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Schwob School of Music

Schwob School of Music

Keyboard Proficiency

All students majoring in music are required to pass a keyboard proficiency examination. The proficiency examination tests the student's ability to use the keyboard as a tool within the framework of his/her professional activities. The examination requirements are passed during MUSA 2315 (Keyboard 4). Some requirements are passed in class, and some are recorded for faculty observation. All recording is done in class. No individual recordings will be accepted. The proficiency course (MUSA 2315) must be passed before enrolling in secondary applied piano.

Requirements for MUSA 2315/Proficiency

All major and minor (all forms) scales, hands separate, in two octaves: played in eighth notes with a metronome marking of quarter = 80, including correct standard fingerings. In addition one "white key" scale and one "black key" scale are included played with hands together, each example played in major and three forms of parallel minor.

Five-finger patterns in the right hand, harmonized with primary triads in close position in the left hand. The patterns are played ascending chromatically in tempi appropriate for vocal warm-ups. The right hand is performed in sixteenth notes, with the left hand in quarter notes, at a metronome marking of quarter = 80

Chord progressions in all keys: I-IV-I-V7-I or i-iv-i-V7-I, with the right hand in all three possible chord positions and the root in the left hand.

Folk melody with accompaniment, in appropriate tempo. The melody will include some secondary dominants.

Four-part open choral score, playing two parts simultaneously, with singers singing those parts. The student will perform at least three of the different combinations possible.

Accompaniment appropriate to the major and concentration (solo or choral), performed with a partner soloist.

Memorized performance of Happy Birthday .

Keyboard Majors

Keyboard majors (organ and piano) do not need o play scales, since these will be covered in their instrumental studies.Keyboard majors are not required to enroll in MUSA 2313 or MUSA 2314, but they MUST enroll in MUSA 2315 as a degree requirement.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who passed a piano proficiency examination at another institution must provide the class piano instructor a copy of the examination, together with a statement from an official of that institution (a transcript copy is sufficient if the exam is graded) showing that the student passed the examination. The class piano instructor will then inform the student which parts, if any, of the Schwob School of Music proficiency curriculum must be completed. An advisor will further consult with the student to decide if the student needs to enroll in any "exemption" sections of MUSA 2313 or MUSA 2314 to complete the CSU degree requirements.

Other Keyboard Proficiency Courses

The undergraduate degrees generally require three semesters of preparation leading up to the fourth semester of proficiency completion. These courses are listed below with the general materials covered in each course. All these courses require a C or better to count toward degree completion.

MUSC 1314 Skills 1: This course is split between Aural Skills and Class Piano. Generally students meet twice a week for 25 minutes in the aural skills room and 25 minutes in the keyboard lab.

MUSA 2313 Keyboard 1:

MUSA 2314 Keyboard 2:

For questions on this page, please contact Dr. Fred Cohen or Prof. Luise May.