Sunday, November 20, 2005

Degree and Diploma Programs in Collaborative Piano

NOTE: I am currently in the process of adding links to program information at each of these schools in alphabetical order. Because I simply haven't got time to keep track of the people teaching at nearly 100 institutions, I will be initially listing only program info and institutional links. If you are an administrator or faculty member at one of these schools and would like to have up-to-date faculty information (or any additional information) listed, either leave a comment or email me at collaborativepiano [at] gmail dot com and I would be glad to include it in your school's posting.

First of all, this list is not complete. Since the field of collaborative piano is a constantly growing field, there are an ever-increasing number of programs available, only some of which have web documentation. The programs at the schools below are generally listed as being in Collaborative Piano, Piano Accompanying, Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music, Piano Chamber Music, Vocal Opera Coaching, or Piano Accompaniment. If you have any schools to add to the list, feel free to either post a comment or email me. This list will be constantly updated as new information is gleaned.

University of Arizona
Arizona State University
Arkansas State University
Stephen F. Austin State University
Azusa Pacific University
Ball State University
Baylor University
Belhaven University
Bellarmine University
Musikschule Konservatorium Bern
The Boston Conservatory
Boston University
Bowling Green State University
Brandon University
University of British Columbia
California Institute of the Arts
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Irvine
California State University-Fullerton
California State University-Northridge
Carnegie Mellon University
Catholic University of America
Chapman University
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Cleveland Institute of Music
University of Colorado at Boulder
Duquesne University
East Carolina University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastman School of Music
Florida State University
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Hartt School of Music
Hastings College
Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts
Houghton College
The University of Houston
Howard Payne University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois State University
Ithaca College
The Juilliard School
The University of Kansas
Longy School of Music
Louisiana State University
Lynn University
Manhattan School of Music
University of Manitoa
Mannes College
Mansfield University
University of Maryland-College Park
Catholic University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts Amherst
McGill University
University of Memphis
Mercer University
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
Middle Tennessee State University
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
Mississippi College
University of Missouri-Columbia
National Taiwan Normal University
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
New England Conservatory
University of New Mexico
The State University of New York at Fredonia
New York University
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Texas
University of Northern Iowa
Northern Arizona University
The University of Northern Colorado
Northern Illinois University
Northwestern University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Ohio University
Oklahoma City University
University of Oregon
Peabody Conservatory of Music
Radford University
Rice University
Royal Academy of Music
Royal College
Royal Irish Academy of Music
Royal Northern College
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Rutgers University
San Fransisco Conservatory of Music
University of Saskatchewan
Shenendoah University
University of South Alabama
University of South Carolina
University of South Dakota
University of Southern California
University of Southern Mississippi
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Tainan National University of the Arts
Temple University
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
University of Texas-Austin
Texas Tech University
University of Toronto
University of Utah
Valdosta State University
University of Western Ontario
Western Oregon University
Westminster Choir College
Wichita State University
Konservatorium Wien University
Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

As a believer in due diligence, especially regarding one's education, I would like this list to be a starting point for exploration of programs for the prospective student. A full list of things to consider will include:
  1. Finding the right teacher
  2. Finding a good school
  3. Finding a good vocal and instrumental department for prospective partners
  4. Curriculum (ie. Diction? Keyboard Skills?)
  5. Financial aid
  6. Track record of graduates
Last updated August 9, 2016

Further reading:
Degree Programs in Piano Pedagogy


  1. Anonymous1:51 PM

    I just found your website through the Wolf Trap Opera blog, and I'd like to add my school to the list of places one can earn a degree in Collaborative Arts: Chapman University in Orange, CA. The faculty is wonderful :)

  2. Thanks, Cynthia. Chapman has been added to the list.

  3. Anonymous11:19 AM

    I, too, just found your website through the Wolf Trap Opera blog. The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has offered an MM in Accompanying (now Collab. Piano) since 1970. Please add it to your list. Kenneth Griffiths is dept. chair, and Sandra Rivers and I make up the rest of the dept. Thank you for your interesting site.
    Donna Loewy

  4. The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has been added.

  5. Anonymous12:21 AM

    Bowling Green State University

  6. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been added. Thanks to anonymous poster.

  7. Anonymous12:42 AM

    The University of SOuth Caroline

  8. Thank you anonymous poster. I just visited the University of South Carolina site and they do indeed have an accompanying option in the bachelor of music program.

