Dual Degree: Piano + Collaborative Piano

A pianist and singer perform together.

NEC is pleased to welcome applicants for our new dual degree program for pianists—the first of its kind in the United States. In this new 5-year program, students will earn a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano. This unique and individualized curriculum is designed for a select group of talented pianists who seek the opportunity to explore both solo piano and the art of collaboration in a focused program.

About the Curriculum

During the first three years of the program, students fulfill the normal requirements of the Bachelor’s Piano curriculum. Beginning in the second year, students earn credits for liberal arts and free electives in classes required of the Master’s Collaborative Piano curriculum. In the third year, students will receive both weekly piano lessons and bi-weekly collaborative piano lessons. This program provides early collaborative instruction and experience over four years in order to build a deeper and well-balanced piano-instrumental and piano-vocal repertoire.

Pei-Shan Lee points toward the music for a pianist. The scroll of a cello can be seen in the foreground.

Students will perform a piano promotional at the end of the first three years to assess continued progress. An additional collaborative piano promotional is required at the end of the third year and simultaneously confirms the student’s readiness for the Master of Music in Collaborative Piano. Upon completion of the fifth year of study, students will receive both a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano.

How to Apply

First year applicants should prepare the usual undergraduate audition repertoire as listed for piano majors and indicate their interest in the 5-year program at the time of application. A recording of at least 10 minutes of collaborative playing should also be included in the prescreening round—for example, chamber music, sonata with an instrumentalist, or songs with a vocalist. Incoming first year undergraduate piano majors interested in the program are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor during Orientation week. 

It is also possible for students already enrolled at NEC to consider this program. These students should consult with their academic advisor during their first year, and schedule an audition time with the Collaborative Piano department. ​​​More specific audition requirements will become available this summer.

Learn More and Apply