15 Best Classical Piano Pieces for Intermediate Players (2023)

15 Best Classical Piano Pieces for Intermediate Players (1)

If you’re working with a student that’s not a beginner with the piano, but not a complete professional yet. What are the best intermediate piano pieces at your disposal?

While the early intermediate piano pieces may have been easier to select when starting with a new student, there are a plethora of beautiful intermediate piano pieces players will enjoy. This playing level can feel trickier to pick from, but with the right selection of the best intermediate piano pieces, you can help an intermediate player expand their skills to become a better pianist.

Music Exchange has an array of new and used piano catalogs for those looking for a fresh piece to play, and we are breaking down all the go-tos for early-intermediate, mid-intermediate, and late-intermediate players. But how do we differentiate between the levels?

For your knowledge before we dive in, the intermediate levels can be explained by:

  • Early intermediate pieces cover levels 3-6 and are ideal for both adults and students that already have a basic understanding and background of piano technique, as well as notation.
  • Later intermediate pieces are for levels 7-10. These pieces will require more advanced technical skills, as well as improved reading and playing skills.

To help you boost the repertoire of an intermediate player, we are sharing all the best intermediate classical piano pieces to take your pianist to the next level.

Early Intermediate Piano Pieces

For the early intermediate piano repertoire, there are several songs to choose from. Ideal for players that have a basic understanding of how to play, and have an early familiarity with notation, here are a few of the best piano pieces for intermediate players.

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Sonatina in G, Anh. 5, No.1 by Ludwig van Beethoven

This beautiful piece by Beethoven is one of the top level 3 classical piano pieces for intermediate players. It’s an incredibly elegant piece that helps a player show off their improved skills, taking them from the beginner to intermediate level.

This intermediate piano music choice is a great way for a student to demonstrate the classical piano style using recurring 2-note slurs and left-hand chords to show their improving technique. It will not only expand their skills but make them feel more confident, too.

Wild Ride Op. 68 No. 8 by Robert Schumann

Another level 3 intermediate classical piano option is Wild Ride. This romantic piece offers a gorgeous spin on the typical classical piano piece to expand a pianist's repertoire.

This is wonderful for expanding intermediate skill sets due to the chordal accompaniment to the melodic line. Additionally, the melody shifts from the left hand to the B section, allowing the student to further test their skills. With carefully articulated staccato notes, this piece will push intermediate players beyond what they’ve tried in the past, while still being a doable feat.

Minuet in G, BMV Ahn. 114 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Stepping it up a notch, this intermediate classical piano song is a level 4 and a great introduction to Baroque music. As an entry into the Baroque style, this popular minute is one of the best ways to level up an intermediate player.

What makes the Minuet in G so wonderful for intermediate pianists is the long melodic phrases, as well as the simple accompaniment. This leaves a great chance for newer players to refine their techniques with both staccato and legato.

Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1 by Muzio Clementi

Another level 4 piece is the Sonatina in C by Clementi. This is another way to introduce intermediate players to a more classical style of playing, and it's one of the best intermediate piano songs for this skill level.

Featuring an array of scale-like passages and 1-octave arpeggios, this bright piece offers a lively, vibrant sound that intermediate players will enjoy practicing. It makes for a great staple piece to know how to play, and once they can come back to as they continue to level up.

Horseman by Dmitri Kabalvesky

To round out the recommendations of the best piano songs for intermediate players still in the early stages is Horseman by Dmitri Kabalvesky. This song is a level 5, contemporary piece that will expertly prepare the pianist to move to a more medium intermediate level.

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The Horsemen piece offers a rich minor harmony and bouncy tune that allows a new pianist to practice balancing the melody, as well as the accompaniment material. This will work to boost a student's ability to handle multiple accidentals and unconventional sounds, bringing it all together to sound like a complete, beautiful piece.

Piano Pieces for Mid-Intermediate Players

The mid-intermediate tier is the passage between early and late, and one that builds upon a pianist's skill level to prepare them to master the intermediate level. While this distinction can depend on who you ask, the mid-intermediate level can include everything from a level 4 to a level 7 piece and will help build upon the skillset a newer pianist already has.

For the best medium piano songs for intermediate pianists, check out our go-to list below.

Sonatina Op. 20 No. 1 by Kuhlau

For new players, the Sonatina Op. 20 by Kuhlau is often regarded as their first real piano piece. This piano music for intermediate players is built on an abundance of energy and character that makes it incredibly fun to play, adding to the overall experience of improving their skillset. And while it is most certainly more entertaining than some earlier pieces, it can be a challenge to tackle.

This piece is more intricate as it requires the left hand to play the broken arpeggios, while the right hand handle the connected melody. As both hands work in tandem to build the tune of this song, playing a good detached note in certain parts is a must to pull off the song. With this, this intermediate piano music helps test the ability of a pianist to juggle more as they explore the song.

Sonatina Op. 151, No. 1 by Diabelli

Another one of the most beautiful intermediate piano songs for mid-level players is Diabelli’s Sonatina Op. 151, No. 1. This piece works to test an intermediate player’s patience, as it’s a longer piece to tackle. Averaging around 5 minutes long, this piece helps boost a pianist's practice to use their skill for longer.

With this piece, an intermediate pianist is required to use their right hand to play the melody and then switch to the left hand to play a triplet rhythm in the upper register. This movement is quicker than they may be used to, following a 6/8 meter as opposed to a ¾. This will help not only practice playing for longer but faster, too.

But that’s not all. This piece also requires that a pianist change the rhythm of the Rondo movement. This has them adjust to a 4/4 meter with more challenging techniques. All of this adds up to create a fun, fast-paced piece to practice with.

Sonatina Op. 39, No. 1 by Lynes

An additional classical piano song for intermediates is the Sonatina Op. 39, No. 1 by Lynes. Frank Lynes’ work is wonderful for intermediates as it offers great music that's not too difficult to play. This specific one, the Sonatina Op. 39, No. 1 is on the shorter side and uses 3 movements in around 3 minutes. Featuring distinct melodies, it’s a memorable one for newer players.

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Starting with the Allegro movement in the song, this is built on melody with triads and sequential patterns that are simple to play for intermediate students. Then, there's the Minuet movement which offers a contrast to the aforementioned one. This is a great opportunity to incorporate the pedal, depending on how skilled the pianist is.

Prelude in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach

Another mid-level intermediate piano music option is the Prelude in C Major by Bach. This is an incredibly well-known piece that new pianists may be familiar with, helping to guide them through their foray into playing this classical song.

This song helps level up an intermediate player due to the flowing chords. With this, a mid-level intermediate pianist is pushed to practice executing a clear, even tone. Additionally, the music features dynamic changes, tensions, and releases that are subtle and require a bit of practice to master - perfect for this level of pianist.

Arietta Op. 12, No. 1 by Edvard Grieg

Last for the mid-level intermediate players is the Arietta Op. 12, No. 1 by Grieg. This song is a level 6 piece with a romantic tone that’s truly beautiful to practice.

This piano music for intermediate players is great practice due to the increased control it requires. Due to the split between three different voices, there’s a need for finger dexterity that may still be new to intermediate players. With this skill, they will better balance each voice that is needed to bring the piece together. With a flowing arpeggio and a simple melody, this is a wonderful song to master before moving onto the late intermediate level.

Piano Pieces for Late-Intermediate Players

When it comes to classical piano songs for intermediates that are more seasoned, there are a lot of pieces to choose from. From the popular Claire de Lune, to lesser-known, yet increasingly challenging pieces, we are rounding up all the good intermediate piano songs for the late-intermediate pianist. Here’s what we recommend.

Claire De Lune by Debussy

One of the best ways to master a higher-level piece is to attempt to play something familiar to the player, and Claire De Lune by Debussy is just one. Featured in everything from movies, to TV, and even on trending social media platforms, Claire De Lune is a staple piece that can be pretty straightforward to play, with a few difficult advancements that test an intermediate player’s abilities.

What makes this one of the top piano songs for intermediate players are the various changes throughout. The song starts with a D flat major with five flats, passing between the left and right hands as it starts to softly open. Then, the song moves to the B section where the pianist is required to play big chords with the right hand, requiring increased coordination as the left hand manages a series of blocked triads and chords. This continues into the C section where the left hand has to step up, then return to the main A theme to conclude. Phew, it’s certainly a lot!

