Proficiency Exams  


Home
Liturgy Intensives
Chant Institute
Chicago Series
Advanced Seminar
Degree Programs
Continuing Education
Faculty
Tuition & Fees
Calendar 2014
Courses  2014
Proficiency Exams
Photos
Helpful Links

The following guidelines are intended to help students prepare for the Proficiency Examinations:

Music Theory   (rev. May 16, 2002)
The Theory Placement Test (TPT) consists of essential undergraduate theory material which a student must have mastered before entering a graduate program.  This test is based on Greg A. Steinke's Harmonic Materials of Tonal Music Part II, 9th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002).

There are seven questions covering essential aspects of undergraduate theory amounting to a total of 215  points.  To prepare for the TPT, the student should review the following chapters of the text as they relate to each question on the TPT.
Questions 1 & 2: Modulation and 7th Chords (Chapters 1 & 3)
Question 3: Borrowed and Altered Chords (Chapters 2 & 3)
Question 4: Melody Harmonization (Chapters 4 & 5)
Question 5:  Augmented 6th chords (Chapter 6)
Question 6: Neapolitan, augmented, Chromatic 3rd, 9th and 13th Chords (Chapters 7, 8 & 11)
Question 7: Analysis (Appendix B Piano Styles
                              
Music History  The examination is given in three parts: Beginnings to 1600, 1600 to 1900, and twentieth century.

Conducting 
Conducting a hymn or simple anthem showing clear conducting patterns, preparatory gesture dynamics, cues, and left-hand independence 
In addition if the applicant intends to do a conducting emphasis then the following must also be demonstrated: 
conducting patterns, both symmetrical and asymmetrical meters and beat divisions; 
preparatory gesture for entrances that are either "on" or "off" the beat; staccato, legato, and
marcato styles; dynamic indications; variety of ways to give cues; indication of fermatas; ability to communicate clearly both verbally and non-verbally with an ensemble.  Suggested pieces: "Alleluya Psallat," Peter Aston, novello 86 0039; "I’ll Praise My Maker," Lloyd Pfautsch, Hope APM-110; "Kyrie" from Paukenmesse, F. J. Haydn, G. Schirmer.

Voice 
Two songs from the standard classical repertoire, one of the seventeenth or eighteenth century and one of the applicant’s choice.
In addition if the applicant intends to do a voice emphasis one song each from the standard classical repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, a contemporary selection, and one of the applicant’s choosing. Preferably the applicant would sing these four songs from memory.

Keyboard      (rev. July 5. 2012)
Non-Keyboard Emphasis:
Demonstrate your musical ability to lead the song of the assembly on your major instrument/voice. E.g.,. "Gift of Finest Wheat", "On Eagles Wings" (two different styles of hymn/song)
For non-Catholic students, the Eucharistic acclamations may be replaced with similar repertoire from the student's own faith tradition
On the piano, play the melody of each of the following:
a hymn
a responsorial psalm
a Gospel Acclamation
a Holy, Holy
Choose what is familiar to you and play in a musical manner appropriate to the way it is sung: correct tempo, notes, rhythm and phrasing.
Choose a 4-part hymn and be able to play the melody in either the treble or bass range. E.g. Hymn to Joy, Nicaea, Grosser Gott
Organ Emphasis:
Play on organ a hymn such as "For All the Saints," a Gelineau Psalm, a contemporary-style Responsorial Psalm adapted for the organ, and Gospel and Eucharistic Acclamations (using appropriate registration and pedal)
For non-Catholic students, the Eucharistic acclamations may be replaced with similar repertoire from the student's own faith tradition
Choose one Bach composition, and one additional piece representing a contrasting musical period. Works may be selected from the following brief list, or the student may select other works of comparable difficulty
J. S. Bach: any movement of a Trio Sonata, or one of the 18 Large Chorales
Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation
Mendelssohn: Organ Sonatas
Langlais: 'Méditation' from Suite Médiévale, or 'Dialogue sur les Mixtures' from Suite Brève
All Organ Emphasis students should also submit a list of previously studied repertoire
Piano Emphasis:
Play on piano a hymn such as "On Eagles Wings," a Responsorial Psalm, and Gospel and Eucharistic acclamations
Choose one Bach composition, and one additional piece representing a contrasting musical period. Works may be selected from the following brief list, or the student may select other works of comparable difficulty
 Bach: Prelude and Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier
Beethoven or Mozart Piano Sonatas
Chopin: Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Polonaises, etc.
All Piano Emphasis students should also submit a list of previously studied repertoire
                  
Keyboard Harmony and Extemporization      (rev. July 5. 2012)
Non-Keyboard Emphasis:
Play basic vocal warm-up in all major keys, progressing chromatically
Prepare a hymn tune melody in its original key and transposed, chromatically (D & Db; F & F#)
Organ/Piano Emphasis:
Play all major and white-key only natural minor scales, using both hands together, two octaves (may be played in any order)
Play all major and white-key only natural minor arpeggios, using both hands together, two octaves (may be played in any order)
Play the following chord progressions
Major: I-IV6-ii-V65-I
Minor: i-iv64-ii-V6-I (white-key minors only)
Improvise accompaniments in three different styles (i.e. block chords, broken chords, oompah, or other styles) from a provided melody with specified chords
Sight read one hymn in four parts and transpose a major second up and down

 

Composition Emphasis 
In addition to the above placement examinations, applicants intending to do a composition emphasis are asked to submit two of their most advanced, recent compositions and demonstrate undergraduate proficiency in orchestration.
                                                                                      (Revised 7/96, 7/98, 4/99, 2/00, 8/05, 7/07, 7/12)

                                      For more information about the program email churchmusic@saintjoe.edu 
                                    Page updated 07/05/2012