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30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
#1942748 08/14/12 06:10 PM
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Reading Pat O "Of course, we all have those students whose parents refuse to sign their kids up for more than 30 minutes when they clearly need it..."

What are some of the reasons for "clearly needing it"?

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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942832 08/14/12 08:43 PM
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In my studio, it is parent's choice to sign up 30, 45, 60, 75 or 90 minutes for their child(ren). However, if parents has a specific goal in mind and they communicate with me, then I will suggest how much time needed to accomplish the goal. If they refuse to sign up the minutes that I suggested, I will say sorry, I cannot deliver your goal for you because I cannot do that in such a short lesson over this certain period of time.

For example, if mom wants student to skip two level in one year, I ask them to sign up for 60 minutes. If mom only want the student to progress one level in one year, then 30 minutes.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942845 08/14/12 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl
Reading Pat O "Of course, we all have those students whose parents refuse to sign their kids up for more than 30 minutes when they clearly need it..."

What are some of the reasons for "clearly needing it"?


Reason #1: Amount of instructional time is the #1 predictor of student success
Reason #2: The teacher doesn't want to rush or leave out things

In other words, all students clearly need more than 30 minutes. The real question is, why would anyone want 30 minute lessons when they could afford more?

In my case, most of my 30-minute students are siblings with back-to-back lessons, so it really does make the experience more convenient for the parents. My other 30 minute students have musical parents, so they get instructional help at home. The rest need 30 minute lessons for financial reasons.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942856 08/14/12 09:11 PM
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More than 30 minutes is needed when the student is learning too much material to cover in one lesson. This usually occurs around the early intermediate level, where the pieces are harder and need more attention.

I was also told that adult beginners should have at least 45 minute lessons, if not 60. I give the option for adult beginners to start at 45, but never 30 minutes.

Regardless, it's amazing how quickly time flies in lessons, even if they are longer!


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
Kreisler #1942927 08/14/12 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl
Reading Pat O "Of course, we all have those students whose parents refuse to sign their kids up for more than 30 minutes when they clearly need it..."

What are some of the reasons for "clearly needing it"?
'

Hey, that's me! Ha ha.

What I meant was that I have students who need an hour a week if we are to cover everything. I am very holistic in my teaching approach: we do sight-reading, improv, technique, ear-training, music history, music theory, composition, quick studies, repertoire, etc. I try to cover everything you can think of. And as a student progresses, it takes more time to cover everything.

For example, I have a student who is age 15 and such a gifted player - I can see him pursuing music at a collegiate level. His parents just recently moved him up to an hour (he went 10 years with only 30 minutes!) because he whined to them that there wasn't enough time to get to everything - his choice to tell them too, as I never mention it to parents. I know that some people just CAN'T afford more. Others, however, just choose not to.

They expect you to do an hour's work in 30 minutes and not pay for it.

Originally Posted by Kreisler
Reason #1: Amount of instructional time is the #1 predictor of student success
Reason #2: The teacher doesn't want to rush or leave out things

In other words, all students clearly need more than 30 minutes. The real question is, why would anyone want 30 minute lessons when they could afford more?

In my case, most of my 30-minute students are siblings with back-to-back lessons, so it really does make the experience more convenient for the parents. My other 30 minute students have musical parents, so they get instructional help at home. The rest need 30 minute lessons for financial reasons.
I wouldn't want to teach a 3, 4, or 5 year old for that long though! Unless they are particularly focused, I do think younger children benefit from shorter lessons.

However, if I could have every beginner for an entire hour, that would be perfect. It helps so much to have the time to cover everything that is necessary.

Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
Kreisler #1942934 08/14/12 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler


In other words, all students clearly need more than 30 minutes.


I'd agree with this 70% of the time. However, there are certain cases (I'm thinking of autistic students or very young), in which 30 minutes is just right.

Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942938 08/14/12 10:43 PM
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I don't offer less than 45-minute lessons. Don't make it an option and they won't be able to take it.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942977 08/15/12 01:35 AM
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I have 4 students who have two 30 minute lessons a week, and the difference between them and my other students is astounding. It can't even be simplified to "they progress twice as fast". What we work on *sticks* - there are no groundhog day lessons. There is also less frustration - any problems can be simplifed in one week, rather than stretching out to four weeks of trouble while the students self confidence leaks away to nothing. If I had it my way, every student would have 2 30 (at least) minute lessons a week.

Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942979 08/15/12 01:41 AM
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For those of you who are shocked by the 30-minute weekly lessons, I have students who take 30-minute lessons every other week, and they cancel lessons like crazy. And their parents want them to take CM exams!! Four already quit lessons, and the fifth one is hanging on for dear life.

But I also have a level-2 student taking weekly one-hour lessons, and even that is not enough, because nothing sticks. I mean, it's like Groundhog Day at every lesson.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942980 08/15/12 01:45 AM
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Do they live far away from you ANZ? If they live close, I would suggest dividing that into 2 half hour lessons per week. That way there are less days between reinforcement. There are also TWO days of "oh my god tomorrow is my lesson and I haven't touched the piano since last lesson!" - which hopefully results in them playing piano four days a week.

Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
Beth_Frances #1942982 08/15/12 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Beth_Frances
There are also TWO days of "oh my god tomorrow is my lesson and I haven't touched the piano since last lesson!" - which hopefully results in them playing piano four days a week.

If the kid is not going to practice, he's not going to practice. Honestly, even if he takes 2-hour lessons every single day of the week, he'll still be in Groundhog Day. I'm amazed at my own level of patience with this kid.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1942984 08/15/12 01:59 AM
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Ahhhh...one of THOSE kids. I have a few, and I sympathise. But on the bright side, at least they require no preparation! (apart from a good dose of zen to get you through wink ).

Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
pianogirl87 #1943099 08/15/12 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pianogirl87
More than 30 minutes is needed when the student is learning too much material to cover in one lesson. This usually occurs around the early intermediate level, where the pieces are harder and need more attention.

I was also told that adult beginners should have at least 45 minute lessons, if not 60. I give the option for adult beginners to start at 45, but never 30 minutes.

Regardless, it's amazing how quickly time flies in lessons, even if they are longer!

Assuming you teach 30 min lessons and students do not overlap, each new student needs time to hang up their coats, get out and organize their lesson materials, adjust the bench (you do have an adjustable bench for your students, of course) and a minute or two of pleasantries, and at the tail end of the lesson, for you to wrap up the lesson, write/print assignments, review what they need to practice, and for students to put their materials away and be out of the studio for the next student, just how much actual teaching time is there in a 30 minute lesson? Twenty minutes, 22 min, 25 min max? That prep time remains constant even as lessons increase in length. So a student taking 45 minute lessons is getting nearly double the amount of actual instruction, while the price may be up to 50% more. In reality, students get a significant financial break with longer lessons. Of course, this is of no matter if all they can afford is the 30 min lesson.

For the record, my lessons are typically 40 min for the very young student and 50 min through upper intermediate.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1943106 08/15/12 09:37 AM
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interesting.. i take one organ lesson about once a month and it is at least an hour long, often longer.. we just keep going (and I've been known to tip).. I learn a lot in that hour (and have ample opportunity to practice). i'd be happy with a 2 hour lesson. there is so much to learn. Organs are so different. I play on 3 separate instruments that all are different and all budget models. I take lessons on an absolutely fantastic electric instrument... just in case I am ever invited to play one. in reality it is just a very complicated electric piano with lots of options.

I think it is this model. It's odd (excepting for classical literature, the organ sounds best with the fewest notes played.. the stops fill out the sound.. the 2 foot, 8 foot 16 foot stops. just 3 notes is often perfect for congregational accompaniment.

my lessons with kids never seem to be long enough. fortunately we are all ready to get the ball rolling. the youngest runs in, washes his hand and runs out of the bathroom doing his arm stretches and sits down. i have a towel at the piano for him because he forgets to dry his hands. the others get ready, 5 minutes ahead of time with their ballet stretches. life is good.

If I have the time, which I usually do, we chit chat afterwards and there is plenty to talk about. Sometimes i get the feeling they do not want to go home.. at least i can work while they chatter.

in contrast - here is my humble instrument

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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1943179 08/15/12 11:47 AM
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Those all sound like good reasons. I don't think my daughter would ever leave any lesson for anything if she had unlimited time. laugh She loves working with someone skilled one on one.



Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1943358 08/15/12 05:47 PM
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Apple, I love your organ - full pedals, too! I took organ lessons many moons ago, and had to practice at the church because I didn't have an organ. (Didn't even have a piano at that point.)

As to the question on hand, my son progressed over the years to hour lessons (which usually lasted 90 mins), and then reverted back to 30 minutes when we switched to the last teacher. When I asked why not hour lessons, she said, "Oh honey, they couldn't stand me for more than 30 minutes." She was by far the best teacher - is practically a demi-god at our local MTA. She talked fast, pushed hard, wrote copious notes, and my S flew.

That said, I really like the idea of insisting on hour lessons for adults. I usually spend nearly that long with them anyway.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
Minniemay #1943478 08/15/12 10:45 PM
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Agree. I have never offered 30 minute lessons.


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Re: 30 vs 45 vs 60 minute lessons
MaggieGirl #1943552 08/16/12 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl
Reading Pat O "Of course, we all have those students whose parents refuse to sign their kids up for more than 30 minutes when they clearly need it..."

What are some of the reasons for "clearly needing it"?

Passion, interest, quick improvement, good concentration, hunger for more time.

Those are all good reasons for longer lessons.

Reasons for not doing so? Sometimes the parents have poor priorities and are happy to waste enormous money on things that are far less important or not important at all.

But there are also parents who are making sacrifices just to pay for 30 minutes a week.


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