Tarik Rahman

Preparing for Pop/Rock Piano Exams

Tarik Rahman
Preparing for Pop/Rock Piano Exams

Preparing for pop/rock piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your piano lessons, and provides an excellent source of motivation.

Rockschool is the leading accredited provider of rock exams worldwide. They offer graded pop/rock Piano/Keyboard exams from Grade 1 to Grade 8, and Band Based Keys exams from Grade 1 to Grade 5, as well as advanced diplomas in performance and teaching. These piano exams are QCA-accredited, with Grades 6-8 corresponding with Level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework, and the A-Level.

Everyone is eligible to take these exams, and our pop/rock piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!

If you wish to benefit from the Rockschool exam program, the first step is to tell your pop/rock piano teacher. Your pop/rock piano teacher will assess your current level, and recommend the appropriate pop/rock piano, keyboard, or band based keys exam grade to begin preparing for.

Once your grade level has been determined, it is time to purchase your Rockschool exam books. For each Grade, there is one book that covers all the material on the exam. These books are widely available in music stores.

The last step is to choose the date for your exam. You can book the exam yourself, on the Rockschool website, and your rock/pop piano teacher can help you decide which exam period to enter, in order to give yourself enough time to adequately prepare.

At each grade level, Rockschool offers the option of taking a Grade Level Exam or a Performance Certificate. There are five parts to a Rockschool Grade Level Exam, including three performance pieces, technical exercises such as scales and broken chords, a choice of either sight-reading or improvisation, aural tests, and general musicianship questions. Performance Certificate exams consist of five performance pieces only.

It’s important to note that the Rockschool exam program, on its own, is not complete enough to make you a truly well-rounded pop/rock pianist. Your pop/rock piano teacher will supplement these exams with any additional material and instruction that you may need.

Don’t forget, you can also take exams in jazz piano and classical piano!


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