Program Overview

Piano and Vocal Accompanying

We offer coursework in piano and vocal accompanying as a double major for students with strong keyboard skills. You’ll have access to outstanding facilities and Steinways, master classes, individualized instruction and coaching, and opportunities to prepare and offer piano accompaniment for student recitals, theater and opera productions, and vocal ensembles.

conservatory student accompanist playing with a vocalist
Conservatory students and guest musicians often serve as piano accompanists during student recitals for vocal performance majors.
Photo credit: Scott Shaw

Program Facts

Program Director

Alvin Chow,
Professor of Piano

pianist Sullivan Fortner ’08 accompanies vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant during a performance in Finney Chapel.
Jazz composer and pianist Sullivan Fortner ’08 accompanies vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant during a performance in Finney Chapel.
Photo credit: Walter Novak

Alumni Performance

Oberlin Conservatory graduate Sullivan Fortner ’08, a jazz pianist and composer, performs with vocalist and Grammy winner Cécile McLorin Salvant during a concert in Finney Chapel. Oberlin Conservatory alumni often return to campus to give concerts, recitals, master classes, jazz clinics, guest lectures, and more. Fortner and Salvant are part of the nearly 500 musical events that take place each year in Oberlin.

Performance Ensembles

Piano and Vocal Accompanying Faculty

Conservatory faculty maintain active performance schedules while remaining accessible and committed to their students. Individual instruction is paramount to helping students develop their mechanical, technical, stylistic, psychological, and musical skills.

“My job as much as this is possible is to get two people to play together as if they were one musical mind.”

James Howsmon, Professor of Instrumental Accompanying

See Profile

Piano and Vocal Accompanying News

Winter Term: Creating Music Miles Apart

September 23, 2020

Seniors Arthur Welsh and Mark Ligonde had an ambitious goal for Winter Term. The pair planned to release a seven-song album with six different genres and subgenres of music, while residing miles apart. The project would challenge their compositional and production skills, but the end result was even more complex and creative than they imagined.
A drawing of two musicians one playing a guitar the other playing a keyboard