The Student Room Group

How long will it take to get ABRSM Grade 8 on the piano?

I’m around 13 years old and I’ve finally been able to start piano lessons as a complete beginner. How long will it take to transition to each grade assuming I’d put 10 hours of practice in per week for the first sixth months and gradually increase that? And then how long would it take to get to Grade 8? I’m really really passionate and dedicated to this because I want to write songs on the piano as well! The exams are in December, and there’s two and a half months, and I wonder if it’d be possible to get Grade 1 in that time?
Reply 1
Original post by FlyingSquirrel10
I’m around 13 years old and I’ve finally been able to start piano lessons as a complete beginner. How long will it take to transition to each grade assuming I’d put 10 hours of practice in per week for the first sixth months and gradually increase that? And then how long would it take to get to Grade 8? I’m really really passionate and dedicated to this because I want to write songs on the piano as well! The exams are in December, and there’s two and a half months, and I wonder if it’d be possible to get Grade 1 in that time?

In my younger days I started at age 12 to study for grades and I reached Grade 6 at age 20 but then again I hardly did 10 hours of practice per week. At the end of the day it's all about how much practice you do.
Original post by FlyingSquirrel10
I’m around 13 years old and I’ve finally been able to start piano lessons as a complete beginner. How long will it take to transition to each grade assuming I’d put 10 hours of practice in per week for the first sixth months and gradually increase that? And then how long would it take to get to Grade 8? I’m really really passionate and dedicated to this because I want to write songs on the piano as well! The exams are in December, and there’s two and a half months, and I wonder if it’d be possible to get Grade 1 in that time?

Depends on how much you practice. I got a grade 8 on the piano within five years of starting the piano. BUT I was practicising 3/4 hours a day. So, what I would do is try and get your grade 1 first, see how easy it is for you to learn new pieces and then work out how much time and effort you are willing to put into getting a grade 8. Some people memorise/or learn (you don't have to memorize) pieces very quickly, some don't. Doing 10 hours a week is a very good start for a beginner though - you sound committed so I imagine you would be able to push through the grades quite quickly. Just remember that an hour of focused, slow practice is better than 5hrs of unfocused, fast practice. Feel free to ask me any other questions about the piano if you like :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by flyingsquirrel10
I’m around 13 years old and I’ve finally been able to start piano lessons as a complete beginner. How long will it take to transition to each grade assuming I’d put 10 hours of practice in per week for the first sixth months and gradually increase that? And then how long would it take to get to Grade 8? I’m really really passionate and dedicated to this because I want to write songs on the piano as well! The exams are in December, and there’s two and a half months, and I wonder if it’d be possible to get Grade 1 in that time?

it's very variable on the person, considering that you are putting in 10 hours of practice each week as a complete beginner it means you are probably quite dedicated, so you might be able to get grade 8 in just a few years
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
also one thing i forgot to mention... it's very dependant on your teacher... getting a good teacher who resonates well with you and has similar aspirations for you as you do will give you a lot of motivation and improvement
Reply 5
Wow. You sound very dedicated. You probably would be able to get a grade 8 before uni if you learn quick. I’ve been playing and stopping over the past few years and my last exam was like 4 years ago doing grade 5 lol. I did practice grade 6 pieces after that but stopped for another 1 and a half years… Yesterday I came across the grade 8 pieces for 2025-2026 and I’m planning on doing the exams next year 🙂 When I was playing before…I only practiced an hour a week so it took me like a year to do one grade… Good luck!

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