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Many students are wondering what's next after Grade 8 Piano. 
The students are encouraged to improve their technique by taking Diploma in Piano Performance offered by different examination board. 

Do note the standard for Diploma is not simply Grade 9, is significantly higher than Grade 8. 

The students need to understand the musical styles. 

This coursed is offered by these 3 popular examination board:

  • Trinity College London TCL

  • Associated Board Royal School of Music ABRSM

  • London College Music LCM

There is slight different requirement when you compare all of them, however, they all have in common in achieving diploma in performance which is equivalent to certain year of undergraduate. 

There are 3 different levels of diploma:
1) Associate = 1st year undergraduate degree 
2) Licientiate =  3rd year undergraduate degree
3) Fellowship = Master degree

It is well noted that if the student passed a diploma, he/she is entitled to use the letters standing for the diploma after the name.  



Read about the summary of which diploma to take? ATCL or DipABRSM? 

ABRSM has launced a new performance diploma available from Jan 2017. Click here to learn about it


There're over hundred of huge repertoires list to choose from in recital. Unlike Grade 8 where a well balanced programme is ready.


I advice diploma students select and shortlist their favourite repertoires as these repertoires will be playing up to 2 years. 


Make sure the programme has a well balance of content with different period and styles.


Most importantly, take the timing into consideration when you're choosing a repertoire. 


Make it a habit to record down how is your daily practice like. This is to compare what is planned to achieve and what is actually achieved at the end of the day. 


Set up a practice time for at least 2-3 hours per day. It works better if you can divide the practice into few short sessions.


Set up a reachable goal for a week. For example, 3-5 lines per day depending of the learning capability. 


Small section practice only. 


We are fortunate enough to live in a technology world. Enrich your learning process by listening to different recording by different pianist besides taking lesson with your teacher.


Try to compare and contrast two different recordings of the same repertoire. 


  • Lady are encouraged to wear a gown while male may consider to wear a bow ties. 

  • Make sure you wear the shoes that you're going to wear on the exam day. Never take off your shoes. 

  • Run through the entire programme without stopping to correct the mistakes at least one month before the exam. 

  • Put a video camera to watch back how is the rehearsal.