Degrees for undergraduate pianists include the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, the Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy, Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Studio Music, Bachelor of Arts in Music, and Master of Music in Piano Performance.

The piano program at the University of Central Arkansas is outstanding in the southern United States. Thirty minutes from the capital, Little Rock, and the Ozark Mountain parks, UCA has produced pianists who have won top prizes in the East-West Artist Auditions in New York City, the Clara Wells International Piano Competition, numerous regional competitions, and have gone on to study at Eastman, Peabody, Ecole Normal de Musique de Paris, and the Manhattan School of Music, to name a few.

Expectations are high for the students, who have the opportunity to study with a variety of experienced professionals. There is a strong camaraderie among student pianists, both undergraduate and graduate, who come from as far away as Canada, China, Japan, Greece, Malaysia, Bulgaria, as well as the southern United States. There is ample opportunity for performance majors to participate in Master Classes, university, local, and regional competitions, as well as weekly student public performances.


Julia Buckingham (jazz piano, collaborative piano)

Christine Franklin (applied piano, collaborative piano, piano pedagogy)

Kazuo Murakami (Coordinator – Collaborative Studies and Accompanying, applied piano, chamber music)

Neil Rutman (Piano Area Head, applied piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature, chamber music)

Terrie Shires (applied piano, collaborative piano, piano pedagogy)

Lim Angela Tchoi (collaborative piano, applied piano)


Applicants for the BM or MM in Piano Performance must prepare three works by memory from the list below by either live audition or video submission.

* An etude of virtuosity by either Moszkowski, Chopin, Liszt, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, or Scriabin

* A major work from the Baroque period

* A major work from the Classical period

* A major work from the Romantic period

* A major work from the French Impressionists or the later 20th century

Performance majors auditioning by video are required to take a subsequent sight reading exam by Zoom or Skype and will also be sent a work to be learned in one week, after which a second Zoom or Skype hearing will be scheduled to perform the work.

Applicants for the BME, BA with Piano Emphasis, BM in Piano Pedagogy, and one semester Foreign Exchange pianists must prepare the following audition material:

* Major scales and arpeggios: D, A, E, B, and D flat

*Minor scales and arpeggios: d, a, e, b, and c sharp

*  Two selections from the classical standard repertoire in contrasting styles, memorized.

*  Students should prepare the scales listed above.

A sight reading exam will be given at live auditions.


Applications are accepted until June. Audition dates are posted on the Music Department webpage, by private arrangement, or video submission. To inquire about an alternative time or any questions,  please contact Dr. Neil Rutman.