Enter for your Piano exam in four quick steps

The February to March deadline is 14 December

Piano Debut

At Piano Debut you will be examined on your choice of three performance pieces from artists such as Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Bill Withers and Rockschool's own composers.

Key Features at Debut

What you'll learn at Debut:

  • Hit Tunes
  • Choice of either Improvisation or Sight-Reading
  • Ear Tests

What You're Marked On

Performance Pieces

At Debut:

  • Clocks
  • Fallin
  • Lean On Me

Learn more about Free Choice Pieces...

Technical Exercises

Candidates will be given three technical exercises:

  • C major and A minor scales
  • Major and minor arpeggios
  • C major and minor triads

Sight Reading and Improvisation & Interpretation

Sight Reading
  • A 4-6 bar melody in C major, hands seperate
Improvisation & Interpretation
  • A 4-6 bar chord progression in C major, either right or left hand

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Debut: Melodic Recall and Chord Recognition.

Melodic Recall
  • Learn to identify differences in pitch
Chord Recognition
  • Learn to identify major an minor triads

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions relating to one of their choice of the Performance Pieces in the following areas: Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, Technique and Genre.

Download Piano GMQs (545KB, .pdf)


Your Debut exam lasts 15 minutes for a Grade Exam or 12 minutes for a Performance Certificate. Candidates are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their exam starts.

Instruments That Can Be Examined

The following instruments are accepted for exams in piano, at all grades:

  • Acoustic Piano
  • Electronic Keyboard

Specified Rockschool examination centres will each contain either an acoustic piano or an electronic keyboard. Candidates may bring their own keyboards for their performances, which must fit the following criteria:

  • Entry Level–Grade 4: A minimum of five octaves, touch sensitive and with a sustain pedal
  • Grades 5, 6 and 8: A touch-sensitive 88-note keyboard with a sustain pedal
  • Candidates must use a 'realistic' piano sound for their exam
  • Candidates should not use either backing tracks or internally generated, pre-programmed rhythms

Get Started Today!

You can start working towards your Debut exam now! Simply buy or download the Piano Debut book and start preparing alongside your vocals teacher.

If you don't have a vocals teacher, you can quickly find the nearest teacher to you with our handy find a music teacher map.

Books for Piano Debut

  • Piano Debut Book Cover Piano Debut

    The Debut book contains everything you need to sit your Debut exam.

  • Guidebook Debut - Grade 5 Book Cover Guidebook Debut - Grade 5

    Rockschool's Guidebooks are the ideal introduction to music theory for musicians, composers, students and teachers.

  • Workbook Debut Book Cover Workbook Debut

    The Rockschool Debut Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Debut theory exam.