Piano Performance, B.Mus.

Program Overview

Do you love the feeling of performing music for others? Are you excited about the idea of elevating your performance skills? If so, a degree in piano performance may be perfect for you.

PLNU's piano performance program is built on a foundation that ensures you will become well versed in written theory, aural skills, and music history, but also offers a specialized curriculum to help you develop expert-level applied music skills in your primary performance area. Your degree will culminate during your junior and senior year recitals.

Pianists in the Department of Music enjoy a highly collaborative environment where they can accompany choirs and worship bands, play preludes and postludes in a church setting, and even team up with instrumentalists and vocalists. Many piano performance majors also pursue a dual major in another discipline.

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Student Profile

James Bishop

I don’t know why or how the notes came when they did, but it happened at 2 a.m. I’d been frustrated and perplexed for hours, clunking out good but unsatisfying notes, melodies, chords, and themes that felt more forgettable to me than worthwhile.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

With a degree from PLNU’s music program, you will be well prepared to pursue both graduate studies and an array of career options that will allow you to live out your passion for music while making a lasting impact in the lives of those who hear it.

A Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance can lead to careers such as:

  • Collaborative pianist
  • Private music instructor
  • Score coordinator
  • Music curator
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Music teacher
  • Instrumentalist
  • Conductor
  • Pianist
  • Music therapist
  • Music producer
  • Music publisher
  • Music editor

What do music jobs look like post-graduation?

Jobs in the music industry will remain steady, but competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 1% from 2019 to 2029. However, with the knowledge you’ll gain from your music studies, you’ll be prepared for many jobs within the music industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029.

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Student Profile

Jarel Paguio

While at PLNU, Jarel Paguio learned what it means to be a great musician — and much more. Today he teaches private music lessons that are attuned to the unique needs and talents of each student, a relational perspective he gained from a much-loved music professor and mentor.

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What can I do with a degree in piano performance?

If you are passionate about music and ready to dedicate your life to it, once you graduate PLNU with a piano performance degree, you will be prepared to seek out a musically centered career that suits you, your interests, and specializations.

The following are examples of positions people with degrees in piano performance may hold: 

Music Teachers

2020 Median annual salary $47,997

Music teachers have a wide array of workplace opportunities such as: schools, community centers, music shops, and public institutions, like hospitals and prisons. Also, music teachers often do freelance work for a more flexible schedule. Music teachers' primary responsibilities are to teach people how to read music, understand music theory, and to recognize scales and musical techniques. Music teachers may also help prepare clients for music examinations, auditions, and live performances. 

Music Therapists

2020 Median annual salary $56,836 

Music therapists have a varied set of employment options that provides them with a variety of  different patients or clients in settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health service locations, and nursing homes. A music therapist's primary job is to use and play music in order to help patients to cope with and better understand preexisting mental and physical problems. They evaluate each client’s needs and also get to know their musical preferences.

What it takes to be a music therapist: 

  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Unconditional positive regard
  • Patience
  • Sense of humor
  • Ability to cope with strong emotions
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of children's behavior

Piano Technicians 

2020 Median annual salary $36,712

Piano technicians tune, repair, and may build vertical or grand pianos. They are knowledgeable about specialized tools and instruments and must be up to date with professional standards and procedures. Piano technicians also sometimes give lectures to classes or individuals about how to tune pianos and piano technology.

Alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as piano performance students at PLNU: 

  • Music Theory
  • Chamber Music
  • Choral Conducting
  • Choral Music
  • Composition

What are PLNU Department of Music alumni doing now?

Many PLNU students have successfully completed graduate school. Many are now successful teachers, and some are university professors. Some music department alumni have gone on to be performing artists, such as Jarel Paguio, who also works as a piano technician and educator. 

Piano performance as a lifelong skill

As American musician Tom Lehrer once said, “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” By studying piano performance at PLNU, you will not only learn to improve your piano playing, but will also work to develop a deeper understanding for music itself and the way it constantly intertwines with life and Christ.  

Start off on a strong note, and apply to PLNU today. To learn more, get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.

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