MSMTA Keyboard Musicianship Testing 2024

This event is sponsored by MSMTA (Maryland State Music Teachers Association).

Date:  February 10, 2024

Location:  Christ Reformed United Church of Christ, 12 South Church Street, Middletown, MD 21769

Time:  Individual times assigned. TBA (assigned 3 weeks in advance)

Fee: $15.00 per student per level

FCMTA Co-Chairs:  Laurel Carroll (Email) and Kim Roberts (Email)

Deadlines:  Online registration and fee due by December 29, 2023. (Go to; click on “Calendar.” Scroll down to Keyboard Musicianship Exam (under “Exams”) for information and online registration.)

Rules:  See Keyboard Musicianship Syllabus at “Members Only “section (you must login first!). Ask Kim or Laurel any questions you have about this testing program.


The Keyboard Musicianship Program is a comprehensive program designed to develop many musical skills. The categories (called modules) are:

1) Scales – Chords – Arpeggios

2) Transposition

3) Sight Reading

4a) Harmonization

4b) Lead Sheet Realization

5) Improvisation

Each module has 12 levels which are clearly described in the syllabus. Accuracy, good fingering and are stressed in the technical module of Scales and Arpeggios. Transposing is one of the easiest modules, as all levels are prepared in advance. Sight Reading stresses rhythmic accuracy and continuity. Harmonizing requires correct chord placement and chord choices, in addition to reading skill. Lead Sheet Realization gives students the opportunity to read a lead sheet and improvise with the required style for each level. Creativity is important in Improvisation, which has a wide variety of choices.

The testing is done on an individual basis with clear guidelines set up for the judges. The Scales – Chords – Arpeggio Module is required and must progress to a higher level for each subsequent test. Students choose at least two other modules to take. The syllabus provides teachers with a graded system of teaching the above topics. Taking the test provides students and teachers with a goal to work towards as well as the satisfaction of a goal well met. All students receive a certificate of participation for each level completed. Trophies are awarded for completing multiple levels.