Class Piano

Frequently Asked Questions

For ESM students:

I am an incoming undergraduate student. How should I prepare for the class piano placement audition?

  • Please visit the Audition Information page to learn what material you will be asked to play and how your placement will be determined.  


How do I know which level to enroll in?


As a new student, how do I register for the class?

  • Registration occurs before the start of the semester. Registration procedures will be covered during New Student Orientation in August.


The class section I want is full. Can I get on a waitlist?

  • There are no waitlists for class piano courses. If a section is full, you will need to register for a different section.


How do I drop or add a class piano course outside of the normal registration period?

  • You can drop a class piano course online; adding a class piano course after the normal registration period requires Professor Caramia’s signature (his office is ESM410).


Do I need a permission code to register for a class piano course?

  • No, there are never permission codes for class piano courses.


What are the class piano requirements for my major?


What textbook do I need?

  • Texts for PCL101-104 are available in the bookstore. Be sure to purchase the 10th edition! Note that using scans or other copies of the text is not allowed.

    PCL101-101– Keyboard Musicianship, Book 1, by Lyke, Caramia, Alexander (Stipes Music Publishing, 10th Edition, 2015); ISBN:  978-1-60904-307-0

    PCL103-104 – Keyboard Musicianship, Book 2, by Lyke, Caramia, Alexander (Stipes Music Publishing, 10th Edition, 2015); ISBN:  1-60904-341-4

  • For PCL105-106, a technique pamphlet will be distributed in class.


What will be covered in each course?

  • Please see the Course Descriptions page for a description of the material covered in each course. 


How are the courses structured?

  • For PCL101-104, you will meet as a class twice per week for fifty minutes in one of our two piano labs (ESM443 and Messinger Hall room TBD). These courses are 2 credits and earn a letter grade.
  • For PCL101-106, you will meet as a class once per week for fifty minutes in one of our two piano labs (ESM443 and Messinger Hall room TBD) to work on technique and keyboard skills. Additionally, you will meet individually with a TA once per week for a thirty minute private lesson to work on repertoire. These courses are 1 credit and earn a letter grade that reflects your work both in class and in the private lessons. 


Can I test out of a course?


What is the difference between the Proficiency Tests and the PCL 104 Competency Test?

  • Proficiency Tests for PCL 101-106 can be taken by any student who feels competent to perform all aspects of the test, in front of the Piano Class Coordinator, at any time the student is ready to do so.
  • The PCL 104 Competency Test is required of all students at the completion of their 104 class. This test covers all areas of PCL 104, including technical facility, fundamental skills, and repertoire.


When I’m preparing for a proficiency test or if I am struggling with the material in a PCL course, can I ask my TA to give me extra office hours to help?

  • Absolutely! Your TAs want to help you succeed! Just remember that they are busy, too, and won’t be able to give you unlimited hours of extra assistance.


How will I know if a PCL class meeting is cancelled?

  • If an instructor must miss a class or lesson, every effort will be made to notify the students before the class/lesson time.  Notices of faculty absences are generally posted on the bulletin board near ESM410 and on the door of the classroom or lesson room.  If you show up for class or a lesson and your instructor isn’t there, wait 10 minutes past the normal starting time before leaving.  


What happens if my instructor cancels a class or a lesson? Will there be a make-up session?

  • This varies a bit from case to case, as the circumstances for every class are different. But usually instructors do attempt to schedule a make-up meeting. If your instructor arranges a make-up time with you, honor this time; avoid cancelling or trying to reschedule, as additional make-up times cannot be offered.  


For River Campus/UR students:

If I have had piano lessons, can I enroll in MUR 118?

  • No, this class is strictly for UR students who have never had lessons.


I’m a U of R student, although I haven’t take MUR118 but I have had piano lessons for one year. Am I qualified for the MUR119?

  • Possibly, but MUR 119 is a continuation of MUR 118, so it is best to consult the text for MUR 118 to verify what has been covered in MUR 118 and what will be studied in MUR 119.