• Charleston County School of the Arts

    Piano Major and Audition for 6th - 12th Grades

     

    Program Expectations

     

    In the School of the Arts Piano Department, students learn the technical and musical skills they will need to be successful as a pianist. This includes the study of classical technique as well as an understanding of rhythm, pitch, tone, articulation, style, dynamics, phrasing, and more. Students also work on music theory, written and aural, which is used in classical piano as well as jazz piano.  Students are encouraged to be creative through composition and improvisation. They learn to use the correct terminology when listening to and discussing their own music and

    the performances of others. Students use their skills in playing solos & ensembles, accompanying, and performing in jazz combos.

     

    Audition Expectations

    In the audition, students will be asked to demonstrate their musical and performance ability on the piano. We are looking for good technique, notes and rhythmic accuracy, solid memorization and musicality. Musicality includes dynamics, articulations, phrasing, tone and balance. Students demonstrate these skills by performing two/three scales, two/three cadences, two solo pieces and sight-­‐reading.

     

    Scales should be played with a good hand position, correct notes, and correct fingerings at a consistent tempo. Solos should be performed from memory with correct notes, rhythms, articulations, phrasing, dynamics and pedal technique. To demonstrate their sight reading ability, students will be asked to look at a sight reading exercise for 30 seconds and then play it demonstrating correct notes, rhythms, dynamics and articulations.  Students in grades 7-­‐12 will be asked to complete a theory assessment.  Through a group of questions, students will be assessed on their ability to evaluate their performance and share knowledge of their art form.



    Audition Requirements

    • 6th  Grade:
      1. Two, one-­‐octave scales related to repertoire
      2. Cadence chords(I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales
      3. Two memorized solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature
      4. Sight reading
      5. Evaluation & analysis skills

     

    • 7th  & 8th  Grade:
      1. Three, two-­‐octave scales (judges may select from white key majors and A,E,D minor scales.)
      2. Cadence chords in the same keys as the scales
      3. Two solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature, from memory
      4. Sight Reading.
      5. Theory assessment
      6.  Evaluation & analysis skills

     

    • 9th  -­‐11th  Grade:
      1. Three, three-­‐octave scales (judges may select from all major scales and white key minor scales)
      2. Cadence chords (I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales
      3. Two memorized solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature
      4. Sight reading
      5. Theory assessment
      6. Evaluation & analysis skills

     

    • 12th  Grade:
      1. Three, three or four octave scales (judges may select from all major and all minor scales)
      2. Cadence chords (I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales
      3. Two memorized solo of contrasting style from classical piano literature
      4. Sight reading
      5. Theory assessment
      6. Evaluation & analysis skills

    SOA PIANO ENTRANCE AUDITIONS FOR 6TH-­‐12TH  GRADE

     

    • 6th  Grade: A. Two, one-­‐octave scales related to repertoire  B. Cadence chords(I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales  C. Two memorized solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature  D. Sight reading 
    1. Evaluation & analysis skills
    • 7th & 8th Grade: A. Three, two-­‐octave scales (judges may select from white key majors and A,E,D minor scales. B. Cadence chords in the same keys as the scales  C. Two solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature, from memory D. Sight Reading. E.  Theory assessment  F. Evaluation & analysis skills
    • 9th -­‐11th Grade: A. Three, three-­‐octave scales (judges may select from all major scales and white key minor scales)  B. Cadence chords (I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales  C. Two memorized solos of contrasting style from classical piano literature  D.  Sight reading  E. Theory assessment  F. Evaluation & analysis skills
    • 12th Grade:  A. Three, three or four octave scales (judges may select from all major and all minor scales) B.  Cadence chords (I,IV,V,I) in the same keys as the scales  C. Two memorized solo of contrasting style from classical piano literature  D. Sight reading  E. Theory assessment  F. Evaluation & analysis skills

     

     Scales

     

    4     Scale is played with correct notes, correct fingering, and even tempo. 

    3     Tempo is even and notes and fingerings are mostly accurate/ a few errors

    2     Tempo is uneven and/or notes and fingerings are frequently inaccurate. 

    1     Tempo is uneven and notes and fingerings are significantly incorrect. 



    Cadences

      4           Chord notes are accurate. Student demonstrates knowledge of I, IV, V chord progression. 

    3          Chord notes are mostly accurate with an isolated error. Student demonstrates knowledge  of I,   IV, V chord progression. 

    2 Chord notes have several errors. Some knowledge of I, IV, V chord progression is evident.

    1 Chord notes have significant errors. Little knowledge of I, IV, V chord progression is evident.

     

      Solo 1 Rhythm

     

    4             The beat is secure and the rhythms are accurate for the style of music played. 

    3             The beat is secure and the rhythms are mostly accurate.  There are a few duration errors but      these do not detract from the overall performance. 

    2             The beat is somewhat erratic. Frequent or repeated duration errors.  Rhythm errors somewhat Detract from the overall performance, 

    1             The beat is usually erratic and rhythms are seldom accurate, detracting significantly from the overall performance.

     

    Solo #1    Note Accuracy 

    4     Notes are consistently accurate. 

    3     An occasional inaccurate note is played, but does not detract from overall performance. 

    2     Several inaccurate notes are played, detracting somewhat from the overall performance. 

    1     Wrong notes consistently detract from the overall performance. 

     

    Solo #1     Dynamics 

    4     Dynamic levels are evident, consistent, and are an accurate interpretation of the style of music 

    3     Dynamic levels are mostly accurate and consistent. 

    2     Dynamic levels are rarely performed. 

    1     Attention to dynamic levels is not evident. 

     

    Solo #1     Articulation 

    4     Secure attacks. Markings (staccato, legato, slurs, accents, etc.) are executed accurately as directed  by the music. 