  9. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Hi, Chris, Great blog!! This is your Bowdoin Colleague, Tao:) I have been directing the Collaborative Piano Program at the CONSERVATORY of MUSIC at LYNN UNIVERSITY in Boca Raton, FL for the past two years, we offer degrees in MM and Professional Performer's Certificate. See you soon!!!

  10. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Is there a difference between a collaborative piano degree and an accompaniment degree?

  11. There isn't really much difference between these types of degrees. There used to be distinctions between "vocal" and "instrumental" degrees, but these have vanished recently. There are a few specialist degrees left in "vocal coaching".

    Again, my advice is to take a look at the teacher of the program, the curriculum, the school, and the track record of the program and the graduates of it rather than what the degree is titled.

  12. Anonymous9:53 PM

    University of Texas at Austin

  13. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Hi !! I would like receive information about Master Degree in Collaborative Programs Acompanying enfasis in Musical Theater.I´m Looking in all Universitys, School of Music and Colleges, I just get Degree in Vocal/Opera or Chamber Music. My email adress is


    1. You might consider FSU MM in Opera Coaching or UT-Austin MM in Opera Coaching or Temple University MM in Collaborative Piano and Opera Coaching or UI MM in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying.
      There are also some AD/Diploma programs only focused on opera or vocal area.
      Several Collaborative Piano programs in US also have a heavy study in opera like UM or the Manhattan School of Music (Vocal Track).

  14. Thanks, Sandro. I'll be sending out a call for degree program info this evening!

  15. Anonymous8:29 AM

    I'm at New England Conservatory right now for the Masters program, but they also have a great Coll. Piano program with Rena Sharon at the University of British Columbia, Canada.... she is a wonderful prof.

  16. Please add University of Maryland - College Park to your list of school with collaborative piano programs. They offer M.M. and D.M.A. programs. Rita Sloan heads up the program and she's a truly wonderful teacher.

  17. Thanks, Perry. The University of Maryland has been on the list from the beginning, I just added the College Park campus to the listing. I studied with Rita Sloan for a short time at Aspen and found her to be a fantastic teacher and inspiring pianist. Please send her my regards.

  18. Anonymous3:50 PM

    just wondering ... Is there any school has the Collaborative piano program which focus on Musical Theater?

    1. Oklahoma City University, while you will still have classical studies, allows you to really focus in on MT rep

  19. Not that I know of. If you're interested in musical theater, I recommend getting experience working either in a musical theater program or in a professional theater company.

  20. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Please add the Peabody Conservatory to your list. There are two collaborative programs, one called Ensemble Arts, which is 50/50 Vocal/Instrumental, and another which is a Masters in Vocal Accompanying, which is strictly vocal.

  21. Peabody was already listed as the Peabody Institute. I changed the listing to the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the division of the school that offers the collaborative piano programs.

    Thanks for the info.

  22. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Northern Illinois University

  23. Northern Illinois University, which has an accompanying and chamber music option at the Master of Music level, has been added to the list.

  24. Anonymous8:16 AM

    I would like to add the MM Collaborative Piano program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to your list. Thanks for such a wonderful website, Chris!

  25. Anonymous10:12 AM

    someone asked about a musical theater accompanying degree program... i am very interested in musical theater accompanying as well and wanted to share how i've gotten my fill of it in school. i got my mm at university of michigan and am now getting my dma... they have a big MT department and i was able to work with some of the pianists in it. i took a year long seminar on problems one might encounter in the MT world (arranging, transposing, realizing better accompaniments than the printed ones, and a repertoire study) with a pianist on the faculty, then later played for one of their shows with another pianist/conductor. they also offered to let me accompany dance classes and rehearsals for that experience. if someone is interested in that line of work, i suggest that you look for a school with a good MT department like michigan, cincinnati, etc, and just make yourself available to the department. often, MT departments are hurting for good pianists... although, i've found keeping up my classical studies as well keeps me enriched. later in my life, i would be interested in teaching the MT side of collaborative piano.

