Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Piano Performance & Pedagogy

Is the KU DMA in Performance and Pedagogy right for you?

The KU DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy is designed for students who wish to combine their love of piano with the study of essential principles of learning and practice. 

KU DMA graduates:

  • Teach in leading conservatories and universities in the US and abroad
  • Lead their own schools of music and private studios
  • Publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • Present at leading conferences around the world 

The KU DMA creates opportunities to deepen knowledge and experience, building skills for professional success in today’s evolving world.


Courses of study are individually designed to combine practical experience with research-based knowledge in a learner-centered pedagogy.The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Piano Performance & Pedagogy requires a minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, distributed into the categories listed below. Selections must be approved by your doctoral committee.

A list of all course offerings can be found on the Schedule of Classes. To see a list of required courses and track progress, please download the degree progress check-sheet (.pdf).

Pedagogy Course Information


PIAN 840

Advanced Piano Pedagogy I

  • Nature of talent
  • Best research-based teaching practices
  • Backwards design and educational scaffolding
  • Teaching group piano
  • Audiation

PIAN 846

Advanced Piano Pedagogy II

  • Motivation
  • Fundamentals  of healthy movement at the piano
  • Practice
  • Special topics

PIAN 850/856

Advanced Piano Pedagogy III

Topics TBA

PIAN 940

Special Projects in Piano Pedagogy

In-depth study of a student-selected topic in piano pedagogy

PIAN 921 (6 credits total)

Seminar in Performance and Pedagogy

Each semester focuses on piano masterworks from a different style period

MEMT 915

Teaching Music in Higher Education

Aspects of teaching at a university or conservatory.

Directed Performance 

MUSC 961

Private piano  lessons

Study of advanced-level repertoire and technic

PIAN 965 


  • Solo recital (1 credits)
  • Solo, chamber, or concerto recital, or any combination thereof (1 credits)
  • Pedagogy-Focus recital, faculty-approved topic of student’s choice (3 credit)

Sample topics for Pedagogy-Focus recital could include a lecture-recital; distance learning project, pedagogy-focused website; or an educational publication, among other choices.