E19: Rockschool Rock/Pop Piano Syllabus- Review


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By Bob Rose. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Listen to see why I’m so enthusiastic about Rockschool’s Rock/Pop Piano grades for piano! Following on from my previous review, I also give more information for those considering the new Rockschool Classical grades.

Show Notes

  • Excellent for fixing common rhythmic weaknesses in classical students [3:05]
  • The difference between the graded exams and the performance certificates [4:30]
  • The improvisation section was poorly implemented in classical syllabus- makes much more sense in the Rock/Pop syllabus [8:40]
  • More on the unsuitability of Rockschool for face-to-face classical exams (in the UK) [10:25]
  • A bit of a digression- why I would personally encourage my students to go for face-to-face exams in general rather than prerecorded online exams [12:30]
  • Flaws in Rockschool’s prerecorded online graded exam option [18:10]
  • Benefits of Rockschool’s format of pieces with backing tracks [20:00]
  • Rockschool pieces are much more challenging than classical pieces at the same grade [23:10]
  • A good fit for students not that interested in classical or jazz [25:20]
  • About the excellent Online Learning Platform- free for teachers [29:30]
  • A look at the highlights and impressions of each individual grade- in order from Debut to Grade 8 [36:55]
  • The graded exams can provide a good foundation for jazz [49:40]
  • Could be useful for traditional classical teachers to make their own way through the books to become more familiar and comfortable with rock/pop/jazz genres and improvisation [51:20]


I uploaded a video of me playing one of the grade 7 pieces to YouTube (I added the guitar solo as well- obviously this isn’t part of the normal piano exam!): https://youtu.be/pI-yiJDhDjc

The intro/outro music is my jazz arrangement of the Rachmaninov Adagio from Symphony #2, you can watch the whole thing here if you like: https://youtu.be/hMqREAngb4s

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