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The Bachelor of Music degree has a two credit keyboard skills requirement that may be fulfilled by taking classes chosen from MUSC 100, 136, 200 (with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies), and 236. In most cases, BM majors with no prior keyboard experience will enroll in MUSC 136 and MUSC 236. A student may place out of half or all of the requirement by passing half or all of a Keyboard Skills Placement/Exemption Test. The test is offered in the days surrounding the beginning of classes each fall and spring semester. This semester the exam will be administered in person on Tuesday, August 17. Please contact Prof. Robert Buxton (rsbuxton@email.unc.edu) to schedule an exam time.

MUSC 136 — Keyboard Skills I (Fall)

For music majors with limited piano training who need to fulfill the piano skills requirement. Students may place out of this requirement through examination (see below). To sign up for an exam time, please contact Prof. Robert Buxton (rsbuxton@email.unc.edu).

MUSC 236 — Keyboard Skills II (Spring)

For music majors who have taken MUSC 136 and want to continue their piano training. Students may place out of this requirement through examination. To sign up for an exam time, please contact Prof. Robert Buxton (rsbuxton@email.unc.edu).

Sample Keyboard Skills Test

Level I (MUSC 136)

  1. Prepare to play the following major scales, two hands together, two octaves ascending and descending (C, G, D, A, and E)
  2. Prepare to play the following major scales, one hand at a time, two octaves ascending and descending (B, F)
  3. Prepare to play the following arpeggios, one hand at a time, two octaves ascending and descending (C, G, D, A, E, B, and F)
  4. Prepare to play a I–IV–I–V7–I chord progression with keyboard voicing (C, G, D, A, E, B, and F)
  5. Be prepared to transpose a simple melody (provided at the exam) to major keys up to 3 sharps and flats.
  6. Sight reading will be provided at the exam.  Here is a sample:

Keyboard Test Example

Level II (MUSC 236)

  1. Prepare to play the following minor scales in natural, harmonic, and melodic minor, two hands together, two octaves ascending and descending (A, E, D, G, C, B, F, F#, C#, G#, B-flat, and E-flat).
  2. Prepare to play the following major scales, one hand at a time, two octaves ascending and descending (B-flat, E-flat, and A-flat).
  3. Prepare to play the following minor arpeggios, one hand at a time, two octaves ascending and descending (A, E, D, G, C, B, F, F#, C#, G#, B-flat, and E-flat).
  4. Prepare to play a i-iv-i-V7-I chord progression with keyboard voicing in any minor key
  5. Prepare to play a I–vi–IV–ii6–I6/4–V7–I chord progression with keyboard voicing any major key.
  6. Prepare to transpose several measures of a simple melody and accompaniment (provided at the exam) to any key
  7. Sight reading will be provided at the exam.  Here is a sample: