Keyboard Studies


Welcome to the MTSU Keyboard Studies page. Our program offers a wide range of performance and study options leading to the Bachelor of Music (BM) or Masters of Music (MM) degrees in Piano. The School of Music also offers a Music Minor with a piano emphasis. Whether your passion is performing, teaching, accompanying, composing, or working in some other facet of the music industry, our program is designed to meet your needs.

Our faculty members bring a wide range of teaching, professional, and performing experience, and provide students with a great deal of individual attention throughout the course of their degree. World-renowned guest artists also visit regularly, offering performances and working with students in masterclasses. 

The MTSU School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and holds the distinction of being the first all-Steinway school in the state of Tennessee.  

Undergraduate Degrees

All undergraduate degrees are Bachelor of Music degrees with concentrations in each of the areas listed below:

  • Piano Performance
    The Piano Performance concentration is designed to provided highly talented pianists with the knowledge and training necessary for a career as a performer or teacher, or for future graduate work. Students take private lessons, accompanying, piano pedagogy, piano ensemble, piano literature, as well as other core music courses. Performance majors give junior and senior recitals and are expected to spend a large portion of their time on individual practice.
  • Music Education
    The Music Education concentration is for students who aspire to become music teachers in grades K-12. Students choose between Instrumental Music Education and Vocal/General Music Education, although piano may still be the primary instrument for either. Music Education majors start working in schools from their first freshman classes. They also participate vocal or instrumental ensembles, take private lessons, and give a half senior recital.
  • Music Theory-Composition
    The Music Theory-Composition concentration provides students with a thorough grounding in music theory and history, combined with instruction in conducting and solo, chamber, and ensemble performance. Although students take private lessons, they are not required to a give a solo piano recital. Rather, Theory-Composition students will present a recital of their own compositions during their senior year.
  • Music Industry
    The Music Industry concentration prepares students, who want to pursue music as a core career path and profession, to work in the music industry. This degree is ideal for the student who is not specifically interested in public school teaching or performance, but still wishes for music to be central to their lives and career. Core music courses and participation in ensembles are required, along with internship opportunities and courses that develop skills in orchestration and arranging. Music Industry students also take private lessons and give a half senior recital.

Graduate Degrees

 All graduate degrees are Masters of Music degrees with specializations in each of the areas listed below:  

  • Performance
    The Performance specialization is for accomplished pianists who intend to pursue careers as performers or teachers, or future doctoral work. Applicants should have a completed Bachelor's degree in music (piano) from an accredited institution whose coursework is equivalent to that of the Bachelor of Music degree at MTSU.
  • Collaborative Piano
    The Collaborative Piano specialization is for students who intend to pursue careers in vocal and/or instrumental accompanying. Students will work on a variety of pieces from the instrumental and vocal/operatic repertories, as well as gain experience in the area of vocal coaching. 

Additional Program Offerings 

  • Certificate in Piano Pedagogy
    The MTSU School of Music offers a Certificate in Piano Pedagogy, available to both degree and non-degree seeking students. Courses provide opportunities for analysis of beginning piano method books, survey of standard teaching literature, supervised teaching, observation of established local teachers, and numerous other core components of piano pedagogy. The certificate is automatically included within the Piano Performance concentration, and is particularly valuable for students wishing work as a Graduate Assistant while later pursuing a Graduate degree in music, or open their own studio as a private instructor. 
  • Collaborative Piano
    With strong programs in strings, brass, woodwinds, voice, and jazz, capable pianists are always in high demand. Students can choose to develop their collaborative playing through courses in accompanying, piano ensemble, chamber music, jazz ensembles, and participation in large ensembles such as Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. Numerous free-lance accompanying opportunities for students also exist within the School of Music and in the Murfreesboro area. 

Visiting Artists

Each year, several guest artists and clinicians visit MTSU to present concerts and work with students in masterclasses. Recent notable guest artists include Jon Nakamatsu (Gold Medal, Van Cliburn Competition), Rachel Cheung (Cliburn Competition finalist), Robert McDonald (The Juilliard School), Tali Morgulis (University of Houston), The Pridonoff Duo, Charles Asche (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Daria Rabotkina (Texas State University).


Murfreesboro is located just 30 minutes from Nashville, offering students a range of opportunities to hear concerts, visit museums, and simply enjoy all that the city has to offer. Notable performing groups in Nashville include the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Opera, the Alias Chamber Ensemble, and the Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble.


Dr. Arunesh Nadgir, Coordinator of Keyboard Studies
Phone:  (615) 898-5649

 For information on our Jazz Piano degrees, please visit the Jazz Studies page.