Optional Piano Skills Assessment

Who should take the assessment?

Auditioning students (except intended Music Industry Studies major) who are currently or have taken piano lessons for one or more years can opt to take this assessment. This assessment provides our piano faculty with additional information for Piano Class placement. It does not determine your admission to the Hayes School of Music.

When will the assessment take place, and how can I sign up?

The exam will take place during your audition day. Initially, you will indicate your wish to take this exam when registering for your audition slot in your MyMountaineer portal. On your audition day check-in, we will reconfirm this. You will then be able to sign up for a specific time slot at the check-in table.

About the assessment

The following skills will be assessed

  • Five-finger pattern groups with major chords in all keys.
  • Harmonize on a melody with I, IV, and V7 chords.
  • Play Major-Augmented-Minor-Diminished chords, both hands in all keys.
  • I-IV-I-V7-I chord progression in all major keys in both hands.
  • Sightreading will be provided at the assessment and students will have 3-5 minutes to study the excerpt.
  • Improvise a melody with I, IV, V7, and I chord.

How to prepare for the exam?

If you are currently taking lessons, your piano teacher will be able to help you prepare for the assessment. For questions about the assessment, please email Dr. Catherine Garner (Coordinator of Keyboard Activities) or by phone at 828-262-7428.