The UO’s keyboard area offers programs in piano performance, accompaniment and chamber music, piano pedagogy, jazz keyboard, organ, and harpsichord.
Piano students receive the highest-level professional training in an environment dedicated to personal attention. The members of the piano faculty are graduates of celebrated conservatories. UO pianists don’t have to imagine adapting their style for concert-grade instruments: students perform on nine-foot Hamburg and American Steinway concert pianos—some of the best instruments in the world—and practice on new Steinway Model A pianos.
Piano students participate in numerous competitions, are lauded with awards from festivals across the nation, and enjoy regular chances to learn from—and play for—master class visitors such as Emanuel Ax, John Perry, Nelita True, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Peter Mack, and Anne-Marie McDermott.
Weekly performance classes take place in Beall Concert Hall, renowned for its excellent acoustics, as well as for its dramatic, Baroque-style Jürgen Ahrend pipe organ.
Performers have numerous chances for solo and concerto music performances, and enjoy the opportunity to play chamber music with high-level coaching from faculty members. The UO performance experience is designed to maximize students’ abilities to achieve their pianistic, artistic, and professional goals.
Acoustic Keyboard Resources
Instruments include 130 pianos (including 7 concert grands and 46 Steinways), 5 harpsichords, 2 clavichords, 2 pipe organs, and 1 portative organ.
The school has also recently completed work on a state-of-the-art keyboard teaching lab featuring all new Roland digital keyboards. The lab features a Smart Board with internet access, large monitors displaying camera views of the instructor's hands and feet, individual monitors for each student instrument, and a headset and microphone system capable of connecting all students with the teacher, or allowing the teacher to interact with one student at a time.
Accompaniment and Chamber Music
Accompaniment and chamber music are integral parts of keyboard study at the UO, enhancing all musical skills and preparing the pianist for a broader performing and teaching career. Numerous opportunities are available for collaborative piano work, including a new yearlong accompaniment course, chamber music, opera workshop, choral groups, and studio accompaniment for instrumentalists and singers. More advanced students can apply for the UO's master's or doctoral programs in Piano Performance with emphasis in accompaniment, programs that include study of song literature, lyric diction, chamber music, and other topics related to collaborative piano performance.
Piano pedagogy is a comprehensive program that includes study of various teaching methods, learning theories, sequencing of repertoire, piano technique, performance practices, and the business of operating an independent piano studio. Students are given private, class, and group teaching experiences with many different age groups. In addition, the pedagogy program looks to the 21st century with its creative and practical applications of electronic keyboards, Disklaviers, and computers.
The UO offers jazz keyboard studies in a variety of formats. In the sophomore year, undergraduate students gain beginning jazz keyboard skills as part of the Basic Jazz Theory course. Functional Jazz Piano, a course which is designed to provide a means for obtaining a practical, working knowledge of jazz harmony at the keyboard, is offered immediately following Jazz Theory. Qualified students interested in furthering their skills can do so through private study. Outside the classroom, jazz pianists can perform in a number of different ensembles, including three 17-piece big bands, and nearly a dozen small ensembles.
Organ and Harpsichord
Organ and Harpsichord majors have several superb instruments for lessons and practice, including the Baroque style organ by German builder Jürgen Ahrend and a practice instrument by David Petty. Harpsichords include French Double by William Dowd, Flemish Double by Keith Hill, Flemish Single from a Zuckerman kit, and Italian by Owen Daly.
American Liszt Society
The University of Oregon is the host institution of the Oregon Chapter of the American Liszt Society. The chapter sponsors annual events, including student and faculty recitals, master classes, and guest artist performances. Most recently, the UO School of Music and Dance hosted the prestigious national festival of the American Liszt Society, which brought to Eugene over 70 artists, lecturers, and pedagogues from all over the world. Piano students at the UO can take advantage of this direct connection with such an important national organization and can develop a network of professional contacts throughout the United States.