Robert Estrin - piano expert

How Can You Determine What Level Pianist You Are?

Learn how to measure your piano skill level

In this video, Robert tells you how to determine your piano skill level.

Released on February 23, 2022

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin here at I get questions from students all the time asking "How can I determine what level player I am?" Students from India have specific designations from organizations like ABRSM that have regimented repertoire putting students in specific categories of levels. Many music organizations like Music Teachers' Association of California also categorize students by numeric levels. I laugh sometimes when I see repertoire with designations of easy, intermediate, advanced and such, with pieces of the standard literature sometimes being called easy. But there are no ways to categorize levels of playing, since people have drastically different aptitudes. Someone may have a great affinity for broke music, but a weak sense of rhythm. Or someone may be a phenomenal sight reader, but they can't play anything from memory or play anything on a really refined level. I would say that someone playing Beethoven sonatas and large works of Chopin like the Ballades and Scherzos for example, may be considered advanced, but only if they are playing these pieces honestly.

There is a huge range of levels within intermediate and advanced music on the piano. Ultimately, it isn't important to categorize yourself into any particular piano level. You are growing as a musician, as long as you are practicing. And most importantly, expanding your repertoire. Every new piece you learn adds to your skills as a pianist and increases the depth of your musicianship. There will always be new pieces to learn, new styles to assimilate, and new techniques to explore. No matter how much music you learn or how accomplished you become at the piano, there are always vast new areas of music to explore in the piano. There will always be people who can do things in the piano you can't do, no matter how accomplished you become. It's about the journey, not the destination. So enjoy your practice and don't worry about what level you are on. That's my advice to you. If you spend productive time at the piano on a regular basis, you will continue to grow as a pianist. I'm Robert Estrin here at Thanks for subscribing and telling people about Living Pianos. There are more videos coming your way.
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