Class Piano

Information for Class Piano Students

There are Never any waiting lists. 

DROPS: Students may drop online.

ADDS: Require a signature of Professor Caramia (room 410) but only if there is an opening.

PLEASE NOTE: There are NEVER permission codes given in Class Piano.


Texts for PCL 101-104 are available in the bookstore:

PCL 101-102, you will need Keyboard Musicianship, Book 1, by Lyke, Caramia, Alexander (Stipes Music Publishing, 10th Edition, 2014); ISBN:  978-1-60904-307-0

PCL 103-104, you will need Keyboard Musicianship, Book 2, by Lyke, Caramia, Alexander (Stipes Music Publishing, 10th Edition, 2015); ISBN:  1-60904-341-4

PCL 105-106: a technique pamphlet will be handed out.  



  • DROPS: Students may drop online
  • ADDS: beginning 1/19:  signature of
    Professor Caramia is required (room 410)
    but only if there is an opening

All piano classes are scheduled on-line, and are listed in the Timetable (see Timetable link).

Continue to consult this Class Piano Website for updates to the schedule and other information. 

Do NOT request to be added to a class if it is full.

PCL 101 through 104:  meet 2 hrs per week; classes are in one of 2 piano labs (room 443, ESM or Messinger Hall, 4th floor).  For the sections that meet in 443, there is a limit of 10 students per section; the 2nd lab has a limit of 6. Each student earns a letter grade, and 2 credit hours..

PCL 105-106: meet in a section for 1 hour per week in either lab, for technique, sight reading, and advanced harmonization skills AND meet individually for 1/2 hour per week in a private lesson.

  • Placement in classes is based on auditions at the beginning of the Fall semester.  Some students will be between levels; others may have deficiencies to be made up.

Class Piano at Eastman

Objectives:  a thorough and integrated study of the art of keyboard performance, from the beginning level (PCL 101) through late intermediate (PCL 106).

Topics include:

  • TECHNIQUE:  posture, hand position, fingering principles, eye/hand coordination, use of wrist and arm; all major/minor 5 finger patterns; all major/minor scales and triad arpeggios; all 7th chords and arpeggios; modes; chromatic, pentatonic and whole tone scales; repeated notes, 3rds, octaves; the pedal; exercises and studies.
  • REPERTOIRE:  all levels, many styles and composers from Baroque to Jazz.
  • FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS:  harmonization (emphasis on keyboard texture, traditional and jazz), up to secondary dominants; transposition to all keys; sight reading; theory work; improvisation; and score reading.

Proficiency Tests

If you wish to proficiency a piano class section:

  • Examine the proficiency from the Class Piano Website
  • When ready to take this exam, contact Professor Caramia at

If an instructor must miss a class, lab or lesson, every effort will be made to notify the students before the lesson time.  Notices of faculty absences are generally posted on the bulletin board near Room 410, and on the door of the classroom or lesson room.  Traditionally, faculty and students wait 10 minutes after the starting time of a class or lesson for each other.

A make up time will be arranged by faculty for missed lessons.  Students are expected to honor this time; additional times cannot be offered.

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Your goal is to master the art of keyboard playing through a wide variety of areas.  You are responsible for adequate practice before class in order for the instructor to give constructive assistance. The instructor can work successfully only with those who are prepared.  You should strive to play the assignment at a steady tempo, in a consistent and musical manner, with accuracy in notes, fingerings, articulation, dynamics, phrasing, and pedaling.  Daily sight reading and technical work are vitally important.


Grades are based more on progress in class than on exam performance:

  • Class work including preparation for classes, labs, and lessons
  • Quality and quantity of work covered
  • Progress shown throughout the semester
  • Your playing relative to the requirements of your level
  • Exams
  • Quizzes at the discretion of the instructor
  • Input from the instructor, including daily assessment, evaluation of test performances, and other criteria as stated in individual policies.


Use these guidelines to help focus your practicing:

  • Technique:  good hand position—accurate fingerings/pitches—steady beat and divisions—firm tone
  • Repertoire:  appropriate tempo—steady beat with accurate rhythms—consistent and correct fingerings, phrasing, dynamics, articulation—balance of melody with accompaniment—appropriate use of the pedal(s)
  • Skills (harmonization/transposition/sight reading/improvisation/score reading):  appropriate tempo—steady beat with accurate rhythms—consistently accurate fingering choices—appropriate chord choice and texture.

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