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Piano Proficiency Examination

Every music major must pass a piano proficiency examination. The requirements of the piano proficiency examination are as follows:


The Piano Proficiency Examination is taken typically at the end of two years of piano study. Some students can accomplish the Examination in less than two years. And it is not unusual for students to take more than two years to pass the Examination. It is assumed that those students who have Piano as their applied major area in any of the three tracks can accomplish these requirements after one semester of study. The Piano Proficiency Examination must be taken and passed by all students majoring in music: Performance track, Music Education track, and Liberal Arts track. This is required before a degree in music is conferred. A portion of the exam may be completed during each semester of study.

Everything is to be performed from memory

  1. 1. All major scales (harmonic form only), hands together, two octaves ascending and descending.
  2. All minor scales (harmonic form only), hands together, two octaves ascending and descending.
  3. Diatonic triads through four sharps and four flats, both major keys and harmonic minor keys, ascending and descending one octave.
  4. Cadences: I-IV-I-V (or V7I) in all major and harmonic minor keys, hands together (I cord in root position only).
  5. Cadences: I-IV-I-V in the keys of C Major, G Major, F Major, A Harmonic Minor, G Harmonic Minor, D harmonic Minor, hands together, root position only. 6. Diminished 7th arpeggios beginning on G-sharp, A and B-Flat, two octaves, hands separate and then together.
  6. Triad arpeggios in these keys: C, G, D, and A Major; and c, g, d, and a minor, hands together, two octaves.
  7. Sight-play a selection from the early intermediate grade, of 8 to 12 measures in length
  8. Transpose a folk tune (with simple chords) up a whole step and down a whole step from the original. (The tune is the examiner's choice).
  9. Improvise an accompaniment (using four different chords) to a melody that is at least 8 measures in length. (Melody is student's choice and may be practiced ahead of time).
  10. Two technical exercises (etudes) from Czerny, Lamoine, Burgmuller, or similar composer must be played from memory. One must demonstrate right hand movement; the other left hand movement.

For Music Education Majors only:

A simple version of America and a simple version of The Star Spangled Banner (these may be played with the music) to be played at a consistent and reasonable tempo appropriate for accompaniment.

Music Department

Anthony "Capps" Capozzolo Center for the Arts


Faculty and Staff

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