Requirements for Majors and Minors

All music majors and minors will take Keyboard Skills for one or two semesters depending on placement. Instruction takes the form of a weekly private piano lesson. Towards this end, each music major and minor is offered a fee reduction to complete these lessons. Students will normally complete their first semester concurrently with MUSI 113; students with advanced standing will be placed appropriately. Required skills include sight reading and the ability to play major and minor scales (hands together), triads in inversions (broken and solid), simple chord progressions, and short pieces in contrasting styles.

Registration is done through the music office, M201. Fall 2021 registration begins on the first day of classes, September 1. The last day to register is Friday, September 10.

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.

For more information about Keyboard Skills including placement, curriculum details and exams, contact Lauri Sager-Wright at .

 

KEYBOARD SKILLS
Semester 1 Exam

SCALES

  • C, G, D, F Major
  • a, e, b, d minor (natural, harmonic, melodic forms)
  • Minimum tempo: Quarter note = 76 (played in quarter notes)
  • Fingering must be correct

Music Majors: 2 octaves, hands together, ascending and descending
Music minors: 1 octave, hands together, ascending and descending

TRIADS                     

  • In the keys above (for minors keys, use harmonic form)
  • Root position and inversions of primary chords (I, IV, V)
  • One octave, RH/LH alone, ascending and descending
  • Solid (blocked) and broken chords

Note: scales, triads and progressions tested at the end of each semester will not be tested again.
At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each scale and triad being tested. Scale “do overs” cost 2 points and triad “do overs” cost 1 point.

PROGRESSION        

  • I-IV-I-V7-I, in the same Major and minor keys as the scales being studied
  • Closest inversions of each in RH, starting with I chord in root position
  • LH plays root of each chord

SIGHT READING     

  • Equivalent to Book 3 Boris Berlin; note: Higher levels of sight reading can be tested at exam

REPERTOIRE             

  • 3 pieces of contrasting style and any period.

At the Semester 1 Exam you will be asked to play:

  • 4 major and 2 out of the 3 relative minor scales (minor scales picked by adjudicator at the exam)
  • 6 triads selected from the primary chords of the scale keys studied that semester—both major and minor
  • 4 chord progressions, 2 in major and 2 in minor
  • 3 sight reading examples
  • 3 repertoire pieces

The grading format is point-based. A minimum of 75% of the total points is needed to pass the first semester exam. If a student does not pass, they can retake this exam of the first two weeks of the second semester of study.

KEYBOARD SKILLS
Semester 2 exam

SCALES                    

  • Bb, Eb, A Major
  • g, c, f# minor (natural, harmonic, melodic forms)
  • Fall 2021 only: add F major, d minor (natural, harmonic, melodic forms)
  • Minimum tempo:   Quarter note = 76 (played in quarter notes)
  • Fingering must be correct

Music Majors: 2 octaves, hands together, ascending and descending
Music minors: 1 octave, hands together, ascending and descending

TRIADS                 

  • In the keys above (for minor keys, use harmonic form)
  • Root position and inversions of primary chords (I, IV, V)
  • One octave, RH/LH alone, ascending and descending
  • Solid (blocked) and broken chords

Note: scales, triads and progressions tested at the end of each semester will not be tested again.
At the exam, you will be allowed ONE “do over” for each scale and triad being tested. Scale “do overs” cost 2 points and triad “do overs” cost 1 point.

 

LEAD SHEET            

  • Play written RH melody against LH primary chords notated in letter names

SIGHT READING     

  • Equivalent to Book 4 Boris Berlin

REPERTOIRE             

  • 3 pieces of contrasting style and period

At the Semester 2 exam you will be asked to play:

  • 4 major and 2 out of the 3 relative minor scales (minor scales picked by adjudicator at the exam)
  • 6 triads selected from the primary chords of the Major and minor scale keys studied that semester
  • Lead sheet reading
  • 3 sight reading examples
  • 3 repertoire pieces

The grading format is point based. A minimum of 70% of the total points is needed to pass the second semester exam.