Explore UAB

This is a spot graphic on the piano proficiency page.All music majors must demonstrate basic proficiency at the piano keyboard prior to graduation. If you are not able to pass the Piano Proficiency Examination upon entering the music degree program you must enroll in MUP 125: Class Piano until you are able to do so. Up to three semester hours of credit earned in Class Piano may be counted toward electives.


To demonstrate functional keyboard skills at a level appropriate for students majoring in music.


All majors must pass the Piano Proficiency Examination prior to graduation.

  • If you have considerable experience in piano, you may be allowed to take the examination during your first term without enrolling for Class Piano. If you fail the exam, you must enroll in Class Piano until you pass the proficiency exam.
  • If you do not have experience in piano, you must enroll in Class Piano and continue enrollment until the exam has been passed.

Under no circumstances should the proficiency exam be taken later than the end of your junior year. Proficiency examinations are scheduled during examination week of each semester and are administered by the instructor of MUP 125 and two other faculty members.

To take the proficiency exam, contact the MUP 125 instructor at least one week before the last day of classes to schedule a time and place for the exam. It will be approximately 15 minutes in duration and will cover examples from the areas listed below. The examination may be attempted once each semester until it is passed. Music education students cannot enter the TEP (Teacher Education Program) without first completing this requirement.


You are expected to demonstrate proficiencies in the areas of sight-reading, performance, technique, and related functional skills, including transposing and improvising simple accompaniments:

  • Sight Reading

    Sight-reading of song arrangements and/or simple solo piano literature such as a selected example from Chapter 5, pages 195-219 in Progressive Class Piano by Elmer Heerema.

  • Performance

    A solo selected from the following list or from a repertoire of comparable difficulty (memorization optional).

    • J.S. Bach, "Little Preludes"
    • Clementi, "Sonatinas"
    • Schumann, "Album for the Young"
    • Two patriotic songs: "America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Music may be used.
  • Technique
    • All major and harmonic minor scales: Two octaves in parallel motion, hands together.
    • All major and minor arpeggios: Two octaves, hands together.
  • Functional Skills
    • Accompaniment improvisations (see Progressive Class Piano; each chapter contains sections on harmonization and improvisation).
    • Transpose a simple accompaniment or song at sight (see Progressive Class Piano, Chapter 5, pages 195-204 for examples).
    • Play the progression I-IV–I 64–V7-I hands together in all major and minor keys.