Establishing the difficulty level of any sheet music collection can be challenging, not least because readers in different countries will use a different framework and terminology to describe and understand the difficulty of music.
Pianodao reviews usually mention UK Grade Examining boards. Readers in North American may be familiar with the 10 Grade levels of the RCM syllabus, which differ from the 8 Grade levels set by the UK exam boards. Please be aware of this difference to avoid confusion.
In any case, because music isn’t generally composed specifically for the exam room, grade levels are at best estimates, and pieces sometimes appear at different levels in the syllabus of one exam board from that of another. Many aren’t even suitable for the exam room (e.g. due to their length or style).
With all this in mind, the Pianodao Music Library uses the broader categories that are more internationally applied, usually equivalent to two UK Exam Grade levels. The equivalences are shown on the link buttons below so that all readers can quickly and easily find the music suitable for their needs.
Graded series and progressive collections of music may appear at more than one level in the library. However, single publications usually appear just once, assigned the optimum level at which I would recommend them to my students. They may include easier pieces that offer ‘quick win’ consolidation, and more challenging pieces which the player will hopefully grow into over time.
With all these points in mind, please explore the Pianodao Music Library using the following buttons:
I hope that users everywhere will find the broad level descriptions used on Pianodao to be both helpful and practical.
Players benefit from a mix of repertoire to both challenge and consolidate their learning. Sticking rigidly to pieces at a narrowly and artificially prescribed level can be harmful to musical development, as of course can sticking simply to just playing exam pieces.
Educational resources (such as exam materials, method, theory and sight reading books) are also included:
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