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Department Examinations

Instrumental / Vocal Juries

Relevant to: All Music majors in the B.A. program taking applied lessons in an instrument or voice


 Students enrolled in instrumental or vocal Applied Lessons perform a Progress or Advancement Jury each semester. Students sign up for a 1-hour time slot and should be prepared to perform their Jury at any point during that hour.  Students perform a Jury for a panel of at least 3 faculty members that includes a minimum of 2 tenure-track faculty. All juries happen during finals week, except Degree Recital juries.

There are two types of Juries - Progress Juries and Advancement Juries. Progress Juries typically include the performance of 1 selection (5 minutes per student, except piano which will be 10 minutes). Advancement Juries typically include the performance of multiple selections, the number determined by area, and may also require demonstration of level specific skills such as scales, musicianship exams, sight-reading, etc. See below for the specific requirements of your area.

Degree Recital Juries are considered Advancement Juries. Junior Recital Juries serve as the Advancement Jury from Level 3 to Level 4, pending completion of the Junior Recital. Senior Recital Juries serve as a program culmination, pending completion of the Senior Recital.

  • Students are not required to perform an end of semester jury in a semester in which they perform a Junior or Senior Recital. Recital Jury scheduling is handled by the MRC as detailed in the Handbook.
Please Note:

Students whose recitals involve other performers, including pianists and combos/ensembles, must have all performers present at the time of the Degree Recital Jury. If any performers are unable to be in attendance at the Degree Recital Jury, it is the student's responsibility to send a quality performance recording of the ensemble to the chair of the Applied Music Committee in advance of the jury. The jury results of those selections will be based upon an evaluation of the recording.

Students are evaluated on multiple benchmarks for each level.
  • Needs major support (0): Student is not ready for University Level Study.
  • Emerging (1)
  • Developing (2)
  • Proficient (3): Student is ready to prepare a Junior Recital
  • Exemplary (4): Student is ready to prepare a Senior Recital

Jury Scores

There are 3 potential scores for each jury:
  • Pass: The performance clearly demonstrates benchmarks for advancement to the next level at this time (Advancement Jury) or show progress indicating they will be able to demonstrate them at the end of the next semester (Progress Jury).
  • Fail: The performance does not demonstrate required benchmarks. The student is given a warning in a Progress Jury or is retained at the current level of Applied Study in an Advancement Jury. The student is expected to perform an Advancement Jury at the end of the next term.
  • Discontinue: The performance does not demonstrate required benchmarks and the lack of progress indicates that the student would likely not be able to meet the benchmarks at the next jury. A student who is discontinued may not register for Applied Study. The student may work privately and will be given the opportunity to perform another Jury at the end of the next semester.

NOTE: Jury outcomes do not necessarily correspond to academic grade for the semester.

Jury Outcomes

  • A Progress Jury performance that demonstrates mastery of skills with a majority of scores at or above the Benchmarks of the current level will be considered a Pass.
  • An Advancement Jury performance that demonstrates mastery of skills with a majority of scores at or above the Benchmarks of the desired new level will be considered a Pass.
  • A Jury performance that demonstrates mastery of skills with a majority of scores below the Benchmarks of the current level will be considered a Fail.
  • Faculty may Discontinue any student whose Jury performance fails to demonstrate progress towards the next level.

Instrumental Area (strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, guitar)

Lower Division (15 minute jury)
  • perform 2 scales, chosen by the faculty jury, from the published list of scales appropriate to the student’s level. 
  • one etude
  • about 3-5 minutes of music (one piece, or two shorter pieces/movements)
Upper Division (20 minute jury)
  • provide the committee with a list of scales you can perform and they will choose two to hear
  • one etude
  • two contrasting pieces or movements of about 4-5 minutes each

Voice Area

  • sing one song from memory never before performed for a recital.
  • singers must pass a musicianship test  in order to be admitted to upper division applied study. The test consists of learning an assigned song in 60 minutes then singing the song, using music, for the voice faculty. This test is given at the end of the first semester of Level 2. Students who fail the exam will have 2 more opportunities to pass in future semesters.

