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Proficiency Exam Information

This exam is for students who wish to place out of a class piano requirement. It is not the piano sight-reading exam or keyboard harmony exam required for piano majors. Most students take the exam during orientation, but it is also offered at the beginning of the Fall & Winter semesters. Placement exams for current students are not given at any other time than during those designated at the beginning of the Fall and Winter terms, and those wishing to take the exam again must register in advance of the desired exam. For questions, contact Professor John Ellis or Christine Choi.  

Exam Date and Sign-Up Form
Registration for the Fall 2018 piano placement exam is now open. Please sign up by Monday, August 20. The next piano placement exam will be held on January 8, 2019.

Information on Piano Placement Exams
Examinations will cover the following elements:

  1. Sight reading (can include additional examples of score reading after 112. See the syllabi for specific requirements)
  2. Harmonization of a melody
  3. Transposition of the melody with harmonization
  4. Chord progressions
  5. Scales and arpeggios

No solo or accompanying pieces need to be prepared for the Placement Exam.

For preparation, it is suggested to follow the text and/or syllabus as listed below:

Piano 110 Syllabus

Piano 111 Syllabus

Piano 112 Syllabus

Piano 113 Syllabus

Piano 114 syllabus

Piano 205 Syllabus

Practice

Daily practice is necessary and essential in order to build technical skill and progress. The length and focus of daily practice may vary from student to student based on previous keyboard experience and proficiency. Consult the instructor regarding the recommended length of time for daily practice.

Piano Lab Policies

Class Piano Policies

Fall 2018 Exam: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

10:00 AM–3:00 PM Theory Placement Exam (for new graduate students and undergraduate transfer students in music) – Britton Recital Hall, Moore Building

  • 10:00 AM–11:00 AM – First Year Aural Skills
  • 11:00 AM–12:00 PM – Second Year Aural Skills
  • 12:00 PM–1:00 PM – Lunch break *on your own*
  • 1:00 PM–2:00 PM – Writing Skills
  • 2:00 PM–3:00 PM – Basic Writing and Analysis

For more information, including a practice test, please see this pageStudents will receive exam results several hours after the end of testing by email. SMTD Faculty Advisors will also be able to see student results. For questions, contact Professor Wayne Petty.

The University of Michigan provides two types of placement exams for incoming freshmen: online and proctored (in-person) exams. The Math, Algorithmic Thinking, and Spanish Exams, as well as the Directed Self-Placement for Writing are offered online. Students must complete the online exams before attending orientation.  

Placement exams in chemistry and other languages are proctored on campus during freshman orientation. Language exams in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian Japanese, Latin, and Russian will be offered. If you want to take a placement exam for a language other than the ones listed above, call the department directly to take the test after orientation. Do not schedule one of these exams while you are participating in the program. A list of languages and their corresponding departments can be found online.  

To determine whether a particular placement exam is required, please review the Placement Exam Chart

Languages
Information for placement exams within French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish can be found at the Romance Languages website.

Placement exam for a language other than the ones listed above, call the department directly to take the test after orientation. Do not schedule one of these exams while you are participating in the program. A list of languages and their corresponding departments can be found online.  

Math and Chemistry
Information for placement exams in Math can be found at LSA’s Math Department website, and Chemistry may be found via the Office of New Student Programs.