Requirements for Majors and Minors

  • Music majors and music minors are offered four semesters of reduced-fee lessons in piano for proficiency in order to develop basic keyboard skills, which are indispensable to the study of music. 
  • Students are encouraged to begin the four-semester sequence as early as possible, typically upon their enrollment in Theory II.
  • Registration begins the first day of classes.
  • Registration hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM in the Music Department Office (M201).
  • At the end of each semester, students will be tested on their progress, and a passing grade on the final semester’s exam is required for all students graduating with a major or minor in music. 
  • Review the list of Piano for Proficiency Exam requirements for First Semester Exam, Second Semester Exam, Third Semester Exam, Final Semester Exam, including an Exam Summary
  • This final exam, shown as Music 99, is a requirement for graduates with a major or minor in music.

First Semester Piano for Proficiency Exam Requirements

Item

Details

SCHEDULE

  • End of 1st semester of Piano for Proficiency, normally on Study Days 
  • Sign-up sheets outside of M201 one week prior. 
  • Exams are held in M227.

SCALES

C Major/a minor, G Major/ e minor, D Major/ b minor—all forms of minor scales: Melodic, Harmonic and Natural

  • 2 Octaves, Hands Together, Ascending and Descending
  • Minimum tempo: quarter note = 76, played in quarter notes

    TRIADS

    In the keys above. For minor keys, use the harmonic form

    • Root Position and Inversions of the Primary Chords
    • 1 Octave, Ascending and Descending, LH and RH separately
    • Solid and Broken, LH and RH separately

      SIGHT READING

      • Equivalent to Book 3 Boris Berlin

        REPERTOIRE

        • 3 pieces 2 pieces of which must be contrasting in style

        AT THE EXAM

        • 3 Major and 3 minor scales;
        • 6 Sets of Triads and Inversions (3 Major/3 minor)
        • 3 sight reading examples
        • 3 prepared pieces, memorization not required
        ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
        • Scales and Triads tested at the end of a semester will not be tested in future semesters’ exams.
        • At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each example asked (scales, triads, progression, sight reading). 3rd or 4th “tries” will not be allowed.
        • The grading format on this exam will be point based, not Pass/Fail.
        • A minimum of 75% of the total points is needed to pass the 1st semester. If student does not pass, he/she can retake this exam in the middle of the 2nd semester of study. However, if the student also fails the 2nd semester exam, he/she cannot continue receiving lessons.

        Second Semester Piano for Proficiency Exam Requirements

        Item

        Details

        SCHEDULE

        • End of 2nd semester of Piano for Proficiency, normally on Study Days 
        • Sign-up sheets outside of M201 one week prior. 
        • Exams are held in M227.

        SCALES

        F Major/ d minor, AbMajor/ f minor, E Major/ c# minor; all forms of minor scales: Melodic, Harmonic and Natural

          • 2 Octaves, Hands Together, Ascending and Descending
          • Minimum tempo: quarter note = 76, played in quarter notes

              TRIADS

              In the keys above. For minor keys, use the harmonic form

                • Root Position and Inversions of the Primary Chords
                • 1 Octave, Ascending and Descending
                • Solid and Broken, LH and RH separately

                    SIGHT READING

                    • Equivalent to Book 4 Boris Berlin

                      REPERTOIRE

                      • 3 pieces, 2 pieces of which must be contrasting in style

                      AT THE EXAM

                        • 3 Major and 3 minor scales;
                        • 6 Sets of Triads and Inversions (3 Major/3 minor)
                        • 3 sight reading examples
                        • 3 prepared pieces, memorization not required

                        ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

                        • Scales and Triads tested at the end of a semester will not be tested in future semesters’ exams.
                        • At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each example asked (scales, triads, progression, sight reading). 3rd or 4th “tries” will not be allowed.
                        • The grading format on this exam will be point based, not Pass/Fail.
                        • A minimum of 70% of the total points is needed to pass the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester.

                        Third Semester Piano for Proficiency Exam Requirements

                        Item

                        Details

                        SCHEDULE

                        • End of 3rd semester of Piano for Proficiency, normally on Study Days
                        • Sign-up sheets outside of M201 one week prior. 
                        • Exams are held in M227.

