Overview of Courses & Topics

Cameron Stowe & Tanya Blaich accompany a vocal quartet

About the degree program:

The MM in Collaborative Piano is a two-year program that places emphasis on both vocal and instrumental collaboration. The rigorous curriculum provides weekly private lessons and coachings with specialists in the fields of song and duo-sonata repertoire, courses on varied vocal repertoire and instrumental sonatas, classes on orchestral playing (opera and concerti), lyric diction and vocal coaching techniques. The Sonata Night and Liederabend concert series provide students with excellent public performance experiences in addition to their own degree recitals and the many other performance opportunities that they are offered during the course of their studies. Recent graduates from this program have gone on to careers as chamber musicians, vocal recital specialists, opera répétiteurs and conductors, vocal coaches, and university professors (after continued studies in the doctoral program).

Students in the GD and DMA programs are also given the opportunities to pursue both instrumental and vocal studies. However, the more flexible curriculum in these two programs allow students to specialize, placing more focus on one or the other, if they choose to do so.

The new GD program, Collaborative Piano with Vocal Specialization (Opera Emphasis), is a 2-year course of study designed to cultivate and hone the skills and techniques that a pianist needs for a career as a vocal collaborator and opera pianist. Enrolled students will have weekly studio lessons in song and opera, language and diction courses, seminars in vocal coaching, orchestral reduction and playing techniques, and hands-on experience working with the NEC Opera department.

Selected course offerings include:

Sonata Class

Sonata Coaching

Instrumental Duo Repertoire

Concerto Study: Performing Piano Reductions of Orchestral Scores

Opera Performance for Pianists
includes figured bass reading, recitative playing, orchestral reduction, score reading

Diction Studies

Song Studies for Pianists

Vocal Coaching Techniques

Piano-Vocal Repertoire
Recent semester topics have included:

  • French Vocal Repertoire
  • Songs of Schumann and Brahms
  • Late Romantic Lieder
  • American Song Repertoire
  • Songs of Debussy and Poulenc
  • Songs 1890–1910
  • Songs of Schubert and Wolf

Other piano degrees at NEC:

Learn about the Piano Performance major

Learn about the Chamber Music for Pianists program