My Favorite Grade 3 Piano Pieces

In this video/blog post, we’re going to take a look at some of my favorite grade 3 piano pieces. The video shows some quick clips of what the pieces sound like, and all the information is listed below.

Baroque: Grade 3 Piano Pieces

1. Minuet in G major, BWV anh. 114, by Christian Petzold

a. Category: List A
b. Book: Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
c. My version: Selections from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (Christos Tsitsaros)
d. Difficulty: Easy
e. The main challenge of this well-known minuet is all the hand movements, little ornaments and Baroque playing style (detached, with well-chosen slurs).

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Selections From The Notebook For Anna Magdalena Bach
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Edited by Keith Snell. Neil A. Kjos Master Composer Library. Baroque. Music Book. With standard notation and fingerings. 31 pages. Published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company (KJ.GP381).

2. Minuet in G minor, BWV anh. 115, by Christian Petzold

a. Category: List A
b. Book: Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
c. My version: Selections from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (Christos Tsitsaros)
d. Difficulty: Easy
e. This minuet has many similar challenges to its twin (Minuet in G major). The big difference with this one is its expressive, melodic mood, and making a dynamic plan.

Classical: Grade 3 Piano Pieces

3. Sonatina in C major, op. 36 no. 1, 1st movement, by Muzio Clementi

a. Category: List B
b. Book: Six Clementi Sonatinas, op. 36
c. Difficulty: Medium
d. Clementi’s Sonatinas are bright and technically demanding for the early-intermediate pianist. There are plenty of scale runs, arpeggios and fast finger patterns to contend with, as well as hand leaps.

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Clementi – Sonatinas, Opus 36
Composed by Muzio Clementi (1752-1832). Edited by Jennifer Linn. Schirmer Performance Editions. Softcover Audio Online. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.296466).

4. Sonatina in G major, Anh. 5, 2nd movement (Romanze) by Ludwig van Beethoven

a. Category: List B
b. Book: Celebrate Beethoven 1
c. Difficulty: Medium
d. This is a really catchy, light-hearted tune that features all different types of chord patterns. Like Clementi, there is plenty of movement here, only at a slower, more expressive pace.

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Celebrate Beethoven, Volume I
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Edited by Reid Alexander, Samuel S. Holland, Marc Widner, Andrew Hisey. Composer Editions. Classical. Book. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.CC10).

Romantic/Modern: Grade 3 Piano Pieces

5. White Sand by Christopher Norton

a. Category: List C
b. Book: Christopher Norton Connections 3
c. Difficulty: Challenging
d. This Caribbean-style piece is fun to play and very likeable. It’s deceptively difficult to coordinate the very different right hand and left hand patterns, as they move independently.

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Christopher Norton Connections for Piano: Repertoire 3
Composed by Christopher Norton. Edited by Andrew Hisey. Christopher Norton Connections! for Piano. Jazz, Rock, Blues, Latin, Swing, Country, Funk, Reggae. Book. 40 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.CNR03).

6. In my Dreams by Anne Crosby

a. Category: List C
b. Book: In my Dreams
c. Difficulty: Easy
d. This dreamy, lullaby-esque piece isn’t too difficult once you figure out the consistent left hand patterns and achieve a good hand balance – the right hand needs to project far above the left. The amount of repetition calls for creative expression to add interest.

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In My Dreams
Early Intermediate Piano Solos. Composed by Anne Crosby. Composer Library Series. Contemporary. Book. 20 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.HPA25).

7. Clowns, op. 39 no. 20, Dmitri Kabalevsky

a. Category: List C
b. Book: 24 Pieces for Children, op. 39
c. Difficulty: Challenging
d. A couple things make this piece a challenge – the speed, and not getting your fingers tangled up with the constantly shifting notes and repetitive left hand pattern. It also needs to be played with a (creepy) lightness – it’s easy for this to get heavy and overwhelming.

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24 Pieces for Children, Op. 39
Piano Solo. Composed by Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987). Library of Russian-Soviet Music. 20th Century and Russian. Collection. With standard notation and fingerings (does not include words to the songs). 20 pages. G. Schirmer #ED2461. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.50330040).

8. The Song of Twilight by Yoshinao Nakada

a. Category: List C
b. Book: Japanese Festival
c. Difficulty: Medium
d. The melody of this piece needs to float above the left hand chords, which means the chords must be played very lightly. This piece is also a great study in phrasing and beautiful expression.

Etudes: Grade 3 Piano Pieces

9. Arabesque, op. 100 no. 2, by Johann Friedrich Burgmuller

a. Category: etude
b. Book: RCM Celebration Series (2015), Grade 2 Etudes
c. Difficulty: Medium
d. A student favorite! The challenge here is to play clear 5-finger patterns in both the left hand and right, while also playing fast and leggiero (light).

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Celebration Series: Piano Etudes 3
2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory. This edition: 2015 edition. Celebration Series. Method book & online audio. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.C5S03).

10. Witches and Wizards by Christine Donkin

a. Category: etude
b. Book: Legends & Lore
c. Difficulty: Difficult
d. Another fast etude that is a study in 6/8 time, and a quick, relentless rhythm. Pay close attention to the accents to create a swaying feel.

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Legends & Lore
Elementary – Early Intermediate Piano Solos. Composed by Christine Donkin. Composer Library Series. Contemporary. Book. 16 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.HPA114).

Conclusion

If you want more information like this, check out the corresponding video on my favorite grade 3 piano books. It covers a lot of similar information.

Also be sure to check out some of the video explaining what grade 3 is all about.

And videos about the RCM and ABRSM to give these more context:
All about RCM exams
All about ABRSM exams

xo,
Allysia

Allysia has been teaching piano in Canada for nearly a decade, and has her Grade 10 RCM certificate. She especially enjoys nerding out to music history and theory. When she’s not making videos or teaching, she’s reading, writing, and jamming in a rock band.