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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

Crane Keyboard Placement Exam

How many keyboard classes may I try to place out of?

Incoming freshmen may attempt to place out of Keyboard Skills I (MUCC 111). Placement options for additional courses in the keyboard sequence may be discussed at the initial appointment. For all placement exams, carefully follow all instructions on the exam links, including fingering, key requirements, and tempo markings.

Transfer Students may attempt to place out of all but the final Functional Keyboard course in their sequence by completing performance exams. For credit by exam options for the final Functional Keyboard course please see below under "Keyboard Credit by Exam". 

  • For the initial keyboard placement exam transfer students should prepare all skills from the Keyboard Skills I link below (under "Placement Exam Requirements for Crane Keyboard Classes"). 
  • At the initial placement exam meeting, the goal of keyboard faculty will be to determine what the most appropriate initial keyboard course (keyboard placement) is for each transfer student. Transfer students will enroll in the course they are placed in at the start of their first semester at Crane. 
  • Transfer students must enroll in or place out of all keyboard courses required for their major, regardless of the initial keyboard placement. Any courses not successfully placed out of during the initial placement exam will need to be placed out of via separate performance exams at a later date to be determined at the initial exam. 
  • For all placement exams, carefully follow all instructions on the exam links, including fingering, key requirements, and tempo markings. 
  • If you plan to attempt to place out of more than one course: each placement exam requires a solo. Please ask the keyboard faculty at your initial exam if your solo satisfies the requirement for more than one keyboard course placement exam.

What should I do to get ready?

Incoming freshmen:

  • To prepare for this exam, click on the Keyboard Skills I link below to view the list of required skills for that level.
  • Skills must be mastered, and correct fingering must always be used. 

Transfer students:

  • Each keyboard class must be tested out of individually, starting with Keyboard Skills I at the initial placement exam.
  • To prepare for your exam, click on the Keyboard Skills I link below to view the list of required skills.
  • For subsequent exams (if applicable), click on the corresponding links below. 
  • Skills must be mastered, and correct fingering must always be used.

When can I attempt to test out of one or more Crane keyboard classes?

Initial placement exams take place the day before classes begin each semester. Subsequent follow-up exams will be scheduled with the Crane Keyboard Coordinator after the initial exam. 

How do I schedule my exam?

The Crane Keyboard Coordinator schedules all placement exam appointments via email. Appointments will be made by the coordinator before the start of each semester.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

You may contact Heather Wheeler, Crane Keyboard Coordinator via email (wheelehl@potsdam.edu) or telephone (315) 267-3192. Please note that the Keyboard Coordinator may be out of the office for extended periods during summer and winter breaks, and email will be checked intermittently.

Placement Exam Requirements for Crane Keyboard Classes

Note: For best results, open and print these files using a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.

Keyboard Skills I (freshman year, first semester)

Keyboard Skills II (freshman year, second semester)

Functional Keyboard I, choral/general track (sophomore year, first semester)

Functional Keyboard I, band/orchestra track (sophomore year, first semester)

Functional Keyboard II, choral/general track (sophomore year, second semester)

Functional Keyboard III, choral track (junior year, first semester)

Keyboard Credit by Exam

Students who have already been placed in the keyboard sequence and who wish to apply for credit by examination for a keyboard course must first email the Crane Keyboard Coordinator. Keyboard credit by exam is a two-step process that begins with a brief preliminary exam of materials to be learned quickly (24-hour quick study), and for students who pass the quick study, culminates in a credit by exam. Below is the timeline: 

1. Quick Study Exam

  • Week 12: The deadline to email a request to the Crane Keyboard Coordinator for a quick study exam is Monday of Week 12, 11:59 PM. 
  • Week 13: Once a request has been received by the Crane Keyboard Coordinator, students sign up for the 24-hour quick study exam on a sign-up sheet on the Keyboard Coordinator’s door (Schuette Hall room A125), posted in Week 13.
  • Week 14: The deadline to sign up for a quick study exam is Thursday of Week 14, 5:00 PM. 
  • Week 15: All quick study exams will take place during the spring or fall semesters on Tuesday and Wednesday of Week 15, between 5:00-7:30 pm. 
  • The quick study exam will be heard by a jury of no less than two keyboard faculty; all faculty in the area will be informed and invited. 

2. Credit by Exam

  • Those students who pass the quick study exam will be granted permission to attempt credit by exam at the beginning of the following academic semester. 
  •  Credit by exams will take place on the day before classes begin in front of a jury of no less than two keyboard faculty; all faculty in the area will be informed and invited. Credit by exam materials will be shared with students 6 weeks in advance.
  • Students prepare credit by exam materials without keyboard faculty guidance.  

Credit by exam is designed for students who exhibit outstanding ability and preparation. Students are allowed only one credit by exam attempt per course. Each skill performed must earn a passing grade (75) and students must earn an overall grade of a 92 or above (A) in order to earn credit by exam. Students cannot attempt a credit by exam for a course they have attempted and received a non‐passing grade for (W, W*, U, P, or number grade below 2.0).