Class Piano

Information for Class Piano Students

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).  River Campus students should register for MUR 118 (fall) or MUR 119 (spring).

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


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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.


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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