Guidelines for Classical Piano Principals – B.A. in Music

For both future and current music students, this guide is designed to familiarize you with the standards and procedures that are expected of classical piano principals in the B.A. program.

“But one thing is common to artists of all ages… they were not born as finished artists, but their path was one of effort and endurance.” – Paul Badura-Skoda, concert pianist and teacher

Admissions to the B.A. Music Degree as a Classical Piano Principal

An audition is required for admission to a music degree program. Auditions are scheduled by appointment during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Piano Audition Requirement

  1. Two contrasting pieces. Each piece should represent a different historical style (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Twentieth Century).
  2. At least one of the selections should be performed from memory
  3. Students are encouraged to present music that shows their highest technical proficiency. The minimum repertoire standard for admission as a piano principal is the Intermediate/Moderately Difficult level, comparable to the following list of pieces:


One of the Little Preludes by J.S. Bach
Sonata in G, L. 84/K. 63 or Sonata in F, L. 75/K. 78 by D. Scarlatti


Sonatinas by Diabelli, Kuhlau, or Clementi (3 movements)
7 Variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento”
or “6 Variations on a Swiss Song” by Beethoven


An easier Song Without Words by Mendelssohn
An easier prelude by Chopin, such as Op. 28 #4, 6, or 20
A selection from Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op. 68
To a Wild Rose by E. MacDowell
Summer’s Nocturne by Catherine Rollin

20th Century

A selection from 15 Children’s Pieces, Op. 27 by Kabalevsky (such as #11 Sonatina, or #8 Etude)
A selection from Mikrokosmos, Vol. III by Bartok
A selection from Pour les Enfants by A. Tansman
A selection from New Recital Pageants, Bk. 3 by D. Waxman


Students applying for scholarships are advised that those auditions are held separately by the Scholarship Committee in October and February, and they are competitive. Repertoire should exceed the minimum level of difficulty for serious scholarship consideration. Please contact us at the music department if we can be of further assistance as you prepare for college.


Students who have been accepted as piano principals into the music major or minor should meet with their assigned music program adviser each semester prior to registration. In addition, each student is responsible for carefully reading the Music Program entry in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog and the semester Schedule of Classes. Expedient completion of the B.A. music degree depends upon the student being organized and staying well-informed at all times.

Course Numbers for Classical Piano Study (MUPR)

1226: Minor or Elective Study, repeatable as often as desired.

2226: 1st Year Piano Principal for Music Major, or minor or elective student with equivalent skill level in piano technique and repertoire, 2 semesters. By audition only.

3226: 2nd Year Major Study, or minor or elective student with equivalent skill level in piano technique and repertoire, 2 semesters. By passing jury for MUPR 2226 only.

4226: Optional 3rd Year Major Study BA, 2 semesters. By passing jury for MUPR 3226 only. (May be repeated for a 4th year if desired)

B.A. music majors must complete 8 credit hours of applied study, at least 4 hours each of MUPR 2226 and 3226. In addition, B.A. music majors must perform at least once per year in Student Recital Hour.

Juries, Performances, and Equivalencies

Performance is an important part of the learning experience in classical piano studies. Students perform at lessons, in studio class, in UA Little Rock Student Recital Hour, and in performance examinations known as juries.

Classical piano principals are expected to perform once per year in a public performance such as Student Recital Hour. Repertoire for performance must be music studied at UA Little Rock, either solo or duet. Scholarship students are required to perform once per semester. With permission of the instructor, performance equivalencies may be substituted for public performance in an event such as Student Recital Hour.

B.A. piano majors must play a jury after 2 semesters of study in MUPR 2226 and will be graded “Pass/Fail.” The MUPR 2226 jury will consist of 2 contrasting pieces, at least one of which must be performed from memory.

The B.A. repertoire standard to pass the MUPR 2226 jury and advance to MUPR 3226 is represented by the following list:


J.S. Bach (Easier preludes, fughettas, 2-part inventions, and dance movements)


A sonata-form movement from a sonata–
Haydn (G major Hob.XVI/27, or E major Hob. XVI/13)
Beethoven (Sonatas Op. 49, Nos. 1 & 2)
Mozart (Fantasy in d, K. 397)


Chopin (Waltzes Op. 69, Nos. 1 & 2)
Schubert (Moments Musicaux, Op. 94)
Schumann (Bunte Blätter, Op. 99 or Album Leaves, Op. 124)
Mendelssohn (Songs Without Words)

20th Century

Bartok (Mikrokosmos, Vol. IV)
Debussy (Arabesques, Nos. 1 & 2; Children’s Corner)
Kabalevsky (Sonatina in C, Op. 13 #1; Preludes, Op. 38)

Capstone Experience

All B.A. music major piano principals must pass a final performance jury after completing four hours of applied study in MUPR 3226. This final jury is to be composed of a minimum of 2 contrasting pieces, with a total jury performance time of at least 15 minutes. At least one piece must be performed from memory.

The minimum repertoire standard to pass the MUPR 3226 jury is represented by the following:


J.S. Bach (Two and Three-part Inventions; selected Allemandes or Gigues from the French Suites)


Mozart (Sonata in C, K. 545)
Beethoven (Sonata in f, Op. 2 #1, first movement)
Haydn (Sonata in e, Hob. XVI/34; Sonata in D, Hob.XVI/37)


Brahms (Fantasie in E Major, Op. 116 #6 ; Ballade in d, Op. 10 #1)
Chopin (Nocturnes, Op. 32 #1 & Op. 55 #1)
Liszt (Consolations) Schubert (Impromptu in A-flat, Op. 142 #2)
Schumann (Arabesque, Op. 18)

20th Century

Shostakovitch (24 Preludes)
Kabalevsky (Preludes, Op. 38)
Debussy (Preludes, e.g. Girl with the Flaxen Hair)

Piano Portfolio Guidelines: Download the guidelines for the portfolio. Your portfolio is due at the time of your jury.

Piano Proficiency Exam: All B.A. music majors must pass the piano proficiency exam.

Recital: Sufficiently advanced B.A. piano principals may, in consultation with their piano teacher, apply to present a full or half-recital by passing a recital permission jury. A recital is not a requirement for the B.A. degree. However, students who wish to go on for graduate study in music are advised that a full-length undergraduate recital is a requirement for admission to most master’s degrees in piano.


For concert use, the music program owns two Steinway concert grand pianos. A Hubbard French double-manual harpsichord is also available for study and performance. Our keyboard lab (FA 269-D) features Roland KR-3 digital keyboards and a variety of excellent music technology resources; the music technology classroom (FA 269-B) includes audio recording and music theory software. There are 7 piano practice modules located on the 2nd floor of the Fine Arts Building. Practice modules are generally available on a first come-first serve basis during regular building hours.

Students should take individual responsibility for the care of all university-owned equipment and facilities, such as: proper care of instruments, turning off lights, closing practice room doors, etc. Any damage or misuse of facilities should be reported in writing to the School of Literary & Performing Arts office immediately.

Music materials in Ottenheimer Library are cataloged on the computer. Scores, books, periodicals, and recordings in various formats are available to all registered university students. Remember that library materials are for temporary use. Students should expect to purchase musical scores for assigned lesson repertoire.