Proficiency is valid for seven years (for master’s students) or ten years (for doctoral students) from the date it is demonstrated.
Doctoral students must complete all proficiencies by the end of their fifth semester of enrollment.
All music graduate students, including those whose principal or proficiency instrument is piano, must pass a keyboard proficiency examination or its equivalent. Most students will take the examination on piano, coordinated by the secondary piano program. The collaborative piano, guitar, harp, historical performance, jazz, music theory, and organ departments administer their own exams on appropriate instruments.
The keyboard proficiency requirement is designed to ensure the student’s ability to use the keyboard as a tool within the framework of professional activities, and the requirements vary according to level and area of music study. Entering students whose proficiency examination is heard through the secondary piano program must play a keyboard placement hearing during the orientation period. Students who demonstrate a superior level of playing at this hearing will satisfy the proficiency requirement.
The keyboard proficiency requirement may also be satisfied by passing the examination at any of the times it is offered or by receiving a grade of B or higher in MUS-P 715 Keyboard Review for Graduate Students. The option of MUS-P 715 is not available to majors in collaborative piano, guitar, harp, historical performance, jazz, music theory, organ, piano, or MS Music Education students. To avoid a delay in degree completion, students who are beginning their last semester of coursework and have not yet satisfied the keyboard proficiency requirement are strongly advised to enroll in MUS-P 715.
Keyboard proficiency examinations are normally offered in the latter part of each semester and in the summer term. Organ majors fulfill the keyboard proficiency by passing C504 Keyboard Skills Review and/or C510 Service Playing Review, if necessary. For details, see the secondary piano coordinator or the departmental chairpersons (for guitar, harp, historical performance, jazz, music theory, and organ).
Keyboard proficiency requirements for departments that administer their own exam:
- Collaborative Piano
- Historical Performance
- Jazz (piano specialization)
- Jazz (non-piano specialization)
- Music Theory
The keyboard proficiency exam may be repeated if the student does not pass. It is strongly suggested that all students take the keyboard proficiency exam in their first semester so that, if it is necessary to repeat the exam, the student has multiple opportunities to retake the exam before the end of their coursework.
When keyboard proficiency requirements are identical for two degrees, a student seeking both degrees need not repeat the keyboard proficiency examination if it has been passed for one of the degrees within the time limits for each degree.
Students who are candidates for music graduate degrees for areas other than performance and whose performance proficiency instrument is piano must also complete the keyboard proficiency requirement. See Music Performance Proficiency for more information