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#2131445 - 08/11/13 09:33 PM piano lessons  
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dat99 Offline
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After several years without touching the piano, I have decided to go back to the piano. I will be taking piano lessons again.

Do most of you take 1/2 hr or an hour lesson. The lessons are quite expensive but you get 15 minutes free if you take an hour lesson. Is it worth it to take the whole hour? What do most of you pay for lessons if you don't mind telling me? They are charging $30 half hr. which is more than I expected but it is hard to find a good teacher where I live?

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#2131448 - 08/11/13 09:50 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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rnaple Offline

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I think 1/2 hour isn't long enough. An hour does an easy job of covering things.
I would rather do an hour, every other week. Than 1/2 every week.

I live in a third world as far as finances. Bear that in mind. I pay $30 for an hour.
Right now I'm working much on gaining the nervous system response to play. It is slow for me right now. An hour a week is more than I can handle right now. I don't mind. I want the teacher there when I finally get over this.


Ron
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#2131453 - 08/11/13 09:58 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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First of all I think a good teacher is worth the money. I have a 30 min lesson once a week and that is fine, some weeks I don't even know how we are going to fill in that time others it just goes so quickly. A 45 min lesson would probably be ok too but I suspect there would be a bit more filler.


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#2131492 - 08/11/13 11:45 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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If I were better off financially, one hour lessons would be the least I'd opt for as a student trying to ultimately become independent[/i] of a teacher (effectively becoming my [i]own teacher). I'd argue that it's in the first few years of lessons - where any and all habits (physical playing, practice at-and-away-from the piano, time management, etc.) are formed and ingrained that it's most valuable to have longer lessons. Once all of these things are learned, it's far easier to then fit everything into 30 minute lessons because how to practice everything but the most difficult of passages (for your level) is already thoroughly understood and no longer must take up a large percentage of the lesson.

Here's some additional links to understand where I'm coming from with this "unorthodox" advice (it's not uncommon to see people/teachers arguing that longer lessons are best for more advanced players, but who really needs more lesson time, the more knowledgeable and experienced player/student already capable of being considered somewhat independent or the beginner with little-to-no knowledge of how to play, how to practice, and ultimately, how to be successful independent of a teacher). I think that any piano student would do well to familiarize with the discussed concepts below (disclaimer: note how I say familiarize with and not believe blindly. Don't believe anything I or anyone else says - instead, acknowledge that viewpoint and do your best to discern how they're arguing their point. If the evidence is sufficient and/or your experience backs what's being said, then believe away):


Also, it's my understanding that $30/half hr. is fairly average most places.


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#2131576 - 08/12/13 06:44 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: earlofmar]  
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adultpianist Offline
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
First of all I think a good teacher is worth the money. I have a 30 min lesson once a week and that is fine, some weeks I don't even know how we are going to fill in that time others it just goes so quickly. A 45 min lesson would probably be ok too but I suspect there would be a bit more filler.


I have a half hour lesson. I could not afford a hour lesson and I think it would be too much for my brain. I like to work things out on my own in between lessons based on what I have been shown/taught during the lesson. I go to a music school so we have a summer break for 6 weeks. Just before we broke up, we went through a piece of quite complicated music and then I took it home to try to work out on my own ready to go back in September to show my teacher what I have done and how far I have done with it. I am pleased with myself that I have been able to work out the music and so on, on my own. It is by no means perfect but at least I have got all the tune and holding notes in the right places. It took three weeks of hard solid slog to do it but the end results were worth it.

#2131584 - 08/12/13 07:13 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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Mark Polishook Offline
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The thing about lessons, and maybe this is obvious, is if you have a good teacher - someone with whom you're really clicking - you're going to learn a lot more than you ever could on your own. And you'll feel then in and out of your lessons that you're collaborating on your learning process w/your teacher - instead of simply "being taught."

Especially in the beginning, it's common to wonder about "how many lessons should I take?" and "how often should I take lessons?" and "does the teacher have a fair rate?" and all kinds of thing like that. Those ARE all valid questions. Because working with a teacher is like anything else. Until you've done it for a while you can't totally know what to expect from it and how it'll work.

You should expect after some period of time that you and your teacher will be on the same wavelength. Meaning your teacher will have a good idea of how to move you forward and can explain the general sequence of learning and other such things. While this is happening you'll be developing trust in your teacher - because your learning will be adding up and you'll be seeing week to week that you're picking up on new stuff even though you might not be able to demonstrate it or do it as rapdily as you might like.

Hope this helps ...

#2131611 - 08/12/13 08:01 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: earlofmar]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
First of all I think a good teacher is worth the money. I have a 30 min lesson once a week and that is fine, some weeks I don't even know how we are going to fill in that time others it just goes so quickly. A 45 min lesson would probably be ok too but I suspect there would be a bit more filler.
Actually, you'd be surprised at the difference between 30 and 45 minutes! This is because 30 minutes is not enough time to get accomplished all that a student needs. Perhaps you don't miss it because you've not had 45 minutes before, but I bet if you did you would wonder why you didn't do that sooner.

With 45 minutes, I have time to work on technical exercises and theory (and introduce new concepts), and then have the remaining 30-35 minutes to work on repertoire. And I need this time, even with beginner level students. I can give them practice suggestions on specific areas in each piece and actually have them try it out a few times so they know how to practice.

When I had made this switch with my studio in WI years ago, it made such a difference in my student's progress. They were all much happier with more time and their progress.

To the OP, going for an hour is definitely worth it. Hour lessons are even better than 45 minