The Master of Music degree in Piano Performance & Pedagogy prepares rising artist/teachers to be professional performers, scholarly musicians, and inspirational teachers. Emphasis is placed on cultivating musical artistry and pedagogical professionalism, together with developing one’s research skills. The degree requires two recitals and an oral comprehensive examination.

Students study with experienced and diverse faculty, perform individually as well as with chamber and large ensembles, and gain exposure to international concert artists and pedagogues. Instruction occurs through individual private training, master classes, seminars, workshops, and a 60-hour teaching internship. Students have opportunities to present research at local & national conferences, serve in leadership roles, and mentor undergraduate students through structured coaching/masterclass settings.

Audition Expectations

  • Solo piano performance (memorized) of at least 30 minutes in duration. Should include literature from at least three contrasting style-periods;
  • Sight reading as provided at the audition;
  • Interview to discuss educational & professional goals.

Objectives and Curriculum

Performance Opportunities & Venues

Chamber Ensembles

Pianists perform in a variety of ensembles including the Jazz Band, Orchestra, and small chamber ensembles. Not only do these ensembles perform on campus but also offer opportunities to travel both nationally and abroad.


Students are prepared to compete in local, regional, and national piano competitions and festivals. Additionally, students have access to participate in Samford’s annual Morris Piano Competition and Festival as well as in the concerto competition.

Piano Recital

Guest Artist and Masterclasses

Samford invites concert artists to interact with students, providing essential networking experience with industry professionals. Over the years, Samford has hosted some of the world’s best artists including Leon Fleisher, Jon Nakamatsu, Vadym Kholodenko, Jeremy Denk, Robert Plano, Gabriela Montero, and Marina Lomazov.

2020-21 guest artists and clinicians include:

  • Misha Dichter
  • Brian Nabors
  • Kaju Lee
  • Karen Taylor

Performance Venues

Piano students have access to a variety of instruments and performance locations on campus. Students enjoy applied lessons in large studios equipped with two grand pianos. Additionally, Brock Recital Hall, Bolding Studio, Reid Chapel, and the Wright Center for Performing Arts all have concert grands and are renowned for their aesthetics and superior acoustics. Students also have access to practice and perform on an Italian modeled two-manual harpsichord. Graduates are prepared for careers as performing artists, pedagogues, church musicians, and/or advanced degree programs.

Learn more about our performance venues.

Piano Faculty

At Samford, you will study with a variety of full-time faculty along with guest artists and visiting professors.

Cindy St. Clair, DMA, NCTM
Beth McGinnis, PhD
Brian Nabors, DMA
Fred Teardo, DMA
Jason Terry, DMA