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NASM Piano Requirements

As part of the requirements for accreditation by NASM (National Association of Schools of Music), all schools of music have a piano requirement for all music degrees.  At Wartburg, it is called the “Basic Skills” test and it includes functional keyboard skills as follows:

1.Two 2-page pieces, approximately the level of the Bach Minuet in GM (BWV 114), or Burgmuller Arabesque, or Bartok pieces from For Children

2.Major and harmonic scales, HS (hands separately) with correct fingering; up to three sharps or flats only

3.Harmonization from a lead sheet – sight reading the melody while playing block chords as accompaniment; playing I-IV-V-V7 root position chords one hand; singing a melody while accompanying two-hand (bass in LH, chords in RH)

4.Four-part reading – playing two prepared hymns; with three days preparation, playing either sop-tenor, or alto-bass of a four-part open score

Applied lessons and piano classes are directed at preparing you to learn these skills.  If you have little or no prior background, you would start at Levels 1 or 2, but you could also get quite a head start this summer if you were to buy the book used in the class (Faber Adult Piano Adventures Bk 1) and read through it carefully, either on your own or with a local teacher.  For those of you who have already had one to two years of piano, brushing up your skills in repertoire such as that listed in #1, and polishing your scales means that you could move immediately to Class Level 3 or 4 (Faber Adult Piano Adventures Bk 2; Level 3 Class focuses on harmonization and beginning score reading; Level 4 Class focuses on score reading).