Jump to content


Flexible graded exams encouraging pianists to play to their strengths


The music you want to play 
Learners progress in their own musical style by choosing from lists of pieces carefully selected by our piano experts, including specially commissioned pieces by contemporary composers.

The performer you want to be 
Our performance-grounded technical work and supporting tests are specifically designed to develop learners’ skills through the music they play.

The recognition you deserve 
Candidates are assessed through an externally regulated and internationally recognised exam system, with a 140-year heritage that you can trust. They can gain UCAS points for Grades 6-8.


The Piano 2018-2020 syllabus

The new Piano syllabus will be valid from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020.

  • New performance pieces at all levels, encompassing a wide range of musical styles
  • New technical work exercises at all levels, covering key areas of technique
  • Duets may now be selected from Initial to Grade 3
  • Pieces are only divided into groups at Grades 6-8; in the other grades, pieces can be chosen freely from the list
  • Revised own composition, aural and improvisation requirements 

Download 2018-2020 syllabus

Get a taster of some of the pieces and exercises from the 2018-2020 syllabus by downloading a free sample booklet. Including specially commissioned pieces by contemporary composers, the booklet gives you free pieces and exercises across a range of grades and musical styles.

Download your free sample booklet


Register your interest

Stay up to date with news about the new Piano syllabus, publications and professional development programmes, as well as giveaways and offers.

Register your interest


Enter for a Piano exam

There are two ways to book an exam:

  1. download an entry form here and send it with the full fee to your local representative, or

  2. book online using Trinity's new music booking service - this is currently available at selected UK centres only. The service permits booking and payment online, and the ability to choose a date at the point of booking.

You should read the syllabus requirements carefully before your exam. If you do not meet all the relevant requirements, the examiner may refer your exam result to Trinity’s London office for review and marks may be deducted. Please see Information and Regulations and Syllabus infringements for more information.

Supporting Piano publications

The following are available at your local music retailer or via our online shop:

  • New Piano Pieces & Exercises books (Initial to Grade 8) available as book only, and book with CD and teaching notes
  • New Piano Teaching Notes
  • Scales & Arpeggios books
  • Raise the Bar Piano books
  • Sound at Sight books


Visit our online shop


Syllabus support

Digital resources are available to support learning, including advice and content on:

  • Pieces, performance and technique
  • Supporting tests
  • Technical work

You can access:

  • Bite-sized videos to support the syllabus
  • Practice resources for learners
  • Tips for teachers

Visit the Piano support page


2015-2017 syllabus and overlap arrangements

There will be a one-year overlap between syllabuses, during which time candidates may offer pieces and technical work requirements from either the 2015-2017 or 2018-2020 syllabus, but not a mixture of both. There is no overlap for supporting tests, and the previous aural tests and improvisation tests can therefore no longer be used.

Download 2015-2017 syllabus


Regulatory information
Additional regulatory information is contained in the 2015-2017 Piano syllabus supplement.

Syllabus errata
View syllabus errata for the 2015-2017 Piano syllabus.

Additional 2015-2017 teaching notes and audio
Additional teaching notes for Grade 8, including Bartók's Dance in Bulgarian Rhythm no. 2 and Dance in Bulgarian Rhythm no. 6, are available to download here. A free mp3 reference recording of Dance in Bulgarian Rhythm no. 6 is also available - download here.

Further information

Full details of entry procedures and exam regulations can be found in our Information & Regulations booklet.

Specifications for aural tests and improvisation tests changed for all instruments on 1 January 2017. See the supporting tests page for new test specifications and information about sample materials.



Back to top