Chase-Riecken Musicianship Exams

Syllabi & Study Guides

Copyright (c) 2014, Las Vegas Music Teachers Association.  All Musicianship materials are the property of LVMTA and may be reproduced for private educational purposes only.

Mission: The Chase-Riecken Musicianship Exams provide a planned program of progressively advancing study that can be used by teachers to guide their students from the beginning level to college entrance.

There are two exam options:

Requirements for each level of Theory are the same in either option. The Musicianship Exam Syllabus contains details for Levels 1-10 for Theory, Technic and Repertoire. Practice tests for Levels 1-7 are available. Please scroll down to find a link.

Option 1: Theory / Technic / Repertoire: Includes grade, adjudication, certificate, and trophy

(Students choosing this option must take Theory, Technic, and Repertoire all the same year.)

Fee:  Primer: $25 per student | Levels 1-3: $30 per student | Levels 4-10: $35 per student


Theory: The theory test is given approximately one month before the Technic/Repertoire test and must be passed with a score of at least 70 or 35 on the Primer test in order to proceed to the Technic/Repertoire part of the exam. There will be no refund of the prepaid fee. Students may enter any appropriate theory level and may skip levels at the teacher's discretion; however, a failed theory test must be repeated. Students may retake failed theory tests on the Technic/Repertoire day. Students will be permitted to take more than one level of Theory. However, unlike Theory, no multiple Technic/Repertoire exams are permitted. Therefore, the highest Theory level will be the level of the Technic/Repertoire Exam.


Technic: Requirements for each level can be found in the Exam Syllabus. In addition, a technical study of the teacher's choice is required at every level except primer, must be of appropriate difficulty and at least 16 measures long, hands together. Students my combine technical studies to add up to 16 measures, such as two 8 measure exercises from A Dozen a Day. Please be careful in that many exercises in Junior Hanon and Fingerpower Books are only 15 measures long.


Repertoire: Levels 1-10 require four selections to be performed, with at least two memorized.


Primer Level requires four selections to be performed. Selections must be a minimum of eight measures long and use BOTH hands, but not necessarily together. Folk songs, transcriptions, and method book materials are acceptable. None of the selections needs to be memorized.


Levels 1 and 2 may include materials from method books with enough difficulty to lead to Level III and MUST be a minimum of 16 measures long, hands together.


Levels 3-7 require one selection each from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary periods of music history. The selections must be originals. No arrangements or simplified editions will be accepted. Suggestions are listed in the Syllabus.


Levels 8-10 require one selection each from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic OR Impressionistic, and Contemporary periods of music history.


Original music must be brought to the exam. Photocopies will result in a 25 point deduction per piece. If a student has only one piece memorized, there will be an automatic 25 point deduction. If no pieces are memorized, 50 points will be deducted (there is a possibility of 100 total points).

Option 2: Theory Only: Includes grade and certificate

Fee: $25 per student

Students not wishing to enter the Theory/Technic Repertoire Category may enter Theory Only. The Theory test for both option 1 and 2 will be held on the same day. Refer to theory information under Option 1 for complete details. A certificate will only be awarded for a passing grade; a failing grade must be repeated. Students may remain in the Theory Only option or may move into Theory/Technic/Repertoire in any successive year, at the teacher's discretion; however, they cannot enter only the Technic/Repertoire part of the exam.

Special Theory Award

This award is given to the student receiving a score of 90 or above for four consecutive years in four progressive levels of Theory. Multiple levels in a year do not substitute for four consecutive years, nor does a repeat of a failed test.

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