How we developed piano TRACKS

At the heart of the piano TRACKS project lies our piano curriculum. The curriculum currently runs from beginner level up to approximately grade 5. It has been designed for piano teachers to use primarily as a stand-alone assessment and progress tracking tool. The piano TRACKS project was created for our students, most of whom choose not to follow the traditional route of graded music exams.

Music is a vast and nebulous field, and studying an instrument can sometimes feel overwhelming. As such we have had to omit many features of music from our project in order to keep it as simple as possible whilst still being meaningful. We intend for our curriculum to provide piano teachers with a basic music education framework, that can help learners to make consistent progress in a Western classical style of playing. It does this by providing an outline of the elements of technical skill and music theory knowledge that students are most likely to need to acquire on the road to progress.

Our curriculum

Curriculum Stages
The curriculum is separated into eight progressive levels, called Stages A – H.
Stage A = early beginner level
Stage B = advanced beginner level
Stage C = pre-Grade 1 level
Stage D – H = approximately Grade 1 – Grade 5 level

Stages D – H do not exactly match the requirements of any one particular exam board. The content of our syllabus aims to develop a student so that they are able to play to an intermediate standard by the end of Stage H. We have used the grade descriptors above as these are easily understood by most piano teachers.

The curriculum is designed to be flexible so a single student might span a number of stages at the same time.

Curriculum Modules
As well as Stages, piano curriculum is also divided into areas of skill and knowledge, which we call Modules. There are 15 Modules, as follows:

  1. Notes & The Stave
  2. Rhythm
  3. Tempo
  4. Pulse & Metre
  5. Dynamics
  6. Articulation
  7. Hand Positions and Coordination
  8. Intervals
  9. Accidentals
  10. Tonality
  11. Scales, Arpeggios, and Other Technical Exercises
  12. Chords and Harmony
  13. Ornaments
  14. Pedalling
  15. Forms and Structure

Not all of these Modules appear at each stage there are some items that overlap. In these Modules we have included the basics of what piano students need to learn to reach (in Stage H) an intermediate level of playing, which approximately equates to Grade 5.

Piano curriculum close up

Piano teachers can assess a students’ progress through the Stages by using our checklists. There are two lists for each stage: one for knowledge and one for skills. All our checklists are combined in one book. Click the link above for more information.

You can use the checklists with or without the students’s input, to easily identify their strengths and the areas for development. Students enjoy being able to see their progress in a tangible way. Download our free certificates to celebrate achievement, when a student completes a stage.

As a music education professional, you get to decide when a student has securely learned any particular element of learning. You can work with your student to agree concrete aims, and commit to small, achievable goals. Many students are motivated by having this input, and leading their musical learning.

piano TRACKS checklist