                        SCALES

                        Bb Major/ f minor, Eb Major/ c minor, A Major/ f# minor; all forms of minor scales: Melodic, Harmonic and Natural

                          • 2 Octaves, Hands Together, Ascending and Descending
                          • Minimum tempo: quarter note = 76, played in quarter notes

                              TRIADS

                              In the keys above. For minor keys, use the harmonic form

                                • Root Position and Inversions of the Primary Chords
                                • 1 Octave, Ascending and Descending, LH and RH separately
                                • Solid and Broken, LH and RH separately

                                    SIGHT READING

                                    • Equivalent to Book 5 Boris Berlin

                                      REPERTOIRE

                                      • 3 pieces, 2 pieces of which must be contrasting in style

                                      AT THE EXAM

                                      • 6 Sets of Triads and Inversions (3 Major/3 minor)
                                      • 4 Sets of Triads and Inversions (2 Major/2 minor)
                                      • 3 sight reading examples
                                      • 3 prepared pieces, memorization not required
                                        ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
                                        • Scales and Triads and Chord Progressions tested at the end of a semester will not be tested in future semesters’ exams.
                                        • At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each example asked (scales, triads, progression, sight reading). 3rd or 4th “tries” will not be allowed.
                                        • The grading format on this exam will be point based, not Pass/Fail.
                                        • A minimum of 70% of the total points is needed to pass the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester.

                                        Final Piano for Proficiency Exam Requirements

                                        Item

                                        Details

                                        SCHEDULE

                                        • End of 4th semester of Piano for Proficiency, normally on Study Days 
                                        • Sign-up sheets outside of M201 one week prior. 
                                        • Exams are held in M227.

                                        SCALES

                                        Db Major/ bb minor, Gb Major/ eb minor, B Major/ g# minor; all form of minor scales: Melodic, Harmonic and Natural

                                          • 2 Octaves, Hands Together, Ascending and Descending
                                          • Minimum tempo: quarter note = 76, played in quarter notes

                                              TRIADS

                                              In the keys above. For minor keys, use the harmonic form

                                                • Root Position and Inversions of the Primary Chords
                                                • 1 Octave, Ascending and Descending, LH and RH separately
                                                • Solid and Broken, LH and RH separately

                                                    SIGHT READING

                                                    • Equivalent to Book 6 Boris Berlin

                                                      REPERTOIRE

                                                      • 3 pieces, 2 pieces of which must be contrasting in style

                                                      AT THE EXAM

                                                        • 3 Major and 3 minor scales
                                                        • 6 Sets of Triads and Inversions (3 Major/3 minor)
                                                        • 3 sight reading examples
                                                        • 3 prepared pieces, memorization not required
                                                            ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
                                                            • At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each example asked (scales, triads, progression, sight reading). 3rd or 4th “tries” will not be allowed.
                                                            • The grading format on this exam will be point based, not Pass/Fail.
                                                            • A minimum of 70% of the total points is needed to pass the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester.

                                                            Piano for Proficiency Exam Summary

                                                            Item

                                                            Details

                                                            SCALES

                                                            • Fluency of all Major and Minor keys (in all three forms: natural, harmonic and melodic)
                                                            • 2 octaves, hands together, ascending and descending
                                                            • Minimum tempo: quarter note = 76, played in quarter notes

                                                              TRIADS

                                                              • Fluency of all Major and Minor keys (harmonic minor) Root position and inversions of the Primary Chords I, IV, V
                                                              • 1 octave, ascending and descending, LH and RH separately
                                                              • Solid and broken (in triplets)

                                                                SIGHT READING

                                                                • Equivalent to Book 6 Boris Berlin
                                                                • 3 Contrasting styles similar to: examples in parentheses: Chorale (p.13, 33, 50); imitation (p.20, 29); RH melody and LH accompanying (p.36, 53); 6/8 meter (p.24); Chordal LH (p.37, 52)

                                                                  REPERTOIRE

                                                                  • 3 Pieces, 2 of which are contrasting in style, memorization not required

                                                                  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

                                                                  • Students wishing to complete the program in fewer than 4 semesters must obtain permission from their piano instructor and program coordinator Lauri Sager Wright.
                                                                  • At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each example asked (scales, triads, progression, sight reading). 3rd or 4th “tries” will not be allowed.
                                                                  • The grading format on this exam will be point based, not Pass/Fail.
                                                                  • A minimum of 75% of the total points is needed to pass the 1st semester. A minimum of 70% of the total points is needed to pass the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semesters.
                                                                  • Please direct any further questions to Lauri Sager Wright