Exams – or not!

Learning to play the piano takes a long time! It’s useful to have some goals and markers along the way – encouraging you to make a special effort or letting you know what level you have achieved. Sitting piano exams can sometimes be helpful in this way.

But exams in themselves do not provide a complete curriculum. You will not learn to play an instrument by working through grade exams year in year out with little attention to the larger world of music out there. By working through the Ebony Music Piano Course Vols 1–24, our pupils play many pieces at each level and are exposed to many styles of music.

Some of our pupils relish the goal of an exam and we are happy to prepare them for whatever grade is appropriate. We always help those who are interested to achieve the highest grade they are capable of before they leave school. I have found that, as a goal for younger pupils, the performance of a collection of pieces to the extended family and friends is often more rewarding than exam work.