  26. Thanks for that information! My readers will find it extremely useful.

  27. Could this list be broken down to show which specific schools offer graduate degrees? Thanks for a great site!

  28. Thanks for the suggestion, Amy. As it turns out, that's one of my summer projects.

  29. A new Master of Music in Collaborative Piano with an emphasis on vocal accompaniment has been launched at the University of Maine in Orono. The program is under the direction of Dr. Phillip Silver, an internationally renowned collaborative artist. Information about the program can be found at:

  30. Thanks, Karen. The University of Maine has been added to the list.

  31. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Just wondering if you know of any good schools that have undergraduate degrees in collaborative piano?..

  32. Nope.

    My opinion is that pianists should get a Bachelor of Music degree either as a piano major or piano concentrator, then major in collaborative piano at the Master's Degree.

    My main concern with undergraduate collaborative piano degrees: there is a perception that pianists in these programs are merely cheap labor pools for voice and string departments, with a very real danger that they will complete their degrees without adequate skills to prepare them for either graduate programs in the field or professional life.

  33. Anonymous11:25 PM

    Belvoir Terrace has an opening for a collaborative pianist to play for musical theater in an all arts exciting summer program. Martin Katz has sent his students to us and they have enjoyed our program and done well. We have one of his doctoral students with us this year and Martin will come by as well. We have an opening that just occured so if you want to gain great experience coaching singing and playing for musicals apply on the website at or call us at 413 637 0555. Thanks and colloborative piano is a great and important field.

  34. Anonymous10:52 AM

    just wondering if u guys have any suggestion for a good school in collaborative piano master degree? and which can offer any good financial aid or full scholarship for international student....

    1. For qualified applicants, the University of South Dakota offers assistantships with stipends.

  35. Because of the diversity of schools offering CP degrees, recommending a school is somewhat difficult to do unless I know more about the individual seeking a program. That's one of the reasons why I don't list recommended schools.

  36. Anonymous3:16 PM

    The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary now offers MM degree in collaborative piano.

  37. Anonymous3:22 PM

    The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music offers only an undergraduate degree. Though not in accompanying, pianists in performance degree programs are offered many collaborative opportunities. Also, a handsome Accompanying Fellowship is offered to qualified pianists with an interest in accompanying both vocal and instrumental music.

  38. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Thanks, Chris, for the helpful list. Please add the University of Minnesota. I got my DMA in Accompanying/Coaching (now called Collaborative Keyboard) there. They also offer a master's degree and assistantships are available.

  39. The University of Minnesota is already on the list (under M).

  40. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Hey Chris,
    Doing a bit of research on getting a Masters in Collaborative Piano... would you be willing to provide a raking of the top schools or point me to a website that does so?

  41. I don't rank collaborative piano programs on this site! Do your own research.

  42. I have been researching collaborative piano degrees and was considering the musical theatre aspect. I saw someone asked for a degree program I have found one, and undergrad degree at Shennandoah University for musical theatre accompanying does exist.

  43. Jan Grimes9:00 AM

    Hi Chris, I would like to announce that Louisiana State University has just hired Dianne Frazer to the Collaborative Piano program. We offer assistanships and a vast array of opportunities for collaboration with singers, instrumentalists, and opera. Audition requirments are listed on the LSU School of Music website and queries may be directed to me at Thanks, Jan Grimes.

  44. Michael10:50 AM

    Thanks for your wonderful blog. I was hoping you could offer some advice. I do not have a degree in music (I have a master's in another field). I am the accompanist for a community choir, as well as a substitute church organist, I play chamber music, and I take accompanying jobs where I can find them. I also study piano privately. I am considering applying for to a master's program in collaborative piano as some point. What preparation would you recommend?

  45. The Bard Conservatory has a postgraduate piano fellowship program. It is a 1-2 year program and offers free room and board, as well as a $15,000 stipend. The program is headed by Frank Corliss, who for many years was staff pianist at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

  46. North Park University will be rolling out their NEW Master of Music in Collaborative Piano in Fall 2010. Check it out!

  47. Thanks for the heads-up, Rebecca. Unfortunately, there is as yet no mention of a collaborative piano program on the North Park website. Be sure to contact me when the program information goes live!

  48. does anyone know of conservatories, academy, universities, colleges etc that offer ballet-dance, choral accompaniment-coaching along with operatic-musical theatre, chamber music and art song accompaniment? Priority to north america and canada

  49. Carnegie Mellon University is starting one up in Fall 2010 (I saw a pamphlet about it in the Duquesne music school today). Link is here: . This is an incredibly helpful list, by the way, so thank you.

