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Piano

About Piano exams

We offer a range of assessments for pianists, from the Prep Test and Initial Grade for beginners up to Grade 8 and diplomas in Music Performance for advanced musicians.  

Read on to find out more. 

piano teacher
Piano – Practical Grades

Practical Grades are face-to-face exams that focus on all-round musical knowledge and skills, including performance. In the exam you perform three pieces, play scales and arpeggios and take sight-reading and aural tests.  

Pianists can take Practical Grades at Initial Grade and Grades 1 to 8. 

Exams are open to candidates of any age, but if you are taking a Practical Grade 6, 7 or 8 you must pass Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or a Jazz Practical Grade before you book your exam. 

Downloads

Download the Piano Practical Grades qualification specification. This includes the syllabus, repertoire lists, marking criteria and exam requirements.

Piano – Performance Grades

Performance Grades are digital exams assessed from a video recording. They have a strong focus on performance, including communication, interpretation and delivery. In the exam you perform a programme of four pieces.  

Pianists can take Performance Grades at Initial Grade and Grades 1 to 8. There are no booking periods or exam sessions so you can choose when to book, record and submit your exam.  

Exams are open to candidates of any age, but if you are taking a Performance Grade 6, 7 or 8 you must pass Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or a Jazz Practical Grade before you book your exam. 

As well as reading the qualification specification and syllabus for your instrument, you should read our Performance Grade guidance which includes important information about recording and submitting your exam video. Follow the link below to find out more. 

Downloads

Download the Performance Grades qualification specification and Piano Performance Grades syllabus, which includes the repertoire lists.

Watch a performance

Enjoy this performance of Jinx, from Mean Little Monsters by Diane Hidy, featured in our Initial Grade Piano Syllabuses 2023 & 2024.

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