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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. Current students who wish to take the exam again need to register in advance of the desired exam. For any questions, please contact either Associate Dean John Ellis at jsellis@umich.edu or Christine Choi at cejchoi@umich.edu. 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.  

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: Alfred Group Piano for Adults Book 1 (first half of the book)

Piano 112 syllabus: Alfred Group Piano for Adults Book 1 (second half of the book)

Piano 113 syllabus: Alfred Group Piano for Adults Book 2 (first half of the book )

Piano 114 syllabus: Alfred Group Piano for Adults Book 2 (second half of the book)

Piano 205 syllabus

Class Piano Policies

  • All elections in Class Piano are laboratory courses
  • Attendance is required at every class session
  • At class sessions include:
    • Daily monitoring and assistance for development of keyboard skills, keyboard theory, technique and sight reading skills
    • Daily assignments, explanations and assistance
    • Regular testing and progress evaluation
    • Materials and teaching designed to assist in achieving the aforementioned goals
  • ANY UNEXCUSED ABSENCE WILL RESULT IN A LOWER CLASS AND FINAL GRADE. EACH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE WILL LOWER YOUR CLASS GRADE BY ONE LEVEL (i.e. A to A-, B- to C+ etc.)
  • Excused absences include:
    • Required University activities with written notification by faculty in charge.
    • Illness or emergency: written notification is required for emergencies, U-M health center forms for illness.
    • In the event of an excused absence, students may request information from the instructor regarding make-up work or testing. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all activities occurring in the class. Most (but not all) announcements will be found on the course webpage which should be checked daily.
  • DO NOT PURCHASE PLANE TICKETS DURING EXAMINATION WEEKS UNTIL DATES AND TIMES HAVE BEEN ARRANGED.
  • Course grading consists of the following:
    • 1/3 class grade: daily work, testing and attendance
    • 1/3 mid-term jury
    • 1/3 final jury
    • A major portion of the jury average grade is determined by sight reading.
    • Reading grade (class quizzes, mid-term and final sight reading portions) of C- or better is a pre-requisite for advancement to the next course level.

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

  • Always turn off piano and visualizer screen before leaving.
  • NO FOOD, DRINK, OR GUM IN THE PIANO LABS.
  • NO TEXTING DURING CLASS
  • Abuse of the equipment in any way will be reported to campus security.

Exam Date and Sign-Up Form
Registration for the Winter 2018 piano placement exam is now open. Please sign up by Tuesday, December 12. The next piano placement exam will be held before the start of the Fall 2018 term, date TBD.

Winter 2018 Exam Schedule: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – Moore Building, Britton

Recital Hall; 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

Theory Preparation Information

Practice Theory Test

Sign up to take any of the above tests using the form below. Students 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.