As per question title, something such as:

Level 1 - You should know concept a, b and c. To get there start with pieces x, y and z, then work on book B, once it is mastered go to the Method M, and so on.

Level 2 - At this point you should master concepts d, e and f. To achieve this level, start with book C, then go to Method N, and so forth...

Level ....


Any music teaching organization is likely to develop structures of the kind you suggest. The problem in finding a single satisfactory answer to your question is that all these structures are to some extent arbitrary. Teachers, and organizations of teachers, may hold the same view on the general sequence of topics but disagree on the details. However, all roads are likely to lead to Rome.

If you're looking for examples of structured skills and repertoire, you might look at a syllabus of examinations. Some organizations dispense external examinations, that is outside their own rooms by itinerant examiners. For example, here in the UK we have bodies like the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music), and Trinity College London, conducting graded examinations in many countries in voice and various instruments.

Google something like "abrsm piano grade exams syllabus" and browse the requirements. Then look at a syllabus from another provider and compare. Probably, you will see a broad similarity in skill progression, but with different arbitrary choices of names for the levels of skill. "This is a grade four piece!" - "No, it's grade six!" - "Oh, you're with THOSE people." (It's the same piece...)

Obviously, you needn't be taking examinations to benefit from the sequence that the syllabus suggests. Some people find these structures useful for organizing their work and getting a feeling of progress. All the same, while progress in an instrument often feels like it features plateaus, and sudden leaps forward, it is essentially continuous not discrete.

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  • My problem is that I started learning piano by myself (10+ years ago) and as a result my knowledge and skills are flawed: someone told me that in some topics I have advanced comprehension/skills while in others I'm failing hard. Such grades would help me to identify and make easier to work on the gaps. – RedDragon Apr 3 '18 at 17:21

Adding to @replete's answer, also in UK is LCM. Around the world there are other examining bodies - each state in US has its own.

The syllabi are generally similar, in that set pieces need to be performed, and they're graded from prelim. to eight chosen for their difficulty in learning and performing. There is a hierarchy of scales and arpeggios (called broken chords in the early grades) to go through, as well as some aural testing - rhythms, pitches, etc.- and sight-reading at the appropriate level.

Theory is worth looking at although maybe not initially. There are also theory syllabi from these bodies, and it's not possible to go past grade V piano without grade V theory being passed. That shows how important the bodies consider theory.

Obviously you don't need to take any exams - they're not cheap, and probably take you down a narrow path - but because the piano and piano exams have been around a very long time, they're a good yardstick to use.

You ask what is needed to master these levels. Finding a good teacher is a good start. Plenty of practice: it's quoted at 10,000 hrs to get rather good...

And until you are a good player, it won't be easy to look at a piece and realise where it fits in the jigsaw.

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