RSL Classical Piano – Exam formats available to book today: face-to-face / recorded video / live stream...

Throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021 we have been pleased to offer a highly efficient service for our robust and rigorous Graded Examinations, and we have received a large number of enquiries from teachers and students asking if we would consider examining Classical Piano. We are very pleased to be able to offer that service, but also acknowledge that many candidates will have been preparing for exams with other examination boards. To help students transition we will:

  • Accept repertoire from any UK Accredited Examination Board (from any specification) until the end of 2021
  • Accept any repertoire of an appropriate equivalent standard aligned to our Free Choice Piece criteria. This includes repertoire from our own contemporary Piano Syllabus
  • Enable FREE access to our Technical Exercises and Supporting Tests

Click here to jump to the sign-up form to access your free RSL Classical Piano Technical Exercises & Supporting Tests!

Qualifications Available

Like all RSL Awards qualifications we have designed a flexible and fun group of qualifications for students to take. Classical Piano can be taken in three different variations that can help learners adapt their assessment to the form that best suits them. These are available from Debut – Grade 8, with Grades 6 – 8 carrying UCAS points in all formats.

Graded Exam

Exam Format: Face-to-face or Live Stream
Number of Pieces: 3
Technical Exercises: Examiner Selection of Scales, Arpeggios/Broken Chords, and Technical Studies
Unseen Tests: Sight Reading OR Improvisation, Ear Test, and General Musicianship Questions

Graded Certificate

Exam Format: Recorded Video
Number of Pieces: 3
Technical Exercises: All Published Scales, Arpeggios/Broken Chords, and Technical Studies
Unseen Tests: None

Performance Certificate

Exam Format: Recorded Video, Face-to-face or Live Stream
Number of Pieces: 5
Technical Exercises: None
Unseen Tests: None

Candidates may choose to play up to five pieces for a Performance Certificate, or three pieces for a Graded Exam/Certificate all from the repertoire lists of another UK Accredited Examination Board.

Exams can be booked online and are available now.



We have trained a specially selected panel of examiners, led by our Chief Examiner – Dr Andrew McBirnie – for the release of RSL Classical Piano. Each of these examiners has been appointed specifically for their knowledge of the Piano and their background in Classical Performance.

Examiners include graduates of the Royal Conservatoires, holders of PhDs in composition and performance, and composers of classical music.

Exam Options

In order to ensure that as many candidates as possible are able to achieve their qualifications, candidates can enter for the following types of Exam:

Video Exams

A continuous, unedited recording of a Performance Certificate or Graded Music Certificate exam submitted to a secure portal up to three months from entering. Find out more here...

Private Exam Session

Our team will arrange for an examiner to visit your centre through either a face to face exam as soon as it is safe to do so or via livestream (available now). This can be combined with other RSL and Rockschool instrumental exams to create a full session. Candidates can take either a Performance Certificate or Graded Music Exam in both formats. Contact us here for more information or to book your day.

Public Exam Session

We have exam centres across the UK and ROI who host exams in three exam periods throughout the year. The exam dates can be found here and your nearest centre can be found here.


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    For any further information, please get in touch with our team by emailing

    RSL Awards are proud to announce the release of Classical Piano – offering access to Graded Examinations up to Grade 8 for any contemporary classical pianist. Examinations are available to book now.

    The qualifications available are the same high-quality Graded Music Exams that RSL Awards have been delivering for nearly 30 years, but for the first time they include music from the Western Classical and Jazz traditions. The RSL Classical Piano Syllabus is the culmination of 20 years of piano examinations that has built towards this landmark release.

    RSL Classical Piano – Syllabus Specification

    RSL Classical Piano – Repertoire List