I was going through Trinity Piano Syllabus and saw that they have exams in Piano from Grades 1-8 and "Piano Accompanying" exam from Grades 5-8.

How does it work?

  1. Everyone taking Grade 5-8 will also have to take the "Piano Accompanying" exam?
  2. After Grade 4, the two tracks separate into "Piano Solo" and "Piano Accompanying"?
  3. What do people generally do?

1 Answer 1


Very few people do the accompany tract. Very few pianists are willing to do accompaniments, in general. It competes with teaching in the thank-less stakes. Few people are willing to do specialized training just so that they can be heard and never seen.

You don't even get your name of the candidate's certificate when you do it. Seeing as most people get into the performing arts to get some sort of validation for there egos, it stands to reason that something as completely lacking in glory, as accompaniments, will not be popular.

  1. Everyone taking Grade 5-8 will also have to take the piano accompanying exam?

Nobody is forced to take these exams, it may lead to you being a better pianist, it may even open some doors for you, but no one is forced to do it.

  1. After Grade 4, the do tracks separate into Piano Solo and Piano Accompanying?

The tracts were never together really, you are just expected to have basic proficiency before you begin the accompaniment tract. You can very easily have Grade 8 - Accompaniment be the first exam you play.

What do people generally do?

usually, if they can help it they don't do this.

  • 1
    Your third sentence is emotive! Teaching thankless? I wouldn't have done it for decades had it been so! The vast majority of my students were very thankful, whether they took exams and passed, or just played for pleasure - theirs and mine. I for one always consider the accompanist - without their unstinting and accurate support, any soloist wouldn't sound half as good.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 14:03
  • well, maybe we have just fundamentally different experiences. My students have always given me the experience that they use me for as long as it suits them and then eventually leave without as much as a goodbye. Children don't really appreciate what you do for them until many years later, if they indeed ever realise it..
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 14:16
  • That's sad. Haven't experienced that attitude, and wouldn't want to. Maybe our approaches are rather different!
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 14:33

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