Piano Placement


TO: Transfer and Incoming Freshmen Students

RE: Class Piano Proficiency Exam

In order to complete the requirements for a given level of piano class and be eligible to sign up for the next level, a student must be able to do the following:

To complete level MUS 117:

  1. Be able to play a piece of fairly easy repertoire. Any easy piece requiring simple coordination between both hands, and reading of bass and treble clefs is acceptable. (Examples from the textbook are found on pages 435, 452, or 453.)
  2. Be able to play all major scales two octaves hands apart with the correct notes and fingering.
  3. Have a basic familiarity with reading chord symbols such as V65 or C/E, and be able to use these to make a simple block chord accompaniment part.
  4. Be able to sight-read enough to demonstrate a rudimentary but accurate knowledge of hand placement, bass and treble clef reading, and rhythm.

To complete level MUS 118:

  1. Be able to perform a repertoire piece on a difficulty level of Minuet in G major by J.S. Bach. Independence of hands, good fingering, accurate pitch and rhythm, and good interpretation are stressed.
  2. Be able to play all major scales hands together, two octaves, at a steady tempo. Knowledge of structure and fingering of a minor scale is also required.
  3. Be able to use lead sheet notation to make a block chord accompaniment. Be able to play any seventh chord. Be able to play a I-IV-V-I progression in any key.
  4. Be able to harmonize a melody using simple chords, and to transpose same to an easy key.
  5. Have a basic familiarity with usage of the damper pedal.
  6. Be able to sight read more difficult music that may involve change of hand position or keys of greater difficulty.

To complete level MUS 217:

  1. Be able to perform a repertoire piece on the level of Musette in D major by J.S. Bach. Comfort with hand independence, fingering, good musical interpretation is required.
  2. Be able to do simple two and three part score reading. Be able to transpose a single instrument line to concert pitch.
  3. Using chord symbols, be able to create an accompaniment for a simple tune. Use of waltz bass, broken chord patterns, and seventh chords is required. Using fake sheet notation, realize a jazz tune with seventh chords in root position and inversions.
  4. Be able to play a simple four part chorale style piece.
  5. Be able to sight read on the level of an easy minuet, (ex., Minuet in C major by Haydn) or piece that changes hand position and requires some independence of hands, reading of accidentals, etc.

To complete level MUS 218:

  1. Be able to play a repertoire piece on the level of the following:
    (a) First or third movement of Sonatina in C major by Clementi
    (b) Spinning Song by Elmenreich
    (c) Maple Leaf Rag by Joplin
  2. Be able to create an accompaniment in any broken chord pattern using seventh, and secondary dominant chords.
  3. Be able to accompany a soloist on a piece of the difficulty level of Ich Grolle Nicht by Schumann, or Heidenroslein by Schubert.
  4. Be able to play a short four part score reading example.
  5. Be able to play a four part hymn or chorale style piece.
  6. Be able to realize lead sheets in two different styles of accompaniment.
  7. Be able to sight read a standard tune with accompaniment in keys other than C major. Difficulty is similar to works by Bartok in "For Children" book 2, Kabalevsky's "Children's Pieces" Op. 27, or "24 Little Pieces" Op. 39, patriotic songs in simple four-part arrangements.

All placement is subject to teacher evaluation.
The above is to be used as a guideline only.

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