Fur Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven

What’s more classic than Beethoven? Fur Elise is a song nearly every pianist must master at some point, and it’s perfect for that late-intermediate player. With great depth, the entire piece seems easy at the start but comes together throughout to require a heightened technique and advanced skill set to complete. To replicate the sound and conquer the task of playing this Beethoven classic, the skillset of an intermediate player must be pretty fine-tuned.

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Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie

This contemporary song by Erik Satie may sound easier to play than it is. Gymnopedie requires that intermediate pianist use their left hand in a rhythmic leaping pattern, creating a low base note and higher chord. To achieve this and make it sound just right, the intermediate player will have to have a strong grasp of a slower, precise practice, which is no easy task. This is one of the best intermediate piano pieces as it must be approached more carefully than lower-level pieces, bringing the music to shape with precise movements.

Invention No. 8 in F Major, BWV 779 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Another great intermediate piano music piece for the late intermediate player is Invention No. 8 in F Major, BWV 779 by Bach.

An ideal introduction to fugal playing, this piece starts with the right hand with a usual melodic line, while the left hand comes in one measure later with the same melody. Sounds simple, right? Well, the piece quickly moves into some more intricate moves, requiring careful, precise movements and slower practice. This will work together to balance two different voices, making the music complete and cohesive - something only a more seasoned intermediate player can tackle.

Sonata in D Hob. XVI/37 by Haydn

The last of the late intermediate songs we love to recommend is Sonata in D Hob. XVI/37 by Haydn. This is a fun, playful piece that is enjoyable for the intermediate player to practice. Plus, it features some more classical sonatas, expanding their skill with classical pieces. With this intermediate piece, the pianist is required to take the time with articulation, as well as with their left-hand accompaniment and scale-like passages to master this classical piece.


No matter what stage of lessons a pianist is in, you can rest assured that there’s an array of beautiful intermediate piano pieces to help improve their practice. From Bach and Beethoven to the recognizable Clare De Lune, the best intermediate piano pieces can do a lot to improve a pianist's skill and take them to the next level, boosting their confidence with this gorgeous, yet intricate instrument.

For further help exploring the best intermediate piano songs, or to contact us directly with any questions, our team at Music Exchange is here to help. Book an appointment online today for all your piano needs.

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(Video) The Best of Piano: The most beautiful classical piano pieces for relax & study


What is the most beautiful classical piano piece? ›

The Most Beautiful Piano Pieces
  1. Beethoven: Bagatelle No. ...
  2. Rachmaninov: 5 Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. ...
  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. ...
  4. Liszt: Liebesträume, S. ...
  5. Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. ...
  6. Chopin: Nocturne No. ...
  7. Debussy: Suite bergamasque, CD 82, L. ...
  8. Bach, JS: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (from Cantata No.

What is the number 1 hardest piano song? ›

These are the hardest pieces ever written for the piano
  • Liszt – La Campanella. ...
  • Ravel – Gaspard de la Nuit. ...
  • Conlon Nancarrow – Studies for Player Piano. ...
  • Sorabji – Opus clavicembalisticum. ...
  • Charles Valentin Alkan – Concerto for Solo Piano. ...
  • Chopin – Étude Op. ...
  • Scriabin – Sonata No. ...
  • Stravinsky – Trois mouvements de Petrouchka.
Jul 1, 2022

What is the most calming piano piece? ›

11 of the most relaxing pieces of piano music
  • Ludovico Einaudi: I Giorni. ...
  • Claude Debussy: Clair de Lune. ...
  • Philip Glass: Glassworks (I. ...
  • Frédéric Chopin: Prelude in E minor. ...
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: 'Moonlight' Sonata (first movement) ...
  • Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor (second movement)
Aug 25, 2020

What is an intermediate piano piece that sounds difficult and more impressive than it is? ›

What is an intermediate piano piece that sounds difficult and more impressive than it is? - Quora. Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum by Debussy.

What level is an intermediate piano player? ›

The intermediate pianist is someone who has been playing piano for 6-18 months. They can read treble and bass clef comfortably, and they understand how to count rhythms. The intermediate is someone familiar with musical notation and can read more complicated parts with both hands.

