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ABRSM launches new Piano syllabus

7 years ago

Piano Syllabus 2017 & 2018ABRSM has today (7 July) released a new Piano syllabus for candidates taking exams in 2017 and 2018. It includes 158 newly selected pieces across all eight grades, and is supported by a range of support products including books, CDs and a new version of our popular Piano Practice Partner app. Repertoire from the new lists can be used in ABRSM exams from January 2017. No changes have been made to the requirements for scales, sight-reading and aural tests.

Pieces to inspire piano players

The syllabus offers a broad selection of inspiring pieces that have been carefully selected to offer variety and new challenges to teachers and learners alike. It features a range of works from composers from around the world. Penny Milsom, ABRSM’s Executive Director: Products and Services, said: “We’ve listened to and consulted with teachers and candidates to select pieces for our syllabuses that are exciting, imaginative and inspiring to play and teach.” “There’s a wide selection of repertoire to suit all learners, with music from the movies, popular classics and future favourites as well as gems by Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Chopin and Schubert. Look out for Rob Hall’s Asian Tiger Prowl at Grade 1 and Pete Churchill’s sassy new arrangement of the Disney classic, Cruella de Vil, at Grade 6, as well as the well-loved Debussy classic, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum, at Grade 8.“ Popular choices from previous syllabuses and pieces and arrangements that have been specially commissioned by ABRSM are complemented by many newly selected works. In tandem with the repertoire refreshment for Piano, ABRSM has also taken the opportunity to update the pieces and requirements for Piano Prep Test students.

Supporting resources

ABRSM has published eight volumes of Piano Exam Pieces, providing a selection of music for Grades 1 to 8, with recordings available on CD or as individual audio downloads. ABRSM’s Encore and Piano Mix books also feature alternative pieces for Grades 1-3.

Teaching Notes on Piano Exam Pieces will be made available for all eight grades for the first time. Written by expert piano teachers and examiners, this year’s edition includes helpful information about the exam marking criteria with a focus on the elements of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. Our Piano Practice Partner app is a useful motivational tool for students that encourages hands-separate and slow practice. The app is now available for Grades 1 to 7 of the new syllabus.

Find out more about the new Piano Syllabus

Teacher conference

ABRSM’s UK teacher conference will take place on 5 November at Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London. Delegates can attend a range of practical and thought-provoking sessions for class, group and one-to-one lessons and there will be sessions on the day to support the new Piano syllabus. Booking will open later in July at


Later this year ABRSM will launch ARSM, a new performance-only diploma that’s designed to showcase performance skills after Grade 8. This letter-bearing qualification, which is available for Piano, is perfect for players and singers who wish to keep going beyond Grade 8 or those looking to enhance their performance skills before entering higher education. It’s also ideal for those who would like to get back into playing or singing after a break. Find out more at

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