Serenade is a short piece for Grade 3 pianists. It was written in 1978 by Percy Grainger (1882-1961), an Australian composer, and is considered to be easy enough for Grade 3 students under normal circumstances.
The work is marked at Grade 2/3 on the new scale while its usual position on the old scale was Grade 3 from Novello.
This work is often included in Grade 3 piano examinations set by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and more rarely by Edexcel. The Associated Board also features a slightly simplified version which was added to their syllabus as a new Grade 2 piece at examination 2000 onwards. As this version was not on the Grade 3 syllabus, it is still possible to play Grade 3 version in ABRSM Grade 3 examinations. This can also be done for Edexcel Grade 3 music exams as they both have a common syllabus. In some cases there might be a choice between playing Grade 2 or Grade 3 pieces depending of which syllabus an exam board sticks to.
A Grade 3 student is expected to play the piece fluently, with only some bars apparently requiring Grade 4 or Grade 5 playing. Serenade can be used in concert performances for children, or as an encore piece, but it is really intended for amateur pianists up to Grade 5 standard. It makes use of the most popular piano melodies ever written, including “Greensleeves”, “My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean” and a version of the theme from Grieg’s Peer Gynt. It is a cheerful work with a little bit of drama too which makes it a winner for both beginners and experienced players. Grade 3 students might need some coaching on the more advanced runs and a greater concentration of tempo throughout.