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Piano Proficiency Test

Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts Piano Proficiency Exam for Music Majors MUSC 1020 Equivalency

(Effective Beginning Fall 2014-2015)


The purpose of the Piano Proficiency Exam is to insure that music concentration students in Performing Arts have basic skills enabling them to function at the piano under a variety of settings. Piano skills are beneficial in the study of music theory, history, and technology, and it is highly recommended that students acquire these skills as soon as possible.

In order to graduate with a BA in Production Studies in Performing Arts Music Concentration, students must take MUSC 1010, Beginning Class Piano and MUSC 1020, Intermediate Class Piano.However, students with previous formal piano training may opt to take the Music 1020 Equivalency Exam. A satisfactory score on the exam will allow the the student the opportunity to exempt the classes required.

Music Concentration students who wish to take the exam must take it before their first semester, the day before classes begin.If they do not take the exam at this time, they must enroll in MUSC 1010. No students will be allowed to take this exam after their first semester.

The exam is comprised of 7 components, all of which must be prepared to the satisfaction of the Proficiency Exam Committee. The sections of the exam are as follows (specific instructions are given at the start of each section):

    1. Scales and cadences in all 24 keys
    2. All major and minor triads, in all inversions
    3. 2 prepared pieces (music is allowed)
    4. Sight-reading
    5. 2-handed rhythm exercises
    6. Accompany melody with added chords
    7. Duet with committee member

The exam committee will listen to the 20-minute exam and determine a recommendation for each component:Pass or Fail.

    1. If the exam grade is Fail, the student may retake the failed components.
    2. Students will only have one opportunity for a retake exam.
    3. The retake exam must be completed before the last day to drop a class without a Was indicated on the fall Clemson University Academic Calendar.
    4. If any component of the exam is not passed during the retake, placement into either MUSC 1010 or MUSC 1020 will be determined at that time.
    5. Students are not allowed to take the Piano Proficiency Exam again.

Students interested in taking the Proficiency Exam should contact Dr. Linda Li-Bleuel no later than 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester to arrange an exam time for the day before classes start.