intermediate piano songs

It’s easy to find lists of beginner piano songs. But you often have to dig a little to find intermediate piano songs, especially classical piano pieces.

But before you start looking, how do you even know if you’ve reached an intermediate playing level? Generally, being an intermediate player involves more advanced technical skills like being able to play syncopated rhythms, having both hands play independently, and controlling playing dynamics.

Whether you have a piano teacher or are teaching yourself, we hope these intermediate piano songs will help you improve as a player!

1. Sonatina Op. 39, No. 1 by Lynes

This song begins with a lively allegro movement and incorporates sequential patterns and familiar triads. It’s a short piece with a relatively simple melody, and the accompaniment material is fairly straightforward.

This piece is great if you’re looking for intermediate piano pieces that aren’t overly long. If you aren’t familiar with the piece, check out this video demonstration by a piano teacher.

Like many piano pieces on our list, this one has sheet music that you can easily find online. If you want to start working on adding this piece to your piano repertoire, you can find printable sheet music here.

2. Sonatina Op. 151, No. 1 by Diabelli

If you’re in search of classical pieces that let you practice playing at a faster tempo, this is a great one to choose. It’s also great practice for switching between time signatures. It starts off in 6/8 time. But when you get to a part called the Rondo movement, you’ll need to move to 4/4 time.

This is one of the best intermediate pieces to start playing if you wat to give both your left hand and your right hand a workout! Your right hand starts out with the melody while your left hand plays a catchy, upper-register triplet rhythm. This demo lets you get a look at what your hands should be doing through the piece. And you can find the sheet music here.

Lastly, this piece is ideal if you want to gradually start playing longer pieces. You probably recall the finger fatigue you experienced when first learning to play piano. As you play pieces that are both fast and somewhat long (this one is about 5 minutes), be patient with yourself. It might take some time to build up playing stamina!

3. Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy

This one may well be one of the most famous classical piano pieces of all time. And if you’re an intermediate player, you just might be able to play it. You can hear this lovely piece performed at Steinway Hall in this video.

This piece isn’t especially easy, as the song moves through a few different keys. The first movement is in D flat major. Then there is a B section, a C section, and an A section. The D flat major portion may be especially challenging, as the key signature includes five flats!

And as you likely already know, sharps and flats in a piece require you to play accidentals (the black keys). As you’re moving through a piece, it takes some effort and experience to remember which accidentals you need to play. If you want to start working on Claire de Lune, you can find free sheet music here.

4. Minuet in G, BWV Anh 114 by Johann Sebastian Bach

The complexity and beauty of baroque music is an adventure for any pianist. Minuet in G is oe of the most popular early intermediate piano pieces, meaning it’s a good choice if you’re just now leveling up.

This piece lets you build stamina and dexterity through playing long melodic phrases. It’s also ideal for those looking to refine technique, as it includes both staccato and legato passages. It’s in the relatively straightforward key of G major, which should be familiar to most intermediate pianists.

This video lets you hear the piece while also showing you the sheet music. If you aren’t familiar with Minuet in G by name, you’ll almost certainly recognize the tune as soon as it starts!

Oddly enough, though most people believe Minuet in G was written by Bach, it was actually originally written for harpsichord by Christian Petzold.

5. Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven

Chances are good that you’re already familiar with German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Though he wrote the intermediate-friendly Moonlight Sonata, he also wrote Piano Sonata No. 29 (The Hammerklavier). That piece is known as the hardest piano piece of all time! The entire piece is about 45 minutes long, and it’s a real challenge the whole way.

But before you move on to difficult classical sonatas like Piano Sonata No. 9, Moonlight Sonata is a great piece to practice. And once you’ve gotten the notes themselves down, it’s a great piece to use to develop your own classical piano style.

That’s because on the original sheet music, Beethoven included the words “quasi una fantasia,” or “like a fantasy,” implying that the piece should have a dreamy, almost improvised feel.

This video tutorial can help you start learning to play this iconic piece of piano music. You can also check out free sheet music here.

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

Depending on how long you’ve been playing, you might not be familiar with fugal playing. In piano, a fugue is a type of music where there is a repeating musical theme (called a subject), as well as two or more musical “voices.”

It’s easier to recognize fugal playing in classical piano music than it is to describe it. At the start of this piece, your right hand plays a line of melody and the left hand plays the same line moments later. You can hear that in this demonstration video.

