Ph. D. Piano Pedagogy - How to Apply

All materials must be submitted by January 15 for priority consideration.


Students who are fully admissible will meet the following criteria:

  1. Previous Degree(s) in Music, Music Education, Piano Performance, or Piano Pedagogy (typically with a master’s degree or emphasis in piano pedagogy and/or piano performance), and a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale for any previous graduate work is expected.
  2. GRE scores (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing; not more than 5 years old; no specific minimum score required)
    and for international students, a paper TOEFL of 600 or an internet TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0
  3. Fit between the applicant's goals/interests and the department's ability to address those goals/interests.
  4. Evidence of writing abilities.
  5. Evidence of piano performance
  6. Evidence of teaching skills.

No one criterion is more important than another. The application file is reviewed as a total package. 



Complete the following 7-step application process:

Apply to the UNL Graduate College at:
  1. Complete UNL Graduate College application form (and $50 application fee) available on-line at
  2.  Include one unofficial copy of transcripts of all undergraduate work and all previous graduate work (including all studies for which credit was granted; e.g. summer institutes such as Aspen or Interlochen)
  3. Request GRE scores (& TOEFL scores, if applicable) be sent to the UNL Graduate College. (UNL Graduate Studies | 1100 Seaton Hall | Lincoln, NE 68588-0619 | 402-472-2875)
Apply to the Glenn Korff School of Music through G.A.M.E.S. application at:
  1. A minimum of three letters of recommendation (requests sent via email addresses in the G.A.M.E.S.process)
  2. Upload required video screening materials of playing and teaching using Slideroom (details below)
  3. Submit required application portfolio materials (details below)
  4. Schedule an interview/audition (details below), selecting date within G.A.M.E.S.


Required Video Screening Materials (Item 5 above):

All video material is uploaded to a website called Slideroom that you will be directed to inside G.A.M.E.S. when you start your application. There is a fee of $6 to upload your files.

  • Video screening of your playing:  3 contrasting piano pieces.
  • Video screening of your teaching: 15 minutes maximum, edited to highlight your excellence in piano teaching. It is preferable that you present a combination of private and group teaching, and that you include some presentation of new materials or skills to students.

NOTE ABOUT VIDEO FILE SUBMISSIONS: The maximum file size of a single video is 120Mb. You should split larger video submissions into pieces that are logical and under the file-size limit.


Required Application Portfolio Materials (Submitted on G.A.M.E.S) (Item 6 above):  

  • Cover letter of application
  • Statement of purpose (500-700 words; Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). Statement should be written by the applicant describing his/her future goals and how earning the Ph.D can help attain those goals.
  • Vitae/resume (should include detailed description of previous teaching)
  • Writing Sample (minimum 10 pages): academic paper, thesis, journal article, or grant proposal. This sample should demonstrate appropriate scholarly attribution using an accepted citation style. Applicants' essays will be subjected to random plagiarism software checks. Any evidence of plagiarism will result in the candidate's application portfolio being withdrawn from further consideration.

Specific Audition Requirements (Item 7 above):

Audition should be a minimum of 30 minutes in length and consist of 3 contrasting pieces from the standard piano repertoire performed by memory. Live audition is preferred. Applicants may be asked to complete an interview in person, by phone, or by video conference.