Piano Proficiency Exam Guide for Music Majors

Please use the below PDF examples to prepare for the piano proficiency exam.

Technique

Alfred II, pgs. 12-13, 44-46, 80-81, 102-103140-142

  • All major and harmonic minor scales, hands together, two octaves, parallel, with correct fingering in a steady tempo.
  • All major and minor arpeggios, hands together, two octaves, parallel, with correct fingering in a steady tempo.
  • All major and minor triad inversions, hands separately with correct fingering.
  • Chord progressions in all major and minor keys with both hands playing three-note triads, hands together, memorized.
    • pg. 40 (top of page), I-IV6/4-I-V6/5-I
    • pg. 42 (top of page), i-iv6/4-i-V6/5-i

SING AND PLAY

Alfred II, pgs. 72, 108, 156202

  • Sing the melody on “la” or solfege or sing the words.
  • Play an accompaniment throughout based on the pattern at the beginning of the song or compose your own accompaniment.
  • Use appropriate harmonies based on the chord symbols and use a variety of chord inversions.
  • Accompaniment must match the character of the song.
  • You may use one of these excerpts or another excerpt of equal or greater difficulty.

Harmonization

Alfred II, pgs. 235, 256, 282293

  • Play the melody with the right hand.
  • Add an accompaniment pattern with the left hand.
  • Choose appropriate harmonies based on the pop symbols or Roman numerals.
  • You may use one of these excerpts or another excerpt of equal or greater difficulty.

Sight Reading/Transposition

Alfred II, pgs. 255, 263, 281, 291, 292306

  • Read a given excerpt at sight.
  • You may count out loud while you play.
  • Transpose the same excerpt up to a third above or below the original key.
  • Given excerpts may be in minor or major keys.

Repertoire

Alfred II, pgs. 242, 252, 262, 271, 280, 289-290335-337

  • Prepare one solo piece of equal or greater difficulty compared to those listed above.
  • Perform with accurate notes, rhythms, dynamics, and articulations.
  • You may use the score in the exam; it is not necessary to play repertoire piece from memory.