Invention No. 8 is one of the harder pieces on the list, so it’s best for intermediate pianists who have been playing at the intermediate level for awhile. You can get the sheet music here.

7. Morning Prayer by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Morning Prayer is the opening piece for Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young. If you’re familiar with various composers, you might already know that Robert Schumann has a collection of piano pieces by the same name. The Tchaikovsky album may not be as famous as the Schumann one, but it’s ideal for intermediate players. It’s also an accessible introduction to Russian composers.

This Tchaikovsky collection is full of pieces that are a bit simpler to play than some of his more famous works. It’s a centering opening that doesn’t have a large amount of emotional dynamism. Since it isn’t too technically demanding, Morning Prayer is a great choice for early intermediate players. You can hear this lovely piece in this demonstration. You can also find the free sheet music here.

8. Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie

Most classical piano pieces recommended for the intermediate player are from hundreds of years ago. But if you’re looking for a contemporary piece of classical music, this is a great one.

As you might guess from the name, this song is a workout for your hands. The notes move along in a rhythmic leaping pattern that’s hard to grasp until you hear it. If you want to listen while watching a pianist play the song, this cool video is a great resource, and you can find the sheet music here.

One of the most important things for intermediate players to master is the art of the practice routine, and this song is a great way to master practicing! It sounds a lot easier to play than it actually is, so slow practice with plenty of focus should help you master it. If you want a little more guidance on how to play this exciting piece, check out this tutorial.

9. Lentamente from Visions Fugitives, Op. 22 by Sergei Prokofiev

Part of the beauty of classical music comes from its ability to encompass emotions that are difficult to express in words. This piece is very, very short (it’s only about a minute), but the challenge of it doesn’t come from its duration or even really from sheer technical skill.

Rather, in order to play this piece convincingly, you need to ensure your playing communicates the tense, uneasy cast of the whole piece. Learning to add emotion to your playing is a must, though this is a skill you can usually develop with time.

You can hear this piece in all of its raw emotionality in this demonstration. You can also fid the sheet music here.

10. Sonatina Op. 20 No. 1 by Kuhlau

If you’ve just recently joined the ranks of intermediate piano players, Sonatina Op. 20 No. 1 is a great piece to learn. It’s a lot of fun to play, but it presents a challenge, especially when it comes to connecting your left and right hands.

In this piece, your right hand plays a connected melody as your left hand plays broken arpeggios. This combination often proves difficult, so it’s wise to do some precise practice of the right-hand and left-hand parts in order to really master it as a whole.

If you’re ready to start learning this one, this video shows you the sheet music while letting you hear the music. As you’ll hear, it is pleasantly energetic and perfect if you want to learn a more optimistic, high-energy piece.

11. Wild Rider Op. 68 No. 8 by Robert Schumann

If you’re an intermediate pianist who has gotten beyond most early intermediate pieces and you want to test your skills, this lively and appropriately-named piece will provide a welcome challenge.

In particular, Wild Rider will help you develop your finger dexterity. Carefully-articulated staccato notes demand both power and control from your hands. Your right hand and left hand will each have a turn playing the melody and the chordal accompaniment. Obviously, before you attempt the piece, you will want to make sure you have a handle on playing with both hands at the same time.

If you’re ready to get started, check out this free sheet music resource. This one is somewhat unique in that you can find sheet music for Wild Rider in different keys. And if you want to see and hear the piece played (in the original key), you can see it in this great video.

12. The Horseman by Dmitry Kabalevsky

If you’re looking to learn a fun piece that incorporates a lot of unconventional sounds and plenty of rich minor harmony, this memorable contemporary song might be just what you need.

This piece is generally considered by experienced pianists to be ideal for early intermediate players. In particular, The Horseman includes a lot of accidentals, so it’s a great option for those looking to get more comfortable remembering accidentals in an up-tempo piece.

Both the melody and the chordal accompaniment will probably take some focus and practice to get right. And for intermediate players, learning to strike a balance between the two is a key skill. Learning to play this piece well will help you to do just that.

If you’re ready to start playing this memorable piece, check out the sheet music here. And if you want to see the song played on an especially beautiful piano, take a look at this video.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully these beautiful intermediate piano pieces provide a good starting point for you to improve your skills and piano technique. You don’t need to be limited to these, either. You can often find digital sheet music of beginner and intermediate-level versions of songs from all genres.

But what do you think? Are there any classical piano pieces for intermediate players we should have included? Let us know in the comments, and please don’t forget to like and share if you’ve found the list useful!

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