» MM in Keyboard Collaborative Arts

Close-up photo of collaborative pianistThe College of Performing Arts at Chapman University is pleased to present its first graduate program in music, the Master of Music (M.M.) in Keyboard Collaborative Arts degree program, under the direction of Dr. Louise Thomas.

The overarching goal of this Master’s degree program is to prepare graduate pianists for a successful career as collaborative artists who can work together effectively and professionally with vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers and actors, as well as with choral, opera and orchestral directors. Partnerships with the Dance and Theatre programs will provide pianists with opportunities to interact with internationally renowned faculty and to develop diverse skill sets before engaging in the professional world.

This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

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Application Requirements

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

All students applying to the Keyboard Collaborative Arts degree program must complete the online application and submit all required application materials, including the Creative Supplements.

Submit official transcripts by mail to:
Office of Graduate Admission
Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866

If your previous institution only uploads transcripts online, please send transcripts to gradadmit@chapman.edu.

  • Resumé - Please include a complete resumé of your academic and professional accomplishments to date.
  • Statement of Intent - Submit an essay stating your reasons for wishing to attend Chapman University and the Keyboard Collaborative Arts degree program. Discuss your career and personal goals and how you believe achieving this particular degree at Chapman University will assist you in attaining your goals.
  • Letters of Recommendation - Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required from individuals familiar with your academic or professional abilities.

Note: GRE scores are not required for the MM in KCA program.

Creative Supplement Requirements

Your uploaded audio-visual recording should include the following:

  • one movement of a Classical Sonata (solo);
  • one selection from the Romantic or Contemporary period;
  • one art-song, any language or period (with vocalist); and,
  • one movement of an instrumental sonata (with instrumentalist).

Note: All recordings should be no more than 30 minutes in length. Supplemental materials will not be accepted via mail or email for this degree program.

If you pass the Keyboard Collaborative Arts prescreen round, you will be notified by email with an in-person audition day/time. Graduate assistantships will be offered on a competitive basis.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate technical mastery of the collaborative repertoire, including vocal and instrumental literature.
  • Demonstrate artistic and interpretive ability.
  • Apply knowledge gained in the classroom in supervised practical settings such as ensembles and classes.
  • Apply research methods and write focused, cogent papers in clear, grammatical prose.
  • Recognize and explain theoretical concepts in the common practice period and in contemporary music.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Music in Keyboard Collaborative Arts degree program is a two-year, four-semester cohort model. There are 32 credits required to complete this degree program. Almost half of the credits are in individual KCA instruction and KCA-related classes. The remaining credits involve academic coursework.

The curriculum offered is as follows:

  • Individual Instruction in KCA Studies (8 credits)
  • Practicum in KCA Pedagogy (2 credits)
  • Opera Coaching (2 credits)
  • Song Interpretation (1 credit)
  • Chamber Music (2 credits)
  • Research Methods in Music for Performers (3 credits)
  • Advanced Baroque Music History and Literature (3 credits)
  • Advanced Studies in Form and Harmonic Analysis (3 credits)
  • Seminar: Advanced Topics in Music History/Theory (2 credits)
  • Electives (6 credits)

The degree program is intended to immerse the student in pre-professional collaborative piano activity (ensembles, classes, lessons) in preparation
for a career in music. Students in the program are expected to spend significant time honing their performance skills and absorbing the collaborative piano repertoire.


Thumbnail for Louise ThomasPianist Louise Thomas is the Associate Dean of the College of Performing Arts and Director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts at Chapman University. She received her doctorate in piano performance from the University of Southern California. A native of Ireland, Dr. Thomas attended Trinity College, Dublin and later, the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, on a German Government Scholarship. She concertizes regularly in collaborative settings, both in the US and internationally, and has made appearances in venues such as Weill Hall in NYC, Tchaikovsky Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.

Contact Us

Dr. Louise Thomas
Director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts
(714) 744-7066

Graduate Admission Office
(714) 997-6711