MFA

2-Year Program

The MFA Program in Music is designed to enable students to acquire the multiple skillsets that will empower them to stake out their own, unique, career pathways to success. The program of study is designed to be a stimulating and challenging, collaborative learning environment, in which music and sound artists can refine and perfect their already distinctive voices to reach the highest levels of professional practice, while simultaneously exploring new and inspiring, creative territories.

About the Specialization

MFA Piano/Keyboard studies is an environment in which accomplished students of piano and other keyboards can explore advanced performance techniques and branch out in new stylistic directions, allowing them to shape their individual artistic profiles and prepare for careers in the professional music world.

In addition to major lessons, piano workshops, performance forums, and advanced classes in music history, literature, theory and analysis, MFA students play in chamber groups and large ensembles, including the School’s principal conducted faculty-student group, The Ensemble at CalArts. They further develop more specialized skills through electives (harpsichord, jazz piano, jazz keyboard) and ensembles focused mostly on jazz, improvisation and experimental music. The MFA curriculum also incorporates classes in pedagogy and career design, as well as in movement (yoga for musicians, African and Indonesian dance, and offerings in other Schools at CalArts).

Each MFA candidate is required to pass a Mid-Residence Recital and a Graduation Jury and Recital in order to obtain the degree.

Full Curriculum

Detailed curriculum and academic requirements can be found in the online course catalog.

View Curriculum Requirements


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

In addition to CalArts' rich and diverse community and naturally collaborative atmosphere, the Institute provides several programs of study that can be pursued concurrently with a student's chosen metier.

Integrated Media

The Integrated Media concentration is designed specifically for MFA students whose creative use of technology—in particular digital media—goes beyond their primary areas of study.

Integrated Media

Interschool Degree

This option is available to a small number of graduates and advanced third- and fourth-year undergraduates whose skills and artistic interests warrant pursuing a degree in more than one School.

Interschool Degree


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