MUS-051)
  • Membership in at least one ensemble: Symphony orchestra (MUS-060), Furman band (MUS-061), Furman Singers (MUS-062), Furman men's chorale (MUS-063), Furman women's chorale (MUS-064), or Guitar Ensemble (MUS-076).

Additional courses for piano performance:

  • History and Literature of the Piano (MUS-421A)
  • Piano Pedagogy (MUS-451)
  • Advanced Collaborative Piano (MUS-564)
  • Introduction to Organ and Harpsichord (MUS-568)
  • Eight credits of music electives with at least six of the eight numbered between 300 and 499
  • At least 24 credits of piano performance studies

Junior and senior piano performance majors may accompany in lieu of participating in a large ensemble. Students must accompany for two senior recitals or three junior recitals during the same term. Permission for exercising this option must be obtained in advance and in writing from the department chair.

Course sequence

Piano

Class Fall Spring
Freshman MUS 111 Musicianship I CGA

MUS 561 Performance Studies (2)
MUS 560 Keyboard Performance Topics (2)

CGA (4)

First Year Seminar (4)

MUS 051 Colloquium
MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
MUS 112 Musicianship II

MUS 561 Performance Studies (2)
MUS 120 Introduction to Music Literature (2)

CGA (4)

First Year Seminar (4)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble

Sophomore MUS 211 Musicianship III

MUS 561 Performance Studies (2)
MUS 221 Music History I (2)

CGA (4)

CGA (4)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
MUS 212 Musicianship IV

MUS 561 Performance Studies (2)
MUS 352 Basic Conducting (2)

MUS 220 World Music (4) CGA

CGA (4)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
Junior MUS 561 Performance Studies (4)

MUS 320 Music History II (4) CGA

Music Elective (2)*
MUS 568 Introduction to Organ/Harpsichord (2)**

CGA (4)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
MUS 561 Performance Studies (4)

MUS 321 Music History III (2)
MUS 564 Advanced Collaborative Piano (2)**

Music Elective (2)
MUS 451 Piano Pedagogy (2)**

CGA (4)

Junior Recital (0)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
Senior MUS 561 Performance Studies (4)

Music Elective (2)
Music Elective (2)

CGA (4)

CGA (4)

MUS 050 Recital Attendance
Major Ensemble
MUS 561 Performance Studies (4)

MUS 421A History & Literature of the Piano (4)**

CGA (4)

CGA (4)

Senior Recital (0)

Major Ensemble

*Of the total of eight elective credits, six must be in courses numbered in 300's and 400's.
**Offered alternating years

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