School of Music Request




University of Northern Colorado
Bachelor Of Music Education Students (BME)
2013 – 2014

Piano Proficiency Examination Information

All BME majors are required to take the Piano Proficiency Exam. Ideally, this exam is completed by the end of a BME's sophomore year.

This exam is administered every semester with dates and sign-up times posted on the bulletin board by Frasier 161 and Frasier 127.

The first section of the exam contains the following:

Technique:  All of the following must be played with correct and consistent fingerings, alternate or traditional.

(1) Play major scales and harmonic minor scales, up through 4 sharps and 4 flats, hands together, two octaves, ascending and descending, maintaining a consistent and fluent tempo.

(2) Play major arpeggios and minor arpeggios, up through 4 sharps and 4 flats, hands together, four octaves ascending and descending, maintaining a fluent tempo.

Harmonization: Harmonize at sight two melodies utilizing given chord symbols and Roman numerals, and one melody without chord symbols which the student must quickly analyze where the I-IV-V7 chords belong. You may use block chords or an accompanimental figure in your harmonization. You will be expected to play a “boom-chuck” accompaniment (root of the chord in the left hand and chord in the right hand) on the Roman numeral piece with the melody played by another person on the higher register of the piano.

Transposition: Sightread and transpose a simple melody and accompaniment in any major key, transpose up or down a half or whole step from the original key.

Repertoire: Perform a work or movement, at least two pages in length, selected from standard early intermediate- and advanced-level repertoire. This repertoire must be approved by the instructor.

Happy Birthday: Be prepared to play “Happy Birthday” by ear, right hand playing the melody, left hand playing chords, in the keys of F and G Major. This piece must be played with authority and gusto as if accompanying a large group.

The second section of the exam contains the following:

Score Reading: Be able to play a combination of any two non-adjacent parts (S-T, A-B) in a vocal score and two adjacent lines in an instrumental score, one of which will be a transposing instrument and one a non-transposing instrument. Four score excerpts (two vocal and two instrumental) will be available to the students for preparation two weeks before the exam. The examiners will choose which excerpts will be heard.

Accompaniment: Prepare an accompaniment of moderate difficulty. This accompaniment must be performed with a soloist. The work must be approved by the instructor.

Star-Spangled Banner: Every BME student must play the “Star-Spangled Banner.” If you need a copy of this piece, email your request to Dr. Mills ( This piece must be played with consistent tempo and energy.


Music Education Faculty

  1. Mark Montemayor
    Area head
    Music education
    Instrumental music education
  2. Jill Burleson Burgett
    Choral music education
  3. Jason Byrnes
    Brass methods
  4. Nancy Glen
    Music Education
    Elementary general music methods
  5. Richard Mayne
    Associate Director of Bands
  6. Charlotte Mills
    Coordinator of Class Piano
    Secondary general music methods
    Student teaching coordinator

Adjunct Faculty

  1. Alise Brown
    Elementary music methods
    Ward Method
  2. Judith Sapegin
    Elementary music methods