Piano Proficiency Test FAQs

Q: What is the piano proficiency test?

A: Most music degrees at UW have a piano proficiency requirement – either up to MUSAP 135 or MUSAP 235. Your adviser can tell you what your requirement is for your specific degree. This requirement can be fulfilled by passing the appropriate piano course. However, some students who have had a great deal of piano instruction may opt to take the piano proficiency test in order to pass out of the course. If you think you might be in this group, we strongly urge you to first look over the packet of materials for the course you would like to pass out of, and ask yourself honestly if you think you can master all of the required skills without the help of lessons or class.

Q: What will I be tested on?

A: It depends on what level of proficiency your degree program requires; please check with your advisor. Listed below are the items you must prepare if you wish to test out of MUSAP 135 or MUSAP 235.

Prepare for the proficiency test using the appropriate packet:

MUSAP 135 MUSAP 235
  • SCALES: All major and minor (harmonic & melodic) scales, 2 octaves, hands together, correct fingering
  • TRIADS: All major and minor triads in root position and inversions, hands together
  • CHORD PROGRESSIONS: Tonic-Subdominant-Tonic-Dominant7-Tonic chord progressions in
  • root position and inversions (as shown in packet) in all major and minor keys
  • HARMONIZATION: Harmonize all melodies using tonic, subdominant and dominant chords (block chord accompaniment).
  • TRANSPOSITION: Transpose all melodies a half step above and below the original key and a whole step above and below the original key w/ LH block chord accompaniment.
  • SOLO REPERTOIRE: Prepare 1 piece (memorization not required) of an appropriate difficulty level, such as a menuet from Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook, or R. Schumann’s Album for the Young
  • SIGHT READING
  • SCALES: All major and minor (harmonic & melodic) scales, 4  octaves, hands together, correct fingering
  • ARPEGGIOS: All major and minor  arpeggios, 4 octaves, hands together,  correct fingering
  • CHORD PROGRESSIONS: Tonic-Subdominant-Tonic-Dominant7-Tonic chord progressions in root position and inversions (as shown in packet) in all major and minor keys
  • HARMONIZATION: Harmonize all melodies with an improvised LH accompaniment using tonic, subdominant and dominant chords. (Block chord LH accompaniment unacceptable)
  • TRANSPOSITION: Transpose all melodies to all keys (LH optional).
  • SOLO REPERTOIRE: Prepare 1 piece (memorization not required) of an appropriate difficulty level, such as Beethoven’s Sonatina in G or many of Kuhlau or Clementi Sonatinas
  • SIGHT READING

Q: When is the proficiency test?

A: The proficiency test is administered at the end of the quarter during final exam week.

Q: How do I sign up for the proficiency test?

A: A sign-up will be posted on the door of Room 6 one week before the proficiency test.

Q: Where is the proficiency test?

A: The proficiency test location will be indicated on the sign-up sheet.

Q: What must I bring to the proficiency test?

A: Bring the appropriate packet, either 135 or 235 and your solo piece(s) to your test.

Q: When will I be notified of the results?

A: You and your advisor will be notified within a day.