We do allow you to prepare for (and sit) Piano for Leisure exams, but there are a few things you need to know about choosing this option.
The Piano for Leisure syllabus is designed for people who:
want a less rigorous and technical approach to learning piano
want to play a more "popular" music (as opposed to learning to play a wide variety of musical styles from different musical periods).
The music is not any easier, but there are fewer scales and less technical work, and you get to choose between either Sight Reading or Ear Tests for your exam.
The Piano for Leisure syllabus is less respected, and not considered adequate if you're planning on studying music at a tertiary level. However, if you're relatively serious about learning piano, and want to give your practice some structure by working towards exams and achieving graded levels (and certificates), this is a good option. It's less "pressure" and less rigorous, so might suit some students better.
NOTE: Grade 5 "Piano for Leisure" is not the same as Grade 5 "Piano Comprehensive". Each syllabus is different and has a different focus. It's important for you to choose the one that is most appropriate for your goals. Please read this article for more information.
Can I swap from Piano Comprehensive to Piano for Leisure (or vice versa)?
You always have the option of swapping from one syllabus to another.
Example: you could start by undertaking a Piano Comprehensive exam (say, Grade 2), then swapping to Piano for Leisure for Grade 3 onwards. We don't recommend swapping and changing each grade, but you can make the switch from one to the other without too much drama.
Keep in mind though, that if you start on the Piano for Leisure syllabus (say for Grade 1) then switch for the Piano Comprehensive for Grade 2, you will have a lot of catching up to do! Essentially it's easier to swap from Piano Comprehensive to Piano for Leisure (rather than the other way around).
What Do I Have to Learn for the "Piano for Leisure" Exam?
Technical Work (scales and set technical exercises)
Three Pieces (chosen from the Piano for Leisure Series Books)
Either Ear Tests (singing, clapping and identifying musical things by listening); or Sight Reading (reading a short piece you have never seen before). You get to choose.
General Knowledge (music history and information about musical terminology in your pieces)
For more information on the ins and outs of taking a Piano for Leisure exam, read this article.
How long does the "Piano for Leisure" exam take?
Grade 1: 12 minutes
Grade 2: 14 minutes
Grade 3: 15 minutes
Grade 4: 16 minutes
Grade 5: 20 minutes
Grade 6: 25 minutes
Grade 7: 30 minutes
Grade 8: 35 minutes