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Keyboard Proficiency Requirements

Keyboard/Piano Proficiency Exam

Either at the time of audition or at the beginning of the Freshman year, all music majors will be placed in the appropriate level of class piano. Students may be placed into any class of the four semester sequence according to their level of ability. While some students may be exempt from the lower levels of class piano, all students are required to take the final semester of class piano (MUSC 264).

The proficiency exam will be given once a year during the Spring semester as the final exam for MUSC 264, and will be proctored by the piano faculty. Students who fail the exam must retake the class. Once the student passes the exam, he/she may enroll in elective applied piano depending on space and availability.

A record of the student's status with the proficiency will be kept in his/her file.


Keyboard/Piano Proficiency Exam Requirements


  • Five-finger scales C-B, played chromatically, followed by tonic triad. 
  • All major and harmonic minor, 2 octaves, hands separately (piano primaries, hands together).


  • Play any major, minor, diminished or augmented triad.
  • Build any major, minor, dominant, half-diminished or fully diminished seventh chord.

Chord Progressions

  • I - IV - I - V7 - I in all major keys.
  • i - iv - i - V7 - i in all minor keys.
  • I - vi - IV - ii6 - I6/4 - V7 - I in Major keys three flats through three sharps.


  • Harmonization of a simple melody with chord symbols (diatonic triads).
  • Transposition of that melody to a closely related key.

Score Reading

  • Performance of a 16-bar SATB score excerpt or a 3-part instrumental score with transposition of one part.


  • Polished performance of one appropriate-level solo repertoire piece.
  • Performance of a vocal or instrumental accompaniment to be played with solo part.

Sight Reading

  • Slow, fluent performance of simple two-part piano score.   


  • All components will be prepared with the exception of sight reading. 
  • The proficiency will be given as the final exam for MUSC 264. The requirements must be performed in the allotted exam time. A failed proficiency will result in a failing grade for the course.
  • The proficiency will be administered by the piano proficiency committee.