Piano Music Difficulty Levels

Use this guide to quickly learn the basics about each level in our database.

To find out more about our method of leveling elements and works, please visit this link.

Though we have a total of eight levels planned for the database, during our BETA testing phase, we’re only including the first four levels.

Level 1 | Primary

The Primary Level represents the easiest and simplest piano pieces with the least amount of technical challenge. Primary Level pieces are typically pedagogical in function and composed for absolute beginners. In this level, pianists are introduced to and learn to master the most basic and fundamental elements of piano music. They’ll only learn pieces by rote or by reading off-staff or partial staff.

Representative Works

  • Lightly Row by Shinichi Suzuki
  • Men from Mars by Nancy Faber and Randall Faber
  • Stubborn Mule by Frances Clark

Search All Works

Representative Elements

  • Rote
  • Partial Staff Notation
  • Off-Staff Notation

Search All Elements

Level 2 | Early Elementary

In the Early Elementary level, pianists learn to read on the grand staff and begin playing more complicated works that may require both hands to play at the same time. Most works in Level 2 will feature Five Finger Scales that do not shift to new positions.

Representative Works

  • Brave Knight by Moritz Vogel
  • Memories by Elyse Mach
  • When I Jump Out of Bed by Mary Leaf

Search All Works

Representative Elements

  • Grand Staff Notation
  • Elementary Single Note Accompaniment
  • Five Finger Scales

Search All Elements

Level 3 | Late Elementary

In the Late Elementary level, pianists start moving their hands around the keyboard with more regularity. Level 3 works may also introduce basic harmony, the use of simple chords and accompaniment patterns, as well as slightly more complex polyphonic playing.

Representative Works

  • A Little Porcupine by Dmitri Kabalevsky
  • Curious Cat by Teresa Richert
  • March by Daniel Gottlob Türk

Search All Works

Representative Elements

  • Shifting Hand Positions
  • Extended Hand Positions
  • Blocked Chord Accompaniment

Search All Elements

Level 4 | Early Intermediate

In the Early Intermediate level, pianists rely less on five finger patterns and begin playing works that incorporate scalar passages and require frequently extending and crossing the fingers to move to new positions. It also introduces more complex polyphonic and harmonic writing as well as a more diverse array of rhythms.

Representative Works

  • Menuet in G Major by Christian Petzold
  • Summer Drought by Janet Gieck
  • The Wild Rider by Robert Schumann

Search All Works

Representative Elements

  • 16th Notes
  • 8th Note Scalar Passages
  • Quarter Note Parallel 3rds

Search All Elements

Levels 5 – 8 COMING SOON!