A comparision of curricula requirements for a student majoring in piano in selected conservatories and universities in the Americas
Each country develops its educational system according to its national heritage, its national peculiarities and needs. Because of evolution, levels of education are flexible enough to be adjusted continuously for improvement. As we all know, there are constant changes preparing the students for their future careers and for living with society's advancements.Music, like other artistic areas, has different fields of specializations, each with its own peculiarities and problems. In this dissertation, attention is given to differences and similarities between curriculum requirements for piano performers at the university and conservatory levels in some selected schools on the American Continent.The subject for this study was chosen because the writer, a piano major, lived in two different countries when engaged in university studies. In Cordoba, Argentina she obtained degrees in Piano and in Music Education, and later in the United States, she earned the Master of Music and the Doctor of Arts in Music at Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana, Because she had the experience of both educational systems, she wished to make a fuller investigation of educational requirements for piano students in various schools of the American Continent.The research for this study was done from 1976 until 1980. The writer gathered most of the information while she was in Cordoba, Argentina, by writing letters to the embassies of different countries, requesting addresses of music schools, and then by writing directly to these institutions.The selected conservatories and universities for this dissertation include 18 universities and conservatories in the United States, five universities in Canada, four conservatories and four universities in Argentina, one conservatory in Ecuador, one university in Chile, one in Brazil, and one in Mexico. The selection of these schools was not made by a specific plan, but according to the addresses and materials available.The information was taken from the catalogs, student handbooks, and other supplementary materials sent by the schools.The chapters are organized as follows: Chapter 1 deals with undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded by conservatories and universities in the United States. Chapter 2 refers similarly to Canadian universities, and Chapter 3, to Latin American conservatories and universities.Each part of the dissertation contains tables organized by university and degree, with the course distribution and the required credits or weekly hours per class meeting. This information was arranged by the writer in an attempt to unify the presentation of the material. Some general music course descriptions have been included when their contents have been found to be different from the typical ones, and piano requirements, when they were available.The next section (Curriculum Description) is arranged by degrees with information about entrance requirements, basic music courses (grouped by areas and individual courses), and general observations about the program. Table 22 and similar ones show information by separate areas and courses, grouping the universities to compare their requirements for each degree.Following the presentation of each group of schools, some general comments about them are made. At the end of the study, a general comparison between the selected schools, and some recommendations for improvement are presented.Attention should be called to the fact that this study is the reflection of one person's experiences, observations the same data would reach new or different conclusions. The central consideration is that both similarities rind differences exist in the programs of the various institutions selected for this study. Furthermore, a study of this type is open, not conclusive, for it could be continued giving attention to different points of emphasis.