• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

MM Piano

The Piano Department at California State University, Northridge offers the opportunity to study the art of classical Piano Performance at the graduate level. Students in Piano Performance continue their studies in Music History and Theory. Area classes include classes in Pedagogy. Literature and Chamber Music as well as private lessons. The culminating experience in Piano Performance is the performance of a public recital and a concerto as well as the preparation of an abstract.


  • Potential graduate students should have completed an undergraduate degree in music or its equivalent.
  • Play an audition consisting of the following repertoire (repertoire forms and dates are on the website):
    A. One Baroque work, comparable to a Bach Toccata, Suite or Partita.
    B. One complete classical sonata.
    C. One major Romantic/ Post-Romantic or Twentieth Century work.
    D. One virtuoso etude
  • Provide recital programs and repertoire lists for the audition personnel.
  • Undergo an interview to be conducted at the time of the audition regarding career objectives.
  • Submit academic transcripts to CSUN Admissions and Records
  • Send to the Keyboard Area chair a brief statement discussing background and goals, and three letters of recommendation.
  • Those students unable to be present for their live incoming graduate auditions may submit a DVD of their performance in lieu of a live audition.

Incoming Graduate Auditions are held three times a year: once in the Fall Semester and twice in the Spring Semester. After the admission into the program, further placement tests are required in the areas of music theory/analysis and music history.

Following the evaluation of all these documents and tests, the area coordinator in consultation with the graduate advisor may recommend remedial coursework in areas such as musicianship, music history, or analysis. Credit toward the degree is not permitted, as these remedial courses carry a lower level catalog number. In some cases, it will be possible to count 400 level courses as electives, if needed. Occasionally, incoming graduate students in piano performance will be required to schedule a senior recital, if such a recital was not mandatory during the undergraduate studies. A senior recital would occur if the undergraduate degree is in another field.

All graduate students at California State University, Northridge are required to pass a Writing Proficiency Examination. This test is required of graduate students entering CSUN to attain classified status (unless they have passed it previously as undergraduates at CSUN or another CSU campus). Graduate students are expected to satisfy the Writing Proficiency requirement during the first semester of classes or before the first 12 units are completed.

Graduate students in piano performance are required to present a 60-minute solo recital, a concerto performance and write an abstract. Before scheduling the solo and concerto recitals, the student is required to pass a jury in front of their graduate committee.

Advisor Contact