The St. Olaf College Music Department provides aspiring musicians with a variety of training and performing opportunities that prepare them for the challenges of this rich artistic pursuit.
Each semester, approximately 120 St. Olaf students take private lessons from one of the six professional piano faculty. Both classical and jazz piano are offered. Instruction in piano for music majors and non-music majors is offered in private weekly half-hour or hour lessons.1
Piano students have the opportunity to perform as soloists in solo recitals, group recitals, the St. Olaf Piano Forums, and studio classes. Pianists interested in collaborative performance have many opportunities to perform with instrumentalists and vocalists in recitals and juries. Every second year a group of student pianists are selected for a weeklong performance tour. Recent tours went to Texas and Washington State and Indiana and Michigan. In addition, the large ensembles (orchestras, bands, choirs) frequently perform repertoire on campus or on tours, which requires a pianist. The large ensembles frequently feature student soloists on concert programs, tour programs and in the St. Olaf Orchestra’s annual Senior Soloists concert in May.
St. Olaf also offers course in collaborative piano, and piano literature and pedagogy, which focus on methods of teaching and include opportunities to teach. The January Interim term and the programs of independent study and research, and collaborative undergraduate research provide opportunities to create projects that fulfill individual needs and interest. Music majors may elect an interim or semester abroad; offerings include programs in Milan, Vienna or Copenhagen specifically designed for music majors.