Piano Area

Level 1:
  • Minimum of two (2) pieces from two style periods
  • Must include at least one contrapuntal Baroque piece such as Invention, Sinfonia or Fugue
  • Minimum of one piece memorized
  • Same selections may not be repeated in consecutive progress juries (fall/spring)
Level 2:
  • Minimum of three (3) pieces from three style periods
  • Must include at least one contrapuntal Baroque piece such as Invention, Sinfonia or Fugue
  • Individual sonata or sonatina movements are acceptable
  • Minimum of two pieces memorized
Level 3:
  • Four selections from four different style periods
  • Must include at least one contrapuntal Baroque piece in three voices
  • Must include a complete Classical Sonata (all movements)
  • Minimum of three pieces memorized
Level 4:
  • Four selections from four different styles
  • Baroque selection must be a WTC Prelude and Fugue or complete suite
  • Must include a complete Classical Sonata (all movements)
  • All pieces must be memorized with exceptions for complex 20th/21st repertoire

Jazz Area

Jazz Studies students' jury and recital requirements fall under the Music Department guidelines specified for all students.

Piano Proficiency Exam

Relevant to: All Music Majors in the B.A. program


The Piano Proficiency Exam at the Cal State East Bay Department of Music assesses competencies that demonstrate basic functionality at the keyboard, appropriate to a Bachelor of Arts student in Music. In order to graduate, all CSUEB Music students must pass the Piano Proficiency Exam OR complete four (4) semesters of group keyboard study. All music students are required to complete Basic Keyboard I (MUS 118A) and Basic Keyboard II (MUS 118B).

The most efficient way to complete the Piano Proficiency requirement is to enroll in Intermediate Keyboard I (MUS 218A) and Intermediate Keyboard II (MUS 218B). Students who pass Intermediate Keyboard I and Intermediate Keyboard II with a minimum grade of C are not required to take the piano proficiency exam.

While some students elect to work on proficiency requirements independently, it is highly discouraged and may significantly delay graduation. Students not enrolled in Intermediate Keyboard I or Intermediate Keyboard II who wish to demonstrate their mastery of proficiency items may only do so during the fall and spring Final Exam period.

Contact Dr. Shimron at least 14-21 days in advance to schedule the exam.

Please follow the guidelines and use the examples below to prepare for the Piano Proficiency Exam. All examples are taken from Alfred’s Group Piano for Adults, 2nd Ed., (Lancaster, 2004)

Technique:
Harmonization and Transposition:
  • Students will be asked to play two (2) harmonizations and transpose each one.
    • Harmonization No. 1 will contain a melody with no given chords. Students will need to choose and play tonally appropriate chords in LH while playing the melody in the RH, followed by a transposition to a different key. Chords should be derived from primary triads (I, IV, V7), with a logical progression that builds on the common practice Phrase Model. Students will need to play chords in LH (blocked or broken) while playing the melody in the RH, followed by a transposition to a different key.
    • Harmonization No. 2 will contain a melody with given chords in the form of lead-sheet symbols (pop/chord symbols) or Roman numerals. Students will need to play chords in LH while playing the melody in the RH, followed by a transposition to a different key. Chords may contain diatonic and chromatic chords (secondary dominants, etc.)
  • Prepare the following examples or equivalent examples with prior approval of Dr. Shimron.

Sing-and-Play

  • Choose one of the excerpts below or another excerpt of equal or greater difficulty.
  • Sing the melody on (a) neutral syllable (“la”) or (b) solfège or (c) text/lyrics.
  • Play an accompaniment throughout based on the pattern at the beginning of the song
  • Use appropriate harmonies based on the chord symbols and use a variety of chord inversions.
  • Accompaniment must match the character of the song

Sight Reading

  • Students will be asked to sight-read excerpts at the difficulty level of the examples given below. Excerpts might be in major or minor keys.
  • Students will have one minute to silently study the example before playing.
  • Play with an emphasis on continuity. Rhythm is more important than pitch here.
Repertoire
  • Choose one piece of equal or greater difficulty compared to the examples below. You must obtain prior approval from Dr. Shimron for any substitutions. Prepare and perform, paying attention to the grading criteria listed below. Memorization is not required.
  • Note accuracy
  • Fingering accuracy
  • Harmonic accuracy (harmonizing melodies with tonally appropriate chords)
  • Rhythmic accuracy
  • Tempo appropriateness
  • Pulse stability
  • Expression and musicality: including dynamics, articulation, tone quality, etc.
  • Technique: including hand position, posture, etc.
  • Continuity
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