  50. I would like to add Belhaven University as a school that offers an undergrad degree in collaborative piano. I read your above reply to Rebekah, and I did not find that to be the case there. We are given plenty of attention as solo artists as well, and just as much concern to develop our technical and artistic skills. We are also very much appreciated by the other musicians!

  51. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Wow! What a great resource! I've been a musical director for years and am looking into getting a masters in collaborative piano. It's really a shame that no one offers a degree with an emphasis in musical directing/accompanying for theater because everyone I know just makes it up as they go along. I'm much more of a MT lover than an opera lover and the thought of dealing with opera divas for 2 years is not appealing at all.

  52. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Thanks !

  53. Chris, thanks for this valuable resource (among many others, of course)! I had been aiming for a program down the road, but it has been an eye-opener to read of so many new possibilities including musical theatre. Excitement's in the air...

  54. Illinois State University has a master program in Collaborative Piano as well.

  55. Anonymous3:16 PM

    University of Northern Colorado has a master/doctorate program in Collaborative Piano as well.

  56. Northern Colorado has been added!

  57. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Ball State University in Indiana has a master of music degree in piano chamber music/ accompanying.

  58. Anonymous11:11 PM

    University of Houston

  59. University of Kansas

  60. Thanks, anonymi. The list has been updated to reflect those programs.

  61. Hi, Chris- thank you for your excellent blog! Several of the comments above asked about musical theater programs. I believe that Ithaca College and Arizona State University both offer programs in musical direction for theater, and that CCM has an assistantship in musical theater that provides significant experience. I do quite a bit of theater work as a collaborative pianist, and did my initial training as an intern at a pro theater in Seattle while I was an undergrad, which was an excellent way to learn and build a resume.

  62. The University of Southern Mississippi has a Master of Music in Accompanying ( For more information, contact the keyboard area at:
    Thank you for this website!

  63. Anonymous11:20 PM

    University of New Mexico at Albuquerque has MM in collaborative piano

  64. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Do you think church organists, opera coaches, musical theatre accompanists (collaborators etc.) should be singers, actors, directors, producers, conductors or pianists as 1st priority? Many undergrad, graduate, diploma, certificate programs do not adequately prepare or inform the student as to the skills needed or that these career options are available. How many accompanists do we know who are NOT pianists, they are primarily singers, dancers, conductors who then find out they have to learn keyboard skills. Arguments continue over acting versus dancing versus singing skill for casting.

  65. I'm looking for collaborative certificate and diploma for one year. Most school has diploma for two year. can you help me?? my E-mail addres is I found north carolina music school and bowling green state university. I wanna look for the other school.

  66. There's not much you can do in one year with most programs, and many one-year programs are intended as followups to multi-year programs.

  67. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Hi! Just wondering if anyone knew of any undergrad piano programs that offered courses in Collaborative Piano? Obviously it wouldn't be the focus of the entire program, but where I would like to go into musically directing for Bway, I would love to have a least a little concentration on collaborative piano and beginning's of conducting. Thanks so much.

  68. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Hi I am a veteran teacher getting ready to retire in a few years. I am a professional oboist but play alot of instruments. I have been playing piano on and off.
    Also, I have had 2 surgeries on my pinkies for trigger finger.
    I have the opportunity to earn another"degree"(30 credits)to enhance my pension in music. I know that I will have to stop playing oboe eventually and want to develope my piano skills.
    Do you know of a degree program such that I could study piano accompaniment although this is not my primary instrument? I do not have to complete this program in one year.
    I live in Connecticut. Are there online/hybrid programs?

  69. Anonymous10:24 PM

    I am an older music teacher making plans to retire. I am a band director and a professional oboist. Although I have done some accompanying and have written alot of music, I plan to play piano and eventually stop the oboe. I want to develope some good reading skills and possibly accompany my church choir.
    I do have the opportunity to earn another degree through my school system that benefits my retirement substantially.
    I live in Connecticut. Thank you!

  70. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I am a professor at an institution considering adding a MM in collaborative piano. As we put together our proposal, I would love to hear some feedback on the importance of offering a degree in collaborative piano in addition to a piano performance degree. Great blog. Thank you!

