The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Piano Pedagogy degree is offered to selected qualified students as a recognition of high professional attainment. You will receive extensive training in piano, as well as supportive courses in music, to provide you with a broad music background. You will focus on teaching the mechanics of piano in the classroom. 

Partnership with the Levine School of Music

A partnership has been established between the Levine School of Music and the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. This partnership consists of the following: 1. Internships and Observations. Selected undergraduate and/or graduate students who are registered for 595A, Internship in Teaching Piano, and who are recommended by both The Catholic University of America and Levine School of Music, LSM, faculty may be able to carry out their practice teaching at LSM. Full semester/academic year practice teaching assignments may include music sampler classes or individual lessons for scholarship students. Graduate students may be able to substitute teach more advanced students on a need basis, replacing LSM faculty on short-term leaves.

Internship students will be required to do a final project related to the internship course, to be evaluated by a The Catholic University of America faculty member. Opportunities for The Catholic University of America students to observe teachers at the LSM are possible.

  • Credit waiver. a. Students for whom undergraduate prerequisites in piano pedagogy are required and who have completed the LSM Diploma Program in Piano Pedagogy are eligible for waiver of up to six semester hours of credit in the same upon admission to the The Catholic University of America graduate music division. b. Courses taken within LSM's Diploma Program in Piano Pedagogy will be considered for partial credit waiver of undergraduate prerequisites pending evaluation by CUA faculty.
  • Independent Study. Independent study projects in piano pedagogy for The Catholic University of America registered students may be designed in collaboration with the LSM. Reciprocal projects may be created for registered LSM students.

Prerequisites and Entrance Requirements

Acceptance as a graduate student by the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is required. The applicant must have extensive performance and teaching experience after receiving a master's degree from an accredited institution in piano performance.

The applicant must submit the following to the advisory committee:

  1. two letters of recommendation (one from a professional colleague, not teacher of the applicant) attesting to the applicant’s past and potential ability as a concert performer and teacher;
  2. programs and critical reviews, if available;
  3. completed repertoire and professional experience record, obtainable at: http://music.cua.edu/graduate/doctoral.cfm.

The applicant must successfully complete the following entrance requirements:

  1. a public recital of a program selected by the D.M.A. committee from works on the applicant's repertoire and professional experience record;
  2. written placement examinations (two hours each) in (a) music history, (b) music theory.

The contents of the public recital, determined by the advisory committee from repertoire proposed by the candidate, are to be communicated to the applicant by the committee not less than 30 days in advance of the recital date. The applicant is responsible for the overall quality of the performance on this and all other recitals required for the degree. Entrance recitals and placement and entrance examinations are given during the first and second semester registration periods.

Program of Study

Based on the results of the entrance examinations, the advisory committee, in conference with the student, will arrange a program of study of 55 to 72 hours beyond the master’s degree. The courses and repertoire to be completed as part of the degree requirements will be communicated to the student in writing.

Recital Option 1 (may be given in any order):

  1. a public lecture-demonstration recital and a written document, to be approved by the advisory committee, on a topic related to piano pedagogy or performance (MUS 907 or MUS 908, 3 semester hours);
  2. a public advisory pedagogy recital of solo repertoire (MUS 907 or MUS 908, 3 semester hours);
  3. a public chamber music recital (MUS 912, 2 semester hours).

Recital Option 2 (may be given in any order):

  1. a public lecture-demonstration recital and a written document, to be approved by the advisory committee, on a topic related to piano pedagogy or performance (MUS 907 or MUS 908, 3 semester hours);
  2. two public chamber music recitals (MUS 912 and MUS 913, 2 semester hours each);
  3. a public accompanying recital of vocal repertoire (MUS 914, 1 semester hour).

Final Comprehensive Examinations (MUS 998A w/classes; MUS 998B w/o classes) (see below)

The final comprehensive examinations may be scheduled, with the approval of the advisory committee, following the completion of coursework, recitals, and the research paper. They will include written examinations in piano pedagogy and literature, a teaching demonstration and an oral examination by the advisory committee.

Minor in Latin American Music

The advisory committee, in conference with the student, will arrange a program of study of 55 to 72 semester hours beyond the master's degree, which will include at least 12 semester hours of Latin American music electives. The lecture-recital (MUS 907 or MUS 908) and written document, the research paper, and research guidance will be based on a Latin American music topic. Repertoire for applied piano instruction and recitals must include a significant proportion of Latin American music. Within the pedagogy coursework, projects may be assigned that focus on Latin American music repertoire and pedagogy.

Minor in Musicology

The advisory committee, in conference with the student, will arrange a program of study of 55 to 72 semester hours beyond the master's degree, which will include at least 12 semester hours of musicology courses beyond the minimum number of hours already required for the degree. Three of those semester hours must be Research Methodology (MUS 731), unless the student has taken a similar course for the master's degree. At the conclusion of coursework, the student will take a written, four-hour minor comprehensive examination (based on four musicology courses selected by the student).