Skip to main content

Choose Creativity

Piano Studies

 

PIANO JURIES

During the exam period at the end of each semester, all students enrolled in Applied Piano or keyboard classes are required to complete a Piano Jury.  Students should prepare and perform selections from memory during juries.  Students should complete a Jury Sheet, have the applied teacher sign before the end of the semester, and bring the completed form to the exam.  This form is available online on the USCA music website.  All written comments and critiques will be returned at the beginning of the following semester.  Piano Juries comprise 10% of the semester grade.

Piano Jury Requirements

Students should be prepared to demonstrate scales, chord progressions, arpeggios, and repertoire assigned during the semester.  Two contrasting piano selections should be prepared, memorized, and performed for juries. 

PIANO PROFICIENCY EXAM

All music education majors must successfully complete a Piano Proficiency Exam prior to their Internship placement by the School of Education.  The exam may be completed concurrently with piano juries.

Procedure

  1. Students wishing to complete the Piano Proficiency Exam should notify their classroom or applied instructor at the semester prior to the exam;
  2. Every student must complete a Repertoire List Form prior to the exam, which is available on the USCA music website.  This form is a cumulative list of etudes and literature studied.  It is the student’s responsibility to have the applied teacher sign the form and notify the music faculty of the intent to complete the exam.
  3. The exam is given one of the following grades by faculty vote:

Pass:    The student satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements of the exam.

Conditional Pass:      The student satisfied elements of the exam, but the faculty has concerns that are serious enough to merit a re-hearing at the next exam period.  Any concerns or conditions of the re-hearing will be offered in writing and explained to the student by the applied teacher.  If the concerns of the faculty are not addressed at the next hearing, the student may not proceed in the degree program until the current exam is adequately satisfied.

Fail:    The student must repeat the exam during the next exam period due to significant inadequacies in preparation.  A second consecutive failure of the exam results in removal from the music education program until the student demonstrates significant improvement or re-auditions for the faculty.

  1. Students will be notified of the results by mail.  Decisions of the faculty are final.
  2. A student may attempt the Piano Proficiency Exam twice.

Grievance Process

Should a student fail the exam a second time a grievance may be filed with the music faculty.  The grievance should be submitted in writing and include a justification why the student believes the exam was adequately completed, or a proposed solution to meet the conditions of the exam.  A faculty member will meet with the student and the applied teacher separately.  Upon agreement of the faculty, the student will be permitted to re-take the exam at the next exam period.

Piano Proficiency Exam Requirements for Non-Music Education Majors

Students who are not majoring in music education do not need to complete the Piano Proficiency Exam.

PIANO PROFICIENCY EXAM CONTENTS

Repertoire requirement

  1. Two contrasting compositions selected from the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, or Contemporary periods.  These selections must be performed from memory.

Keyboard skills requirement

  1. Prepare all major and minor scales, two octaves, M.M.=90, hands together;
  2. Prepare all major and minor arpeggios, two octaves, M.M.=90, hands together;
  3. Prepare all major and minor chord progressions/cadential sequences (see Applied Piano Curriculum for more information);
  4. Harmonize at sight a melody with left hand accompaniment;
  5. Sight-read a simple hymn, folk song, accompaniment, or beginning piano piece;
  6. Sight-read at least two lines of an open score;
  7. With one week to prepare, perform a simple accompaniment to an art song or aria (Vocal/Choral emphasis only). 

APPLIED PIANO CURRICULUM

Music Education

Below are lists containing minimal, age-appropriate keyboard skills and suggested repertoire requirements:

First Year of Study

  • All major and natural minor scales, one octave, hands alone or together;
  • Chord progressions/cadential sequences (I – IV6/4 – I – V6 – V6/5 – I) in all major keys;
  • Major triadic arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading beginning piano music, hands alone or together;
  • Six memorized etudes or piano selections.

Second Year of Study

  • All major and harmonic minor scales, one octave, hands together;
  • Chord progressions/cadential sequences (I – IV6/4 – I – V6 – V6/5 – I) in all minor keys;
  • Minor triadic arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading beginning to intermediate piano music, hands together;
  • Eight memorized etudes or piano selections.

Third Year of Study

  • All major and minor scales (in all forms), two octaves, hands together;
  • Chord progressions involving both primary and secondary harmonization;
  • Dominant seventh arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading hymns and simple piano accompaniments, hands alone or together;
  • Performance of a classical sonata or two-part invention;
  • Eight memorized etudes or piano selections.

Fourth Year of Study

  • All major and minor scales (in all forms), two octaves, M.M.=90, hands together;
  • Left hand harmonization of a given melody;
  • All major and minor arpeggios, four octaves, hands together;
  • Sight-reading hymns, piano accompaniments, and choral octavos (voice majors only);
  • Performance of a classical sonata or two-part invention.

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Music 

First Year of Study

  • All major and natural minor scales, one octave, hands alone or together;
  • Chord progressions/cadential sequences (I – IV6/4 – I – V6 – V6/5 – I) in all major keys;
  • Major triadic arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading beginning piano music, hands alone or together;
  • Six prepared etudes or piano selections, three memorized. 

Second Year of Study

  • All major and harmonic minor scales, one octave, hands together;
  • Chord progressions/cadential sequences (I – IV6/4 – I – V6 – V6/5 – I) in all minor keys;
  • Minor triadic arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading beginning to intermediate piano music, hands together;
  • Eight prepared etudes or piano selections, four memorized.

Third Year of Study

  • All major and minor scales (in all forms), two octaves, hands together;
  • Chord progressions involving both primary and secondary harmonization;
  • Dominant seventh arpeggios, two octaves, hands alone or together;
  • Sight-reading hymns and simple piano accompaniments, hands alone or together;
  • Performance of a classical sonata or two-part invention;
  • Eight prepared etudes or piano selections, four memorized. 

Fourth Year of Study

  • All major and minor scales (in all forms), two octaves, M.M.=90, hands together;
  • Left hand harmonization of a given melody;
  • All major and minor arpeggios, four octaves, hands together;
  • Sight-reading hymns, piano accompaniments, and choral octavos (voice majors only);
  • Performance of a classical sonata or two-part invention.

Address

The Etherredge Center
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
P: (803) 641-3305

Office Hours

Monday – Thursday : 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

Friday : 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday : Closed

Stay Connected

Facebook Twitter