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Class Piano Proficiency Exam

Proficiency in Keyboard skills is usually acquired in the four-semester series of Class Piano (MUKB 110, 120, 210, & 220).

To receive credit for Class Piano, students must register for, take, and pass each class. Students who are enrolled in Class Piano will be prepared to meet the proficiency requirement throughout the course of study. However, students who have some background in piano may want to take a proficiency exam to receive credit for Class Piano in lieu of regular enrollment. The exam includes the following keyboard functional skills – technique (scales, arpeggios, & chord progressions), sight-reading, harmonization, transposition, improvisation, solo & ensemble playing, accompaniment, and score reading (choral & instrumental). If you have any questions regarding the exam, please contact the Coordinator of Class Piano.

Study Textbook: Alfred's Group Piano for Adults, Book I

Technique (2 octaves, hands together at a steady tempo)
You should be able to play scales and arpeggios in all the following major keys.

  • C, D, E, G, A, F, B, Gᵇ and Dᵇ major

Chord progression  
You should be able to play the chord progression below in all major keys.

  • I-IV6/4-I-V6/5-I in all major keys (p.170)

Sight-reading

  • You will be asked to play 1 random piece (8-measure) at sight (For example. pp.174-175)

Harmonization

  • Prepare (harmonize) to play all 4 pieces on pp.178-179 with given accompaniment styles

Transposition

  • You will be asked to transpose those harmonization pieces up a whole step

Improvisation

  • You will be expected to improvise an 8-measure single-note melody for the following chord progression with your choice of accompaniment

4/4(A major):  I – V6/5 – V6/5 – I – I- IV6/4 – V6/5 - I

Performance

  • Prepare to perform (select 2 pieces from p.129, p.151, p.160, pp.172-173, p.328, p.329, and p.331)

Study Textbook: Alfred's Group Piano for Adults, Book I

Technique (2 octaves, hands together at a steady tempo)
You will be asked to play scales and arpeggios in the following major and harmonic minor keys.

  • A, B, F, Eᵇ, Aᵇ, C#, and G# major and harmonic minor

Chord progression (hands together)
You will be asked to play 1 major key and 1 harmonic minor key of each chord progression.

  • i-iv6/4-i-V6/5-i in all major and harmonic minor keys (p.210)
  • I-ii6-I6/4 -V7-I in all major and harmonic minor keys (p.242)

Sight-reading

  • You will be asked to play 1 random piece (8-measure) selected by instructor at sight (For example. pp. 256-257)

Two-hand accompaniment

  • You will be asked to play two-hand accompaniment of pieces on p.250, p.260, or p.268.

Harmonization

  • Prepare (harmonize) to play all 4 pieces on pp.248-249 with given accompaniment styles

Transposition

  • You will be asked to transpose harmonization pieces down a half step and up a whole step

Improvisation

  • You will be expected to improvise an 8-measure single-note melody for the following chord progression with your choice of accompaniment (except block chord accompaniment)

                     4/4(D harmonic minor): i – III+ - iv – i – i - iiᵒ6 – V7 – i
Performance

  • Prepare to play (select 1 piece from pp.276-277, p.317, p.334, or p.335)
  • Perform one other solo piece of your choice

Study Textbook: Alfred's Group Piano for Adults, Book II

Technique (2 octaves, hands together at a steady tempo)
You will be asked to play scales and arpeggios.

  • All major and harmonic minor scales
  • All major and harmonic minor arpeggios

Chord progression
You will be asked to play the following chord progression.

  • I-ii6-I6/4 -V7-I in all major and harmonic minor (p.82)

Sight-reading

  • You will be asked to play 1 random piece (8-measure) selected by instructor at sight (For example. Pp.176-177)
  • You will also be asked to play open vocal score reading (For example. P. 132)

Harmonization

  • Prepare (harmonize) to play all 4 pieces on p.166 and p.180 with given accompaniment styles

Transposition

  • You will be asked to transpose harmonization pieces up a half step and down a whole step

Improvisation

  • You will be expected to improvise an 8-measure single-note melody for the following chord progression with your choice of accompaniment

                     ¾(Eᵇ major): I - iv -V6/5 of V - V - V - vi – v6/5 - I
Performance

  • Prepare to play (select 1 piece from p.108, p.121, p.137, pp.162-163, p.346, pp.348-349, pp.356-357)
  • Perform one other solo piece of your choice

Study Textbook: Alfred's Group Piano for Adults, Book II

Technique (2 octaves, hands together at a steady tempo)
You will be asked to play scales and arpeggios.

  • All major and harmonic minor scales
  • All major and harmonic minor arpeggios

Sight-reading

  • Choral (hymn) style reading: play at a steady tempo
  • Play 1 random piece (8-measure) selected by instructor at sight (For example. pp.234-235)

Harmonization

  • Prepare (harmonize) to play all 4 pieces on pp.236-237 with given accompaniment styles

Transposition

  • You will be asked to transpose harmonization pieces in suggested keys.

Improvisation

  • You will be expected to improvise an 8-measure single-note melody for the following chord progression with your choice of accompaniment (except block chord accompaniment)

2/4 (A major): I - VI6/4 - I-V6/5 of ii – ii - ii6 - V7 - I

Transposing Instrument

  • You will be asked to transpose a melody for bᵇ, F or E instrument to concert pitch

Accompaniment

  • Select 1 piece from your major instrument then play the piano accompaniment part

Performance

  • Prepare to perform (Select 1 piece from pp.275-277, pp.306-307, pp.335-337, pp. 350-353, pp.354-355, pp.356-357, pp.358-360, p.363)
  • Prepare to perform one other solo piece of your choice.

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