Degrees and Careers for Pianists

Molly Howard

student with music degree playing piano

Do you have a passion for the black and white keys of pianos and playing beautiful notes? Is reading music almost like a second language to you? Do you love to create melodies and let your fingers dance across a keyboard? If so, you may want to consider a career as a pianist. For pianists with drive, music degree programs open up a world of opportunities and growth. Careers for pianists range from performance to education and provide opportunities for musical development.

Piano Degrees

For those interested in pursuing a piano degree, there are many options that focus on playing piano, music theory and high-level music education. Each musician gets the chance to discover which degree fits their goals and interests.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Education - Instrumental Piano

A degree in music education instrumental piano helps prepare musicians for a career of teaching children and students about music and performing. This degree gives students resources and courses that help them earn their piano teaching license. It opens up many possibilities for the future. Combining piano learning and performance with leadership and teaching skills, this music degree gives students what they need to be successful.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Education - Choral Piano

Similar to a degree in instrumental piano, a degree in Choral Piano prepares students to become teachers and share their talents with the next generation. However, a choral piano degree in music education gives students a well-rounded education that provides them with knowledge that is not just limited to the piano, but also other types of music and the skills needed to teach and lead successfully with great understanding.

Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Emphasis in Piano Performance

A Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Emphasis in Piano Performance gives pianists the opportunities and mastery to perform and play the piano. For those who are more interested in the performing aspect of a piano program, this degree is worth considering. The courses involved in this major give pianists skills and abilities that help prepare them to perform and become better at their art.

Careers for Piano Players

Having a piano degree opens up a world of career possibilities. There are many options available for those interested in pursuing a music-related field. Becoming a music teacher, tutor, performer or musical director are just a few of the many paths available for qualified pianists.

Music Teacher

For many pianists, a music teacher or instructor helped them learn the instrument that they love. For those who enjoy teaching students or are passionate about sharing music, becoming a music teacher is a good path to take. Music teachers can work with children of various ages, teach multiple instruments and help students learn how to read music and perform with confidence.

Private Tutor or Instructor

A private tutor or instructor also gets to work with music students. However, this is often on a smaller scale. A private tutor may have classes with only a small handful of learners at one time or even a single student per session. This career can be more flexible than working in a classroom each day but still allows pianists to share their passion and teach students of varying ages.


Being a performer takes confidence and skill. Those who are more interested in performing and playing music than teaching music can pursue a career as performer. This can take on many different forms, such as solo musician, pianist in a group, accompanist and other positions.

Musical Director

For those who feel comfortable with their level of musical understanding and have the leadership skills to instruct others, becoming a musical director is a path to explore. Musical directors must be able to instruct other musicians and make sure everything is running smoothly. This career may not be for everyone but for some outgoing musicians it can be an excellent fit.

Grand Canyon University offers degrees to help you achieve your goals and find your purpose. Learn more about musical degrees or the College of Fine Arts and Production at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.