2. Keyboard levels explained

Descriptions of assessment levels for keyboard pupils.

Level 1 - 2 (Preparatory/Initial)

Posture and freedom of movement, keyboard geography and registration.

Articulation, fingering, developing some independence of fingers. Play in a closed five note hand position, starting with each hand playing separately.

Increased co-ordination and balance, including playing with both hands simultaneously.

Play short, easy pieces from notation. Play with others, keeping in time with the group. Perform music for others.

Level 3 - 4 (Grades 1 - 2)

The musical material selected for these levels is of an essentially elementary nature.

Only the most basic and hence most common, time signatures and keys are used.

Melodic and rhythmic material is simple.

Indications of dynamics, phrasing and ornamentation will occur only sporadically and will be limited to the most basic types.

Technical accomplishment is a more important element of assessment than is musicality, and expectations of communication are limited.

Levels 5 - 8 (Grades 3 - 4)

The musical material is of a more demanding nature than for previous levels.

The number of keys and time signatures which may be used extends to all but the most unusual and unlikely examples.

Melodic and rhythmic material may include a moderate degree of complexity.

Dynamics, phrasing and ornamentation will be varied and will often demand a degree of subtlety in performance.

Musicality is judged to be an important element of assessment and expectations of communication are higher.