    3     Attacks are mostly secure though there is an occasional isolated error.  Markings are mostly        executed as directed by the music. 

    2     Attacks are rarely secure.  Markings are rarely executed accurately as directed by the music. 

    1     Attacks are not secure and markings are not executed accurately as directed by the music. 

     

    Solo #1     Phrasing 

    4     Phrasing is always consistent with the score and sensitive to the style of music played. 

    3     Phrasing is mostly consistent with the score and mostly sensitive to the style of music played. 

    2     Phrasing is somewhat consistent with the score but rarely sensitive to the style of music played. 

    1     Phrasing is not consistent with the score and not sensitive to the style of music played. 

     

    Solo #1     Memorization 

    4     90-­‐100% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    3     75-­‐88% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    2     50-­‐74% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    1     Less than 50% of the piece was performed from memory. 

     

    Solo #1     Technique 

    4     Hand position is consistently good and finger facility is clean.  If applicable, pedaling is consistently clean and used appropriately for the style of music played. 

    3     Hand position is usually good and finger facility is mostly clean. Pedaling is mostly clean and used appropriately for the style of music played. 

    2     Fingers are rarely curved or wrists are consistently too high or too low.  Finger facility is rarely clean.  If applicable, the pedaling is rarely clean and somewhat inappropriate. 

    1     Poor hand position and finger facility is poor.  If applicable, pedaling is used inappropriately. 

     

    Solo #1     Tone Quality/ Balance 

    4     All notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone. Melody is properly balanced. 

    3     Most notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone. Melody is mostly balanced. 

    2     Some notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone.  The lack of balance of the melody somewhat detracts from the overall performance. 

    1     Notes do not have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone.  The lack of balance of the melody significantly detracts from the overall performance. 

     

    Solo #2  

    Rhythm 

    4     The beat is secure and the rhythms are accurate for the style of music played. 

    3     The beat is secure and the rhythms are mostly accurate.  There are a few duration errors but        These do not detract from the overall performance. 

    2     The beat is somewhat erratic. Frequent or repeated duration errors.  Rhythm errors somewhat        Detract from the overall performance, 

    1      The beat is usually erratic and rhythms are seldom accurate, detracting significantly from the overall performance. 

     

    Solo #2    Note Accuracy 

    4     Notes are consistently accurate. 

    3     An occasional inaccurate note is played, but does not detract from overall performance. 2     Several inaccurate notes are played, detracting somewhat from the overall performance. 1     Wrong notes consistently detract from the overall performance. 

     

     Solo #2    Dynamics 

    4     Dynamic levels are evident, consistent, and are an accurate interpretation of the style of music 3     Dynamic levels are mostly accurate and consistent. 

    2     Dynamic levels are rarely performed. 

    1     Attention to dynamic levels is not evident. 

     

    Solo #2     Articulation 

    4     Secure attacks. Markings (staccato, legato, slurs, accents, etc.) are executed accurately  as directed by the music. 

    3     Attacks are mostly secure though there is an occasional isolated error.  Markings are mostly  executed as directed by the music. 

    2     Attacks are rarely secure.  Markings are rarely executed accurately as directed by the music.

    1     Attacks are not secure and markings are not executed accurately as directed by the music. 

     

    Solo #2     Phrasing 

    4     Phrasing is always consistent with the score and sensitive to the style of music played. 

    3     Phrasing is mostly consistent with the score and mostly sensitive to the style of music played. 2     Phrasing is somewhat consistent with the score but rarely sensitive to the style of music played. 1     Phrasing is not consistent with the score and not sensitive to the style of music played. 

     

    Solo #2     Memorization 

    4     90-­‐100% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    3     75-­‐88% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    2     50-­‐74% of the piece was performed from memory. 

    1     Less than 50% of the piece was performed from memory. 

     

    Solo #2     Technique 

    4     Hand position is consistently good and finger facility is clean.  If applicable, pedaling is consistently clean and used appropriately for the style of music played. 

    3     Hand position is usually good and finger facility is mostly clean. Pedaling is mostly clean and used appropriately for the style of music played. 

    2     Fingers are rarely curved or wrists are consistently too high or too low.  Finger facility is rarely clean.  If applicable, the pedaling is rarely clean and somewhat inappropriate. 

    1     Poor hand position and finger facility is poor.  If applicable, pedaling is used inappropriately. 

     

    Solo #2     Tone Quality/ Balance 

    4     All notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone. Melody is properly balanced. 

    3     Most notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone. Melody is mostly balanced. 

    2     Some notes have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone.  The lack of balance of the melody        somewhat detracts from the overall performance. 

    1     Notes do not have a beautiful, clear, characteristic tone.  The lack of balance of the melody        significantly detracts from the overall performance. 

     

    Sight Reading 

    4     Student sight reads with minimal note errors and rhythm errors. Dynamics and articulations as      Marked in the score are executed. 

    3     Student sight reads with minimal note errors and rhythm errors.  Dynamics and articulations are Not executed. 

    2     Rhythm is somewhat erratic, many note errors, and no dynamics or articulations are executed.

    1     Rhythm is very erratic, notes are seldom accurate and no attention given to dynamics or        Articulations

     

    Evaluation & Analysis Skills 

    4     Student expresses intellectual knowledge of the art and ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in oneself. 

    3     Student expresses some intellectual knowledge of the art and some ability to identify strengths  and weaknesses in oneself. 

    2     Student expresses little knowledge of the art and/or little ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in oneself. 

    1    Student expresses no knowledge of the art and no ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in oneself.