Oberlin Offers MFA in Piano Technology

Two-year graduate program prepares students for careers that blend artistry and technology, with no prior musical training necessary.

July 11, 2023

Communications Staff

Piano technology students works on an instrument in the shop.
Piano technology students works on an instrument in the shop.
Photo credit: Julie Gulenko

Since its inception in 2014, Oberlin Conservatory’s graduate-level program in piano technology has emerged as a world leader in training students for careers in advanced piano technology.

Beginning this year, graduates of the two-year program will earn a Master of Fine Arts in Piano Technology. The new degree replaces the Artist Diploma, which is typically conferred only in conservatory settings.

Developed in conjunction with Steinway & Sons, Oberlin’s piano technology program encompasses maintenance and rebuilding as well as preparation of instruments for performance and the subtle dynamics at play when translating a concert artist's concept of how the instrument should respond to them. Since the program’s founding, graduates have secured prized positions with performing arts organizations and educational institutions across America and throughout the world.

“You don’t need to be a high-level musician to excel in this program,” says John Cavanaugh, executive director of piano technology and one of two principal mentors. “We welcome students who don’t necessarily have an extensive background in music: those whose undergraduate degrees may be in engineering, math, science, or even something else. We’re interested in helping students who have an interest in learning how artistry meets technology to put all of these different backgrounds together.”

The application for fall 2024 entry will become available in September. Learn more on the piano technology page of oberlin.edu.

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