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Four Levels of Class Piano provide a progressive approach to acquaint students with the basic keyboard skills to be successful as a music major at NKU. The basic skills covered include technique, repertoire, improvisation, harmonization, score reading, transposition and sight-reading. All students including Piano Majors must complete MUSM 234, Class Piano IV and MUSM 296, Piano Proficiency, to complete the requirements for graduation. Transfer students who have completed their Piano Proficiency requirements at a different university, must have their transcripts evaluated for content to see if the NKU Proficiency Requirements have been met.

  • Students with no prior experience in playing the piano will not need a placement test and will be registered for MUSM132, Class Piano I.
  • Incoming and transfer students with formal piano training experience (six months or more) must take the placement test to be assigned to an appropriate level of the Class Piano sequence. This will afford the student the opportunity to pass out of one to three semesters of class piano.

Students must demonstrate competency in the following skills for advanced placement into the following levels of Class Piano:


The official e-text for the Class Piano sequence is eNovativePiano.

  • Students must demonstrate competency in all skills listed in the Piano Proficiency as outline in the Piano Proficiency Requirements and must successfully complete the Piano Proficiency, Part IV for graduation.
  • Placement tests are for incoming freshmen and transfer students only.
  • Students who are placed in Class Piano during the audition process, may choose to take summer lessons and are encouraged to arrange for retesting prior to the beginning of the next semester.
  • Face to Face Testing: Prospective students may take placement tests live on the date they audition or during the week prior to the start of the semester.
  • Virtually Testing: Alternatively, students may choose to submit a video of the skills outline to be placed in each class. 
    • Submit an unlisted YouTube link or Share your video file via Google Drive
    • Sight-reading components will need to be done synchronously on ZOOM and will need to be scheduled with Dr. Van Dyke in advance.
  • Students must pass all parts of appropriate placement test to advance in the Class Piano

Contact Dr. Richard Van Dyke with any questions regarding the Class Piano placement tests and to schedule appointments for synchronous and asynchronous evaluations.