Criteria for Grade Level Assignments

Some Thoughts About Grade Level Assignments

Since grade level assignment is a multi-faceted undertaking, it may be useful to chart the pieces you are considering for your group. John E. Owen provides a method for doing this in his article, "Assessing Difficulty Level in Band Music" in the May-June 1996 issue of the Ohio MEA publication, Triad, (pp. 25-27). Click here for a sample grading chart and examples of charted pieces.

Grade 1

2nd year players.
(assuming 1st year included 2-3 periods of instruction each week)

Grade 2

3rd year players (ca. 8th grade).

Grade 3

Urban/suburban junior high (9th grade) or rural high school.
Not useful for beginning bands.

Grade 4

Urban/suburban high school or outstanding rural high school.
Not suitable for junior high school bands.

Grade 5

Outstanding urban/suburban high school or good college bands.

Grade 6

Professional or outstanding college bands.
Not suitable for high school.


Band Literature UND Music UND

Last Updated: 1 October 1996