  71. Anonymous2:14 AM

    Can you add... State University of New York College at Fredonia? They have a new Collaborative Piano program there, under Dr. Anne Kissel, who is a fantastic teacher and performer.

  72. University of Kansas is no longer offering a collaborative piano/accompanying degree. They haven't taken it off their website yet, but that's what they told us.

  73. Anonymous1:02 AM

    From what I know, Ohio University no longer has the collaborative piano program anymore since about two years ago.

  74. Thank you so much for this list... it has been so valuable in my preparation for grad school!!! I am interested in the possibility of studying Collaborative Piano abroad, specifically in Western Europe. Do you know anything about that? And are there any specific schools you would recommend checking out?

    1. Thanks Alyssa! I don't know much about programs in western Europe, but a quick look at the major conservatories should give you some information.

  75. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Hi, please add University of South Dakota to your list. They offer M.M. program. Dr. Susan Gray is the founder of this program at USD and she is truly amazing. She was a student of Martin Katz. Thank you.

  76. Anonymous3:33 AM

    Please add "State University of New York, Fredonia"

  77. Hey, not sure if my previous comment sent through. I'm helping a Chinese friend search for the best US university for an MM in Collaborative Piano. If you could offer some advice that'd be great. Thanks, Lawrence

    1. Awesome question, SB! I'm not going to answer that question here, but look for an upcoming Ask the Readers post for answers from the community.

  78. Anonymous7:24 PM

    If you are interested in studying in Europe, have a look at the City of VIENNA University's website (KONSuni)
    Vienna is often viewed as the world's musical capital - but the city is, in fact, home to an exceptionally rich spectrum of activity across all cultural fields...

    Accompaniment – Master's Programme

    This programme is offered for three major subjects: Instrumental Accompaniment, Vocal Accompaniment for Song and Oratorio and Vocal Accompaniment Opera.
    Pianists are trained as professional accompanists for instrumental concerts, as professional partners for singers or as operatic accompanists. No age limits!


    Instrumental Accompaniment:
    Univ.-Prof. KWPU Denise Benda

    Vocal Accompaniment for Song and Oratorio:
    Carolyn Hague

    Vocal Accompaniment for Opera:
    Kristin Okerlund

  79. Tune in Music Academy located at West Houston near Royal Oaks, Memorial, Energy Corridor, Westchase & Katy,
    offers private piano lessons to children, adults, music lovers and piano players of all ages and skill levels
    thanks & regards


  81. The University of South Alabama offers an MM in Collaborative Keyboard:

  82. Anonymous9:20 AM

    University of Miami is no longer offering collaborative piano program.

    1. Thanks Anon. U of Miami has now been removed.

    2. Anonymous4:30 PM

      James Madison University has an undergraduate performance program with an emphasis in "accompanying." The first 3 years are solo repertoire focused with the collaborative focus beginning Junior year. Undergrads are required to do a Junior Half recital with solo repertoire and their Senior recital is a full recital with collaborative repertoire. All performance majors are also required to accompany students as an ensemble for at least 6 semesters.

  83. I am starting a graduate program in Collaborative Piano at Portland State University. The MM (no DMA) will be offered beginning in Fall 2017.

    Thank you for this resource!
    Dr. Chuck Dillard

  84. Do you know of any programs that offer a DMA in Collaborative Piano in France?

    1. Hey Justin. There are some programs in France, but I don't think that you'll find anything equivalent to the North American DMA programs.

  85. Hi Mississippi College in Clinton, MS offers a BM in Collaborative Piano. I just found your blog... looking forward to reading your posts!

  86. Portland State University also has a MM in Collaborative Piano.

  87. Allan Armstrong3:39 PM

    Hi Chris, what a great resource! Indiana University grants three major degrees in Collaborative Piano: Masters, Performance Diploma, and DM. IU also offers a collaborative piano minor for solo piano majors. The program is led by Anne Epperson and Kevin Murphy.

  88. Anonymous1:21 AM

    Indiana University

  89. Thank you for your amazing post! It was an intensive work and costs huge amount of time! I just wonder if you would like to add some special kinds like Opera Coaching programs in FSU, CCM and UT-Austin (especially, UT-Austin offers the only DMA in Opera Coaching in US, also Opera Directing), Vocal Coaching programs in several schools, both in degree and diploma. Most of them are separate from the Collaborative Piano program in the same school!