Ph. D. Piano Pedagogy - How to Apply

All materials must be submitted by December 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. 



Begin by applying online at

  1. Create an account.
  2. Complete your application.
  • You will be asked to upload scanned copies of your transcripts showing all postsecondary coursework completed, including all studies for which credit was granted (e.g. summer institutes such as Aspen or Interlochen). Further information can be found at We require: MM GPA = 3.50/4.00 scale.
  • Students whose native language is not English or who have not previously earned a degree from an institution at which English is the official medium of instruction must enter their TOEFL or IELTS score and upload a copy of their score report. Official scores should be sent directly to UNL. Further information can be found at We require: TOEFL iBT 100 or IELTS 7.0 overall band score.
  • You will need to provide contact information, including an email address, for each person from whom you wish a reference. For each recommender, click the Submit Recommendation Request button to send a letter request to your reference writer. A minimum of three letters of recommendation is required; four recommendation letters are recommended.
  • You will need to submit any “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirement” marked with an asterisks below as part of the initial application process.
  1. Submit your application and pay the application fee of $50 ($25 if you are currently an active student at UNL). After you’ve clicked “Submit,” validated your information, and paid the application fee, you’ll receive a confirmation email indicating that the application was successfully submitted, and providing you with a link to the "2021 Graduate Audition/Creative Materials & GA Information Form” to submit information regarding graduate assistant preferences.
  2. Submit required “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirements” (see below) marked with a bullet (•) via SlideRoom, a resource manager of The Common Application. A SlideRoom account can be created by going to and clicking on “Apply Now.” Once the account has been created, scroll down on this page and select “GKSOM-Priority GA Graduate Application Material Submission (2022).”

    The requirements for the audition appear after the heading "NOTE" below.

Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials Requirements:

* Cover letter of Application

* Vitae/Resume (should include detailed description of previous teaching)

* 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 the PhD can help attain those goals. (This statement will help the Committee evaluation the fit between the applicant’s goals/interests and the School’s ability to address those goals/interests.)

* 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.

• Video 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: To assist candidates in achieving success in the required audition, the following requirements have been set by the area: a minimum of 30 minutes in length and consist of 3 contrasting pieces from the standard piano repertoire performed by memory.