Using the New 2020 Piano Syllabus

June 10, 2020

Dear MMTA Community,

We will be offering piano exams this summer and again as a video submission format. The deadline for video submissions will be August 8. All students participating in this exam are to use materials from the 2010 syllabus. (A small, pre-organized group of beta testers will use the 2020 syllabus.)

Beginning September 1, 2020, we will offer piano exams using materials only from the 2020 syllabus. In other words, students will need to play keyboard skills, repertoire, and prepare oral questions using the 2020 syllabus.

From September 1 – December 31 2020, there will be one exception to the above statement. Students who postponed a spring exam may use the same repertoire that was prepared for a spring exam. However, these students will take keyboard exams, oral questions, and receive critiques that are derived from the 2020 syllabus.

While there may be concerns about these new materials, you will find much of the material in the 2020 syllabus is the same or very similar to the 2010 one. And indeed: you may find that a student who postponed an exam does not need to register for 2010 repertoire because that repertoire already appears in the 2020 syllabus. You will also see that the keyboard skills are also the same or very similar. Many of the changes have to do with wording, such as having a student play a scale “staccato” instead of “detached.”

Since there will be a short window when two repertoire lists are in circulation, we are asking for additional information at the time of registration. The teacher will need to indicate which syllabus the student used for repertoire. In other words, does the student’s music come from the 2010 or the 2020 syllabus? This way our repertoire checkers know where to cross-check music, and they can approve or deny a program.

Beginning January 1 2021, all students must use materials from the 2020 syllabus.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to implementing the new 2020 syllabus. The Piano Exam Development Committee has put countless hours into this project, and it is one of the gems of MMTA. I also look forward to serving you this coming year.

Dr. Jacob Fitzpatrick, NCTM
Piano Exam Program Director


Friday, June 12th is the final day to pre-order the 2020 Piano Syllabus package at the discounted rate of $65.  The package includes the syllabus, Resource Book and Resource List, and Preparation Book. 

A summary of Keyboard Skills requirements for use with the 2020 Piano Syllabus is below.