Piano Proficiency Requirements


1. All non-keyboard music majors and minors must take and pass the Piano Proficiency Examination.  Organ and piano majors and minors are exempt from taking the Piano Proficiency Examination since examination material will be covered during the course of applied-lesson instruction.

2. Students are expected to fulfill the Piano Proficiency requirements before the end of the second semester of their sophomore year.  Students will not be allowed to register for upper-division classes (with the exception of ensembles or upper-division applied lessons) until the Piano Proficiency requirement has been fulfilled.

3. Piano Proficiency Examination is scheduled to take place each semester: the first Friday of Fall semester and the Friday before final examination week of Spring semester.  The first time the examination is taken, the student will be required to take all portions of the examination.  Any portion(s) of the examination not passed may be re-taken no earlier than during the following semester.

4.  Non-keyboard majors and minors may prepare for the Piano Proficiency Examination by enrolling for a minimum of one-credit private piano lesson for 4 semesters. Students must pass each semester with a grade of B or higher. Those with advanced keyboard skills may take the Piano Proficiency Examination at the beginning of Freshman Year to be exempt.

5. The content of the Piano Proficiency Examination will include technical, performance, sight-reading, and improvisation skills.  Students will be evaluated on each area. Students will receive a score for each area; a passing score is 80%.

6. Written verification of successfully passing the Piano Proficiency Examination will be placed in the student’s file in the Department of Music Office.


All students will be responsible for the following:

1. All major and minor scales (harmonic) and arpeggios in all keys: 2 octaves, hands together, played in eighth-notes, with a minimum tempo of quarter note equal 60.

2. Harmonic progressions (I IV I V7 I) in all major and minor keys: hands together, played in quarter notes with a minimum tempo of quarter notes equal 60.

3. Harmonization of single-line melodies in both major and minor keys.
Demonstration of familiarity with various accompaniment styles.

4. Performance of 2 memorized pieces of contrasting periods and styles. Level of difficulty should be similar to works found in Piano for the Developing Musician (Hilley and Olson) or Music for Millions, volumes 17 and 27.

5. Sight-reading of pieces in appropriate style and tempo.

6. Hymn playing: students will be expected to sight-read hymns from the New Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal of an easy to intermediate level.

NOTE: Students are strongly advised to purchase The FJH Classic Scale Book (Victoria McArthur and Edwin McLean, ISBN: 1-56939-031-2) for materials covered in numbers 1 through 3 above.