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#1671706 05/04/11 09:52 PM
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jbloggz Offline OP
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I am very new to piano and was just wondering how would I know once I've reached different grades in ABRSM. Is it just based on which songs you are able to do, so that when I can do those songs I must be at that level, or is there more to it (other than the theory stuff of course).

If this is the case, how can I tell what songs are at what skill level. Is this available on websites anywhere?

Last edited by jbloggz; 05/04/11 10:44 PM.

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theres no set really standard that everyone goes by i hear.


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
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There's a lot of info on the "What is ABRSM" thread at:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1612965/What_is_ABRSM.html



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I think you meant to write:

"How to Access my skill."

You might want to consider changing the title of your original post.

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I think he meant "assess."

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Piano exams are looking for more than just playing the notes, and getting louder and softer at the right places. There's an extra something (lots of extra somethings) to the playing of those who have access to good teaching, and who figure out how to listen really well and apply what they learn to their playing. Doesn't mean you have to have a traditional weekly teacher, but that often makes it easier.

Even though I'd played some pieces at that level, it took me many months and a huge amount of work before I was ready to sit my grade 6 exam last year. But by the time I sat it I had 3 times the skill of the "me" that could play a few grade 6 pieces some years earlier. But at last I could say I Am Grade Six (and proud of it!). Before that I used to describe my self as a piano player of extremely modest skill, or even "not really a pianist".

So forget about "your level" unless you want to actually sit an exam and get graded. Or you can just say to people "the hardest piece I kind of play/stumble through/play very well is grade X" (strike out the incorrect phrases wink ) and then ppl can recommend a piece based on what you are happy to tackle.


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You determine "your grade" under the ABRSM scheme by passing an ABRSM exam.

This is not the same as being able to merely play the pieces at the grade since you are also tested in:

i) Sight-reading (roughly equivalent to 2 grades lower than the current Grade pieces)
ii) Scales, broken chords and Arpeggios.
iii) Oral/Aural tests (pitch, rhythms etc)
iv) Theory where applicable (> G5)

Full details are available for free on the ABRSM syllabus page. This will have details of the 18 or so pieces for each of the 8 grades. Other summary lists are available on-line.

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You also assess it by posting recordings to the piano bars and rectials here wink

(Although I should be quiet since I haven't managed a recording for either the May piano bar or the May recital yet!)

As far as lists of pieces, I like this spreadsheet personally: Graded Pieces


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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Originally Posted by Akira
I think he meant "assess."


Yep, I just checked it is definitley assess and not access. I thought access could be pronounced with a soft C, but I guess not. Either way, asses is probably not what the OP wanted to say.

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I'm a little surprised the filters didn't [censor] it. Go figure. smile

O/P my apologies for the O/T comment.

Last edited by Akira; 05/05/11 12:47 PM.
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ha ha.. if you edit the original post, you have an opportunity to edit the topic title.


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oops, just realised there is only one "s" at the end of that word. I guess thats why I do maths and not english. Although at the moment I do kind of feel like a donkey at the piano, so I guess it fits.

Thanks for that spreadsheet Andy, thats kind of the thing I was looking for.
How long do you guys think it should take before an absolute beginner could play most (or all) of the grade 1 pieces (and before everyone starts saying "it varies", maybe I should re-word the question to: How long did it take you)?


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Originally Posted by jbloggz
oops, just realised there is only one "s" at the end of that word. I guess thats why I do maths and not english. Although at the moment I do kind of feel like a donkey at the piano, so I guess it fits.

Thanks for that spreadsheet Andy, thats kind of the thing I was looking for.
How long do you guys think it should take before an absolute beginner could play most (or all) of the grade 1 pieces (and before everyone starts saying "it varies", maybe I should re-word the question to: How long did it take you)?


Funniest thing I've heard in a while! Good one! Haha!

Either way, before start answering, I would just like to say - you shouldn't be able to play ALL/MOST/WHATEVER of the Grade 1 pieces before moving on.

The way you get better is by moving on after a select amount of pieces at each level. And DON'T go by the ABRSM pieces as a measure of anything. They only have a handful of pieces at each level, and the grading is just AWFUL overall.


II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
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woah i just noticed you spelt it wrong as well. i think you meant assess not asses lol


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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