Dr. Keith Whitmore
Assistant Professor of Music
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Piano Performance is part of the Music Division in the College of Fine Arts.
Piano study is one of the most rewarding disciplines because of the vast amount of incredible literature written for the instrument by master composers from every style period. Piano performance requires tremendous discipline and practice because of the level of artistry that must be demonstrated and the amount of music that must be performed each semester. Earning a degree in piano leaves a student with these options: prepared for further study in graduate school, qualified to teach in a private piano studio or possibly in a two-year junior/community college, and prepared to assist with music in their church.
Those students who choose piano as their principal instrument in a music education degree are qualified to teach music in public or private school systems, using their piano skills with their classes.
Those students who choose piano as their principal instrument in a church music degree are prepared to lead worship, using the piano for rehearsal and service playing.
My degree options:
Students may also choose to emphasize piano study with the Vocal Music Education Major, receiving the B.M.E. Degree; with the Church Music Major, receiving the B.M.C.M. Degree; and with a Major in Musical Arts and a Minor in an area outside of music, receiving the B.M.A. Degree.
What makes an OBU Piano Performance degree special?
Because OBU’s Music Division is accredited nationally by the National Association of Schools of Music, our piano degrees are not that different from other accredited music departments and schools around this region and the country. What makes us unique is the piano faculty and the personal attention and quality instruction that we give each of our students.
What are OBU grads doing with their Piano Performance degrees?
The Piano Performance Degree and Piano Performance with Pedagogy Emphasis Degree prepare students for graduate school or to set up a private piano studio. We have had students accepted to graduate schools such as Rider University, Eastman School of Music, Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, The University of Oklahoma, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, and Indiana University. One student is completing his Doctorate in Performance from Eastman and is teaching at the University of Northern Colorado. Two of our former students married after graduate school and have a thriving, large piano studio in the Tulsa area. Another is completing a music missionary assignment in Venezuela after earning her Master’s Degree. A Vocal Music Education with piano emphasis major is teaching music in the Edmond Public School System.
What courses can I take?
Along with private piano study, the most “cool” class, students in our degrees can take Piano Pedagogy which gives them experience with teaching students in OBU’s Preparatory Department. Piano Ensemble and Chamber Music classes give students an opportunity to perform in collaboration with other students.
What do OBU Piano Performance faculty specialize in?
A great opportunity for our piano students is the chance to perform on the annual Concerto-Aria Concert that occurs each February. Through a rigorous audition process, students are chosen to perform a concerto movement with full orchestra. Study and performance from this genre adds another dimension to the students musical experience at OBU.