MSMTA Keyboard Musicianship Testing 2023

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

Date:  Saturday, February 18, 2023.

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

Time:  TBA.  Individual times assigned and announced three weeks in advance.

Fee: $15.00 per student per level.

FCMTA Co-chairs:  Laurel Carroll (Email), Kim Roberts (Email).


  • Online registration and fees are due by January 7, 2023. To register, go to; click on “Student Activities Calendar”; scroll down to Keyboard Musicianship Exam (under “Exams”) for information and online registration.
  • Permission slips due by January 7, 2023. Please send to Kim Roberts (Email).

Rules: Click on “Syllabus Summary” on the MSMTA Keyboard Musician Exam web page to which you navigated for registration and payment (above). Ask Kim or Laurel any questions you may 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 even finger work 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 – Arpeggios” 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.