What grade is an intermediate pianist? ›

Grades 4 and 5 are intermediate levels. Grade 6 is late intermediate, Grade 7 is early advanced.

What is that one piano song that everyone knows? ›

#2 Fur Elise - Beethoven

It's one of the most recognized piano pieces ever written. Fun fact: Beethoven wrote this piece to impress a girl.

What is the most recognizable classical song? ›

The 15 most famous tunes in classical music
  • Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The official name of this piece is the Serenade No. ...
  • Beethoven – Für Elise. ...
  • Puccini – 'O mio babbino caro' from Gianni Schicchi. ...
  • J.S. ...
  • Beethoven – Symphony No. ...
  • Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. ...
  • Bizet – 'Carmen' ...
  • Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube.
Jun 17, 2022

What is the most overplayed piano piece? ›

The 5 Most Overplayed Beginner Piano Pieces (And the Truth Behind Them)
  • Für Elise. We wonder if Ludwig Van Beethoven really knew the lasting effect his composition of “Für Elise” would have. ...
  • Heart and Soul. ...
  • Chopsticks. ...
  • Canon in D. ...
  • The Entertainer.

What is the 80/20 rule in piano? ›

The “80/20 Rule” states that 80% of results or rewards will come from 20% of causes or effort. Put another way, 20% of input creates 80% of output. This especially applies to music, where the same chords and progressions repeat themselves over and over.

What should you not do on a piano? ›

Never lift a piano by its legs. The legs of a piano are the most vulnerable to breakage and if you lift a piano by its legs, the weight balance can shift easily causing a leg to snap. This will not only damage the piano, but can put the people underneath the piano in a lot of danger.

What is the most beautiful piano song ever written? ›

7 of the most romantic piano pieces EVER written
  1. Liebesträume, Franz Liszt. ...
  2. Jeux d'eau, Maurice Ravel. ...
  3. To a Wild Rose, Edward MacDowell. ...
  4. Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy. ...
  5. La Valse D'amélie, Yann Tiersen. ...
  6. Nocturne in E flat major, Frédéric Chopin. ...
  7. Valse Sentimentale, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Feb 14, 2019

What is the coolest song to play on piano? ›

We've selected some of the very best piano pop songs of all time, so grab your sheet music and get practising:
  • Robert Miles - 'Children' ...
  • Alicia Keys - 'Fallin'' ...
  • Vanessa Carlton - 'A Thousand Miles' ...
  • The Beatles - 'Let It Be' ...
  • Billy Joel - 'Piano Man' ...
  • John Lennon - 'Imagine' ...
  • Elton John - 'Your Song'
Mar 27, 2020

Who is the best classical pianist today? ›

Lang Lang is arguably the most famous Classical musician of today and the ultimate modern Classical pianist. The Chinese pianist took an interest in the instrument at just two years old after being inspired by a Tom & Jerry cartoon (The Cat Concerto).

What is the easiest classical piano piece? ›

9 easy piano pieces to get you started on keys
  • Beethoven: Für Elise. ...
  • Debussy: Clair de lune. ...
  • Mozart: Sonata No. ...
  • J.S. ...
  • Einaudi: Primavera. ...
  • Schumann: 'Einsame Blumen' from Waldszenen. ...
  • Beethoven: 'Moonlight' Sonata (I) ...
  • Satie: Gymnopédie No.
Aug 17, 2020

Is playing piano good for mental health? ›

Studies show that time spent at the keyboard improves mental health: people who make music experience less anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Playing piano has also been shown to be a great source of stress relief, and provides ample opportunities to bolster self-esteem.

How long does it take to go from intermediate to advanced piano? ›

Play intermediate piano: 5 – 10 years. Play advanced piano: 10-15 years.

What are the saddest classical piano pieces? ›

The 10 best classical music tear-jerkers
  • Puccini: 'Sono andati? ...
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: 'Requiem' ...
  • Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings. ...
  • Tomaso Albinoni: Adagio in G minor. ...
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Come, Sweet Death. ...
  • Henry Purcell: Dido's Lament. ...
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.

What level is Fur Elise piano? ›

The full version of Fur Elise is considered reasonably difficult, broadly an intermediate piece around grade 5, but a shorter arrangement of only the famous section is often taught as well.

What grade level is Beethoven? ›

Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata as a whole work is Associate Diploma standard i.e. above grade 8 standard. It's set on the syllabus repertoire lists for the Piano Performance ATCL, DipABRSM and ARCT Associate Diplomas, making it equivalent to the standard of a first year Music undergraduate student.

How long should an intermediate piano player practice? ›

Intermediate pianists have around 3 – 5 years of experience at this point and have probably been through several method books. At this point, the daily practice routine should certainly be around 1 to 2 hours per day, but might be more depending on the goals at hand.

What level piano is Chopin? ›

So much of Chopin's music is extremely difficult, and even his easiest pieces are at an intermediate-early advanced level.

What level is Moonlight Sonata? ›

Both hands have been split in the recording to facilitate one-hand-at-a-time practice. The Moonlight Sonata is a Level 8 piece.

How long should I practice piano every day? ›

Most piano teachers recommend practicing anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours daily. To facilitate this, consider making a schedule for when you'll play and for how long. You may find that some days you may be able to dedicate more time than others.

What age is intermediate piano? ›

Play basic piano: 1 – 3 years. Play intermediate piano: 5 – 10 years. Play advanced piano: 10-15 years.

What is the most emotional piano piece? ›

The 100 Most Emotional Piano Pieces
  • The Other Side of the BridgeMichael Mugler.
  • PhilosophyLenz Koch.
  • A Splendid MondayAustin Walsh.
  • BohoArthur Byron.
  • ContemporaryLeonard Millers.
  • The AwakeningOliver Dorin.
  • ManhattanMaxwell Ward.
  • A Blank page in my LifeMegan Byrne.

What is the most beautiful piece of music ever written? ›

Definitively the most romantic pieces of classical music ever...
  • Puccini - O mio babbino caro. ...
  • Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. ...
  • Elgar - Salut d'amour. ...
  • Puccini - O soave fanciulla, from La bohème. ...
  • Rota - Love Theme, from Romeo and Juliet. ...
  • Mascagni - Intermezzo, from Cavalleria Rusticana.
Feb 11, 2022

What is the most played song on the piano? ›

8 Most Popular Piano Songs to Learn
  • Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata” ...
  • Beethoven's “Fur Elise” ...
  • Pachelbel's Canon in D. ...
  • Debussy's Clair du Lune. ...
  • Johann Strauss II – “The Blue Danube” ...
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – “Rondo Alla Turca” ...
  • Frederic Chopin – “March Funèbre” ...
  • Satie's Gymnopédie No.
Mar 5, 2022

What age is too late for piano? ›

You are never too old to learn to play the piano, but you'll never learn unless you decide to start.

How many years does it take to get good at piano? ›

If you want to be a professional classical performer, you're looking at a minimum of 10 to 15 years of concentrated study with a master teacher, and hours of practice every day. Most people who want to learn piano to play for their own enjoyment can get great results within three to five years of study and practice.

Is 1 hour of piano a day enough? ›

Adult Amateur: 1-2 hours per day. Many adult amateurs are busy people who have difficulty even finding 15 minutes a day to practice! But ideally, an adult amateur student will be able to commit at least an hour a day to practicing, in order to advance at a satisfying pace and get the most out of their piano study.

What is harder piano or guitar? ›

Overall, the guitar is easier to learn than the piano. If you consider the layout, learning songs, the ability to self-teach and a few other things, it is an easier instrument. However, it's the easiest on average for everyone. This means for people of all ages.

Is there a song that uses every key on a piano? ›

It's the musical version of 'the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' - a piano piece that uses every single note on the keyboard, but only once.

What is the most popular classical piece? ›

The 15 most famous tunes in classical music
  • Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The official name of this piece is the Serenade No. ...
  • Beethoven – Für Elise. ...
  • Puccini – 'O mio babbino caro' from Gianni Schicchi. ...
  • J.S. ...
  • Beethoven – Symphony No. ...
  • Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. ...
  • Bizet – 'Carmen' ...
  • Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube.
Jun 17, 2022


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5. THE BEST PIANO REPERTOIRE FOR INTERMEDIATE PIANO PLAYERS // Get to the next level with these works!
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