You've probably noticed that most people that play the piano well started playing at a very young age; usually pushed by their parents. The reason being that it can take a long time to get to the standard necessary for complicated classical pieces. Luckily, there is a system that allows you measure your progress. Even if you only get to level 5 of this 10 level system, you'll still be a pretty good player.
The Piano Study System
The piano has ten levels of study; the beginner, prep A, prep B, 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Level 1 to 10 takes up to ten years - one year for each level.
- The Beginner (no experience) - Even with no experience you can still play some tunes. You may be limited to using one hand, but most beginners can teach themselves how to play simple songs such as Amazing Grace
- Prep A - At prep A level you start learn to play two note chords. At this level you can start playing songs such as the Wild Horses with two hands instead of one.
- Prep B - You start to play the chords you've learned in more complex rhythms to play such songs as Jingle Bells.
- 1 A - You'll to add pace and expression to your piano playing. At this level you should have the ability to pick up songs such as Vivace.
- 1 B - You can play more complex pop tunes such as Katie Perry's Fireworks that require more movement of your hands, including crossing over.
- Level 2 - You are starting to use more chords in increasingly expressive ways and play one-octave scales. Songs you can play at this level include Andante and Hedwig’s Theme.
- Level 3 - As the skills you have learned start to become second nature, you playing starts to become more instinctive. At this level you should have the ability to play difficult compositions such as Minuet in G.
- Level 4 - You can play songs with an octave reach, arpeggios, and constant hand-shifting. For example Für Elise by Beethoven.
- Level 5 - You are now playing with impressive control and speed. Songs and arrangements at this level include Linus and Lucy from the Charlie Brown cartoon.
- Level 6 - Your fingers are developing the flexibility to reach wider across the keys to play four note chords. At this level you should have the ability to play well known theme songs such as Mission Impossible.
- Level 7 - At this level you are starting to play classical music such as Beethoven's Sonata.
- Level 8 - At this level you are starting to play big chords at virtuoso speed – that is the speed of the best pianists in world. At this level you are starting to play piano solos such as All of Me.
- Level 9 - With your increasingly quick hand shifts you are now starting to can play advanced pieces like Maple Leaf Rag.
- Level 10 - At this level there is very little, if anything, that is out of your reach. You are well on your way to becoming a virtuoso.