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Keyboard Facility Requirements

All Bachelor of Music students (except those whose major instrument is piano) must demonstrate proficiency on the piano to achieve Laurier’s keyboard facility standard. Failure to meet these standards by the beginning of a student’s third year can result in withdrawal from the program.

All incoming Bachelor of Music students will be required to sign up for a keyboard placement interview during Orientation Week to discuss Laurier’s keyboard facility standards and in some cases to prove they have met our requirements.

During this, interview students can:

  • Provide proof of completing a Grade 6 (or higher) Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) piano exam in the form of an official certificate or examination results, which must have been completed within the previous three calendar years.
  • Attempt Laurier’s keyboard facility exam, meant to test piano skills at a Grade 6 RCM equivalency.
  • Discuss their current level of piano knowledge and discuss Laurier’s keyboard facility standards and optional workshop.

If students are unable to pass the keyboard facility exam or do not opt to attempt the test we recommend they take the Laurier keyboard facility workshop. This workshop is offered to assist students to prepare for the equivalency exam, which is administered as part of the workshop. This workshop does not count towards academic credit runs each term and may be taken for up to four terms (i.e. up to the end of second year).

Should you decide to pursue piano studies on your own in lieu of taking the workshop, you must arrange to retake the keyboard facility exam or present a RCM Grade 6 piano certificate before you enter your third year of study.

COVID-19 Keyboard Facility Addendum

Students have the option to fulfil the Keyboard Facility Requirements at any time, per the policy, or they may opt to "stop the clock" on the Keyboard Facility requirement.

In normal circumstances, students have six full semesters (Fall—Winter—Spring) in which to complete the requirement.

Entering students shall have six full semesters in which to complete the requirement, beginning at the start of the first full semester of in-person instruction. 

For students who are in progress, the clock shall be considered to have stopped as of Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, and will resume at the start of the first full semester of in-person instruction. Such students shall have the remainder of their six-semester timeline in order to complete the requirement.

  1. Incoming students who have credentials that will satisfy the requirement are strongly encouraged to present those without delay, as this will allow better planning for next year when there may be a double cohort of students who need piano courses.
  2. All other students should choose to defer the requirement to give themselves more time, regardless of their intent to start work toward completion of the requirement immediately, or not.
  3. The placement interview is only relevant if (a) students without formal credentials feel they are close to the mark and don’t want the unknown hanging over their head, or (b) they intend to work on the requirement this year. If students intend to defer progress on completion of the piano facility requirement, regardless of their current ability, the placement interview will be out of date when the six-semester clock starts and would warrant a follow-up interview. Therefore, students with a credential should send proof to Catherine Hewson at catherine_hewson@yahoo.ca. Placement interviews this year are entirely optional. Placement interviews will be held at the start of the first full semester when we have returned to in-person instruction, mandatory for all who choose not to complete their interview in September 2020.

If you wish to inquire about taking the Keyboard Facility Workshop group lessons online, please contact Catherine Hewson at catherine_hewson@yahoo.ca

If you are looking for a one-on-one private instructor who may do lessons online, you can also inquire with Catherine Hewson or contact the Beckett School at Laurier