Are you interested in continuing your studies in piano but not sure what path to take? Samford’s Division of Music provides multiple ways to pursue your passion with degree options in piano performance, pedagogy, music education in vocal or instrumental, pre-med, composition, music and music and worship.
Students study with experienced and diverse faculty, perform individually as well as with chamber and large ensembles, and gain exposure to international concert artists. Instruction occurs through individual private training, master classes, seminars, workshops, teaching practicums, and observations. Our unique Catalyst program allows students to collaborate across disciplines and engage in senior projects that provide professional-level experiences while at Samford. Additionally, Samford students can take piano lessons as part of a minor in music or as a secondary area to other concentrations.
What Will I Study?
We prepare our graduates for careers in performing, teaching, and church ministry. Students in our B.S. program move on towards medical degrees but become enthusiasts of the arts and stay connected with musical endeavors.
In addition to numerous performance opportunities, students work with local churches and/or teach pre-college students at the Academy of the Arts or in private studios. There are opportunities to attend conferences, perform with a cross section of ensembles, and travel and participate in a variety of organizations including the MTNA, AMEA and AMTA.
Studying music at Samford was a life-changing experience. Having close access to personable, highly acclaimed faculty enabled me to grow into a strong and confident musician. The Division of Music provided me not only with solid performance-based skills, but also with more than adequate academic training in music history, theory, literature, technology, etc. As a result of my time spent there, I have been able to continue my dreams of studying at the graduate level, and working professionally as a teacher.--Katherine Lynn Vest '15, Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Samford
Doctoral Candidate, University of Colorado-Boulder
The School of the Arts Catalyst curriculum enhances professional development through core classes and experiences. Students in their senior year undertake a capstone project that challenges them to apply their talents and skillsets in a real world application. Piano students can elect to combine the Catalyst project and their senior recital or develop a custom project. For example, 2021 seniors Eden Walker and Kevin James plan to record a multi-genre worship recording as their Catalyst project. The students are not only recording the album but also raising funds to underwrite the cost.
Performance Opportunities & Venues
At Samford, we value student performance opportunities and help students promote themselves as performers and teachers.
Elite 88 Piano Concert
Samford piano students performed on 10 of the world’s best pianos all on one stage in our Elite 88 Piano Concert. This event launched the initiative to invest in our piano inventory and provide our students with the highest quality instruments for instruction and performance.
Piano students perform in a variety of ensembles including the Jazz Band, Orchestra, chamber ensembles, worship arts ensemble, and campus worship teams. These groups also serve to provide live music for music theatre and opera productions. 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, including incoming freshmen piano majors, are encouraged to participate in Samford’s annual Morris and Miller/Shepherd Piano Festival and Competition as well as in the annual concerto competition.
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.
2021-22 guest artists and clinicians include:
- Misha Dichter, Davis Architects Series Guest Artist
- Brian Nabors, Davis Artist in Residence
- Joseph Kingma
- Elizabeth Leddy Ochoa
- Kenny Broberg
- Alex Wasserman
- Benjamin Warsaw
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 as well as Nord stage pianos. Graduates are prepared for careers as performing artists, pedagogues, church musicians, and/or advanced degree programs.