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

RSL Awards are proud to announce the release of their upcoming syllabus – 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 2020 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


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

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.

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


Extensive research has been undertaken to benchmark a fantastic selection of material for candidates to play. This repertoire list is available to download here...

RSL Classical Piano – Repertoire List

The RSL Classical Piano syllabus has a clear focus on the music of contemporary composers from a diverse range of backgrounds whose work draws on the Western Classical and Jazz traditions. This repertoire sits alongside work from composers throughout history to provide a challenging and engaging syllabus for the 21st-century musician. We are very proud to say that we think this syllabus is the most representative of the contemporary classical world currently available.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing RSL Classical publications with all the repertoire included. These will be available as hard copies, digitally enhanced with Replay, and through the RSL Learning Platform (free for teachers on our Teacher Registry).


Throughout 2020 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 now 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
  • Publish for free our Technical Exercises and Supporting Tests (complete form below)

Candidates may choose to play 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.



In preparation for the release of the 2020 Classical Piano Syllabus we have been training a specially selected panel of examiners, led by our Chief Examiner – Dr Andrew McBirnie. 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.

Special Exam Session

In order to ensure that as many candidates as possible are able to achieve their qualifications in 2020 we have arranged for a special world-wide examining session between the 4th-20th December, where candidates can be examined either face to face, live streamed, or pre-recorded video submission.

Technical Exercises – Download for Free!

Technical Exercises are required for Graded Examinations and Graded Certificates. In all grades there are three sections to the technical exercises:

  • Scales
  • Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  • Technical Studies

These are all available for free by filling out the web form below...

Supporting Tests – Download for Free!

Supporting Tests are required in Graded Examinations. In all grades there are three sections to the tests:

  • Sight Reading OR Improvisation and Interpretation
  • Ear Tests
  • General Musicianship Questions

These are all available for free by filling out the web form below...

Phone Number

Organisation Name / School Address (required)

Institution Type (required)

Job Role (required)

Approximately how many students do you teach?

Which RSL Awards qualifications do you currently teach? (Required)

Which RSL Classical Webinars would you like to reserve a space for? (required)

Would you like to sign-up for regular updates via the RSL Newsletter? (required)