Recommended books for Graded exam students (Prep Test & Grade 0 – 1)

With the start of the new term, here are some piano books that are recommended for students working on Graded Exam pieces. These books contains lots of the pieces on the alternative list of pieces for ABRSM exams and they also double-up as excellent pieces for sight-reading or festival performances.

The books are listed in order of difficulty.


Pauline Hall: Piano Time 1, £7.75

Piano Time 1 starts at the very beginning, with simply five-finger tunes for hands separately and together, many with duet parts. It gradually adds more notes and techniques to cover sharps and flats, simple scales and keys, and a range of dynamics and symbols. With a host of attractive pieces in all styles, a gradual pace to suit all players, and many wonderful illustrations in full colour, this is a superb tutor book for all young pianists.


Wedgwood: Up-Grade! Piano Grades 0-1, £7.50

Up-Grade is designed to bridge the gap between grades. The varied pieces in this bright new collection range from toe-tapping jazzy numbers to more classical styles, all designed to ease you gently on towards the next grade.


Simply Classics: Grades 0-1, £6.99

Simply Classics presents a wonderful array of masterpieces superbly arranged for pianists that are inbetween the Prep Test and Grade 1. Each piece is accompanied by informative comments and encourages exposure to great music! This edition is for pre-grades and grade 1.


Piano Progress Book 1, £6.50

This excellent book of first classics for Piano Solo and Duet is by renowned pianists Fanny Waterman and Marion Harewood. It contains over twenty progressive and graded studies aimed toward the pianist who has begun to master a basic technique, as well as five duets. The Waterman/Harewood Piano Series is devised jointly by world-famous piano teacher Fanny Waterman and her co-founder of the Leeds Piano Competition, Marion Harewood is established as one of the foremost piano methods. The excellence of the musical material and attractive presentation have won universal acclaim.


The Young Pianist's Repertoire Book One, £6.95

The Young Pianist’s Repertoire Book One, provides a wide choice of pieces for those pianists completing the hugely popular and successful Piano Lessons Book 1 written by the same authors. It functions as an independent anthology for those who have recently started learning the piano. A excellent opportunity to develop your confidence and performance skills at the earliest possible stage, whilst also providing the beginnings of your very first musical repertoire.


What Else Can I Play? Piano Grade 1, £6.99

What Else Can I Play? Make learning more fun with this collection of eighteen pieces, all carefully selected and arranged to provide supplementary material for today’s young pianists. Each piece offers suggestions and guidelines to fingering, dynamics and tempo together with technical tips and performance notes. Suitable for those working towards, or have recently completed Grade One piano.


Carl Czerny: The Little Pianist (Complete) Op. 823, £5.95

The Little Pianist op.823 by Carl Czerny. Early Progressive Exercises for piano, beginning with the first rudiments. Translated from the German by Dr. Theodore Baker. All students on graded exams should use these daily as part of their warm-up to ensure they have a solid piano technique from the early stages of learning. Using these exercises from an early age will avoid having to correct any incorrect technique at a later stage if used properly and with the supervision of your teacher. Most professional pianists still use Czerny exercises as part of their daily practice regime. This is the first book of many – Czerny has written hundreds of books to improve piano technique!


Alan Bullard: Joining The Dots - Book 1

Alan Bullard: Joining The Dots - Book 1, £5.25

Joining the Dots offers pianists lots of material to help build confidence and skill in sight-reading. The series brings together a range of activities to help students improve their sense of keyboard geography, helping them to read new music more quickly and easily.


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