Music Theory and Aural Skills Requirement
Students are expected to register for Music Theory and Aural Skills courses each semester until they have completed the requirements. Part or all of these requirements may be waived by placement examination when the student enters Oberlin.
Music Theory I-IV and Aural Skills I-IV must be taken concurrently, e.g., a student will register for Music Theory I (MUTH 130 or 131) and Aural Skills I in the same semester. Under certain circumstances, with the permission of the appropriate division director and the Music Theory division director, students will be allowed to take Aural Skills IV and Music Theory IV separately. A student’s aural skills requirement must be completed before the senior recital can be scheduled. Double-degree students will resolve any conflicts with these expectations in consultation with their advisors.
A student should select electives based on the following: a minimum of 76 hours of Conservatory coursework is required; a minimum of 24 hours of liberal arts is required.
The First Private Study Committee Examination
This examination will consist of approximately eight minutes of solo music, prepared with the major teacher, to be performed from memory for a faculty jury composed of the entire piano department, at the end of the freshman year. Transfer students with two or more semesters of piano credit will not be required to take this examination. This examination will not be graded and is advisory in nature. Comments will be offered by the jury.
The Second Private Study Committee Examination
This examination will consist of 25
minutes of solo music, of which 12 minutes will be heard.
Repertoire must include a minimum of two contrasting styles and include
at least one work written before 1900. This
repertoire is to be prepared with the major teacher, and is to be
performed from memory for a
faculty jury composed of the entire piano department, at the end of the
sophomore year, or at the
end of the fourth semester of study. It is graded pass/fail and must be
passed by a majority of the
jury in order for the student to continue as a piano performance major.
Comments will be offered
by the jury. A failed sophomore committee may be taken a second time in
the first two weeks of
the following semester. At least one work must be new repertoire.
The Third Private Study Committee Examination
This examination will consist of one piece chosen by the student from three selected by the faculty and announced two weeks before the examination date. This examination will take place at the end of the first semester of the junior year, or at the end of the fifth semester of study. This music will be self-prepared, without help from the teacher or others, and will be memorized. This examination will be graded, and comments will be offered by the jury, which will consist of the entire piano faculty. Students who do not receive an average grade of B– or better will be required to repeat the Committee.
The Junior Recital
Two performances on a divisional or public studio recital, or on an honors recital are required before the junior recital. This will consist of solo works performed from memory. The maximum length shall be 35 minutes. Minimum length shall be 25 minutes.
The Senior Recital
This will consist of at least 50 minutes of solo repertoire performed from memory. In addition chamber works or concertos can be scheduled. A balance of repertoire is expected. Unusual or esoteric programs must be submitted to the piano department for approval. Students are required to play a pre-recital hearing (20 minutes) a minimum of two weeks before their senior recital. The senior recital may be performed during the first or second semester, or during Winter Term.
Expository Writing Proficiency
Students with an SAT verbal score below 580 or an ACT score below 24, or a TOEFL score below 600 must complete one course chosen from RHET 101 or 102.
The following courses are available to piano majors and to other qualified keyboard players interested in accompanying:
APST 112, 113 - Keyboard Accompanying (four credits in Keyboard Accompanying are required of piano performance majors—one in voice, two in instrumental, and one free choice)
APST 204 - Interpretation of Art Song (for pianists of any class who are accompanying a senior or artist diploma recital—may substitute for one of the four required Keyboard Accompanying credits)
MLIT 220 - The Lied (a performance-oriented course in German Art Song)
MLIT 221 - The Mélodie (a performance-oriented course in French Art Song)
APST 112, 113 - Keyboard Accompanying
APST 204 - Interpretation of Art Song
For a description of the major and minor in harpsichord and the minor in fortepiano, see the Historical Performance Program.