Grade Examinations

Grade Examinations

Learn how Yamaha tests students, teachers and professionals in a broad range of musical skills. Available to the general public, Grade Examinations have been taken by over 400,000 musicians since 1980.

The Yamaha Grade Examination System was established in 1967 to improve and standardize music instruction by requiring teachers to achieve certain levels of musical knowledge, proficiency and teaching skills.

Since its debut, this innovative method of evaluating musical ability has inspired excellence in students and teachers in 27 countries. And since 1980 over 400,000 candidates, ranging from beginner to professional, have taken the Yamaha Grade Examination at authorized locations around the world.

Yamaha Grade Examination System Structure

Yamaha Grade Examination student grades begin at Grade 9 and progress through Grade 6. Grades 5-3 are teacher level examinations, and Grades 2 and 1 are available to anyone interested in taking a professional performance examination.


The Yamaha Grade Examination System is open to all music students, teachers and professionals. A candidate need not be enrolled or employed at Yamaha Music School to take the examination.


Courses offered at Yamaha Music School provide excellent preparation for the Yamaha Student Grade Examination. For teachers, the Yamaha Corporation of America Music Education Division conducts preparatory workshops throughout the year.

Preparatory materials include: repertoire collections, workbooks for improvisation and sightplaying, collections of past exams, floppy disks, audio cassettes, compact discs, and a video with study guides for Piano Grade 5 and Electone Grade 5. These materials may be ordered through your local Yamaha Music School.

Examination Content

Piano Performance Examination

  • Repertoire
  • Improvisation
  • Sightplaying
  • Hearing (Grades 9-6 only)
  • Performance of candidate’s own arrangement (Electone Grades 8-6 only)
  • Performance of candidate’s own composition (Piano or Electone Grade 3 only)

Fundamentals of Music Examination (Grades 5-3 only)

  • Melody singing
  • Melody singing with Accompaniment
  • Accompaniment
  • Transposition
  • Music Theory (Grade 5 only)
  • Four-Part Harmony (Grade 4 only)
  • Song Arrangement into Mixed Chorus (Grade 3 only)
  • Chord Progression
  • Aural Test