The music building, opened in 1980, is an exemplary music facility, recognized for its excellent acoustical design. It is equipped with over sixty pianos, including twenty-two Steinway grands. A practice wing on the ground floor has grand pianos which are reserved for piano majors and advanced piano students. Beginning and intermediate students study group piano in a modern electronic piano lab. In addition to three practice organs, including two by Lynn Dobson of Lake City, Iowa, there is a three-manual pipe organ built by John Brombaugh in the Recital Hall. The Music Department owns a Zuckermann harpsichord and a two-manual French double harpsichord built by William Dowd. The Stanton Memorial Carillon is a well-loved ISU symbol. A practice clavier, similar to the carillon, is located in the Music Hall.

Keyboard students have many opportunities for performing and accompanying. Experienced accompanists can apply for positions to accompany musical productions or one of the many department choirs. Student performers have many opportunities to travel with department ensembles. Performance seminars are scheduled weekly for music majors.

Keyboard students can choose between the degrees Bachelor of Music in piano or organ performance, Bachelor of Music in Music Education, or Bachelor of Arts in Music. The B.A. program is a less specialized music degree, allowing more flexibility to earn a second major or a minor. A minor in music is also available.


General Information


Individual and group instructions in piano are offered to students with various levels of keyboard experience. Audition required. Click here for details


Organ study at Iowa State includes weekly 60 or 30-minute lessons, weekly performance classes and weekly seminars where emphasis is placed on hymn playing, sight reading, organ registration and design. The half-hour Monday Organ Recitals provide a great opportunity to play in public as well as the required student general recitals that are held throughout the semester. Organ Literature classes are periodically offered. Audition required.  For more information about the Organ program and history, please click here.


Carillon lessons are offered to students with some previous keyboard experience. One half-hour lesson weekly for one credit. Audition required. Contact the University Carillonneur for more information. Click here to go to the carillon home page.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor of Music in Performance

Four Year Plan in Performance

Music, B.Mus - Piano

Music, B.Mus - Organ

Minor In Music


Piano Proficiency



Pianists wishing to audition for a music scholarship at Iowa State must plan on being a music major. The audition should include ten to fifteen minutes of classical music including two polished pieces in contrasting styles. Memorization is required. Students will also be asked to sight-read and play scales, arpeggios, or other technical exercises they have studied.


The audition should include playing two pieces of organ music in contrasting styles, preferably one piece of Johann Sebastian Bach, and a hymn of the student's choice, playing in traditional hymn style. Memorization is not required. Students will also be asked to sight-read a hymn and a short organ piece.


Scholarships are available for current students at Iowa State University who study the carillon. Contact the University Carillonneur for details.