Liberal Arts Colleges with Very Strong Piano Programs

<p>Hello, </p>

<p>I am a junior in high school. I am a Juilliard-caliber pianist with strong grades looking for names of various liberal arts colleges with a strong piano programs. I have heard great things about the music program at Bard and Oberlin but am curious to what other liberal arts colleges are out there. I have also looked into things like the Juilliard/Columbia exchange but I don't really want to go to an Ivy, and I would prefer going to one liberal arts college as opposed to exchanging between two schools. Oh and aside from piano, I plan on majoring in Philosophy and Religious Studies. </p>

<p>Thanks,
Prestofaust</p>

<p>Williams. Not a conservatory but excellent music (including piano) department and many performance opportunities, even for non-majors. Strong philosophy and religion offerings. Double or even triple, majoring common.</p>

<p>Also Smith, if you are female.</p>

<p>Bennington College (VT)
Skidmore College (NY)
Wheaton College (MA)
Connecticut College (CT) </p>

<p>University of Rochester (Eastman) not LAC</p>

<p>While I really can’t speak to the quality of the program, Grinnell College has a very large music faculty, considering the size of the school. It offers extensive options for private instruction, and it also has a Mentored Advanced Project, which can be done in any major. </p>

<p><a href=“http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/dean/MAP[/url]”>http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/dean/MAP</a>
Here’s a link to the bio of a faculty member. He looks pretty impressive to me!</p>

<p>[Eugene</a> Gaub - Music | Grinnell College](<a href=“http://www.grinnell.edu/academic/music/faculty/egaub]Eugene”>http://www.grinnell.edu/academic/music/faculty/egaub)</p>

<p>Grinnell also brings great musicians on campus. They had booked Esperanza Spalding, eg., before she won renown in the Grammys that year. They also have free tickets for the HD viewing of the Metropolitan Opera on campus. Emily Bergl, an alum, garnered rave reviews for her cabaret stint recently in New York City.</p>

<p>Just to show you that even in the cornfields of Iowa there is some pretty impressive attention being paid to music…</p>

<p>As a caveat, most of us aren’t professional pianists and don’t know where the best programs are. Williams and Grinnell served the children of momrath and SDonCC well, and they are excellent colleges, but you need to see if they’re a fit with your interests and abilities – a college may well offer a great music program in general but not be suited for a high caliber musician.* You might be better off asking this in the music forum or searching for past threads about piano programs.</p>

<p>[Music</a> Major - College Confidential](<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/]Music”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/)</p>

<p>My own knowledge of music programs is very limited, but both Oberlin and Lawrence offer music conservatories and may be worth a look. From what I’ve heard, St. Olaf also has a strong tradition in music. Among small(ish) universities, there’s Rice and Johns Hopkins, the latter of which does not have a religion major. The combined Tufts/NEC program may also interest you.</p>

<p>*Not to single anyone out…this warning obviously also applies to SLUMOM’s suggestions, my suggestions, and the suggestions of anyone else not intimately familiar with college piano programs.</p>

<p>I am impressed with your footnote capabilities, warblersrule! I have never seen anyone do that on CC before.</p>

<p>Thank you very much everyone for your replies. I will definitely look into all those liberal arts colleges and will post this thread again as well in the Music Major section, which I didn’t know existed. :slight_smile: </p>

<p>Thanks again,
Prestofaust</p>

<p>PS. I am a female and wouldn’t mind an all-female college either.</p>

<p>Connecticut College has free music lessons (kind of funny to say that after what you pay them, overall) [Connecticut</a> College: Music](<a href=“http://music.conncoll.edu/]Connecticut”>http://music.conncoll.edu/)</p>

<p>And for pianists, they’re going to be an all Steinway school: </p>

<p>[Connecticut</a> College: Connecticut College News](<a href=“http://www.conncoll.edu/news/7929.cfm?var1=0]Connecticut”>http://www.conncoll.edu/news/7929.cfm?var1=0)</p>

<p>My son graduated from college in 2011 and was looking for the same thing as you, a LAC with strong piano faculty where he could double major in music and philosophy. He applied to Vassar, Haverford, Wesleyan, Oberlin, Pomona, Brandeis, Bard, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill (not all LACS obviously), and took a piano lesson at almost all of the schools. He liked all the piano teachers. </p>

<p>We were looking specifically for tenure-track pianists, or pianists who were not on the tenure track but were close to full-time and had a presence on campus, as opposed to teachers who only came in once a week.</p>

<p>He ended up going to Wesleyan and was very happy there. Although it’s not a conservatory-level music program by any means, he had a very good and dedicated piano teacher (and took excellent courses in music history, theory, world music, and played a lot of chamber music). He is now in graduate school in piano performance, having gotten some very strong offers coming out of Wesleyan.</p>