NSU Keyboard Competency Requirements
Keyboard Majors
  1. Play cadence patterns and inversions, hands together in all major and harmonic minor keys.*
  2. Play “Happy Birthday” by ear in F and G with a more elaborate left hand accompaniment than a simple cadence pattern.*
  3. Play all major and harmonic minor scales hands together, four octaves up and down. Minimum tempo: Group of four 16th notes at 80.
  4. Sight read and harmonize an unmarked melody using a left hand cadence pattern. Be able to transpose it up or down a half-step or whole-step.
  5. Perform and harmonize a melody from a lead sheet which may contain any common triad, seventh chord, or slash chord. You may obtain the lead sheet 4 days in advance. Please ask your instructor.
  6. Perform two parts of a choral score at the piano. You may obtain the score 4 days in advance. Please ask your instructor.
  7. Sight read an intermediate-level piano piece.
  8. Accompany a vocal or instrumental solo. Students are encouraged to fulfill this requirement at convocation or on a student recital.
Non-keyboard Music Majors
  1. Play cadence patterns, hands together in all major and harmonic minor keys.*
    Major Cadence Patterns:  Triads   V7 chords   Full V7 chords   (Choose one type.)
    Harmonic Minor Cadence Patterns: TriadsV7 chordsFull V7 chords (Choose one.)
  2. Play “Happy Birthday” by ear in F and G with a left hand cadence pattern accompaniment.*
    Major Cadence Patterns (left hand): TriadsV7 chordsFull V7 chords (Choose one.)
  3. Play major scales and harmonic minor scales, hands together, two octaves up and down in the following keys: C  D  E  F  G  A  B
  4. Sight read and harmonize an unmarked melody in a major key using a left hand cadence pattern. (See 2.)
  5. Perform the melody of a lead sheet with your right hand accompanied by root position chords in your left hand. Chords will include major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads as well as dominant seventh chords. You may obtain the lead sheet 4 days in advance. Please ask your instructor.
  6. Perform a single part of a choral score at the piano. You may obtain the score 4 days in advance. Please ask your instructor. Choral Scores (for practice)
  7. Sight read a simple piano piece.
  8. Accompany a vocal or instrumental solo. Students are encouraged to fulfill this requirement at convocation or on a student recital. Accompaniments

* Music majors enrolled in Applied Music-Keyboard must perform items 1. & 2. for the piano faculty before or at the 2nd semester jury.
 They must attempt the remaining items before or at the 4th semester jury. The exam is offered midterm and during finals week.


Non-keyboard music majors can meet the keyboard competency requirements by passing 4 semesters of MUAP 115 Class Instruction-Keyboard.
  • Those who pass 1 semester of Applied Music-Keyboard may enter semester 2 of MUAP 115.
  • Those who pass 2 semesters of Applied Music-Keyboard and pass items 1. and 2. of the exam may enter semester 3 of MUAP 115.
  • Those who pass 2 semesters of Applied Music-Keyboard but do not pass items 1. and 2. of the exam may enter semester 2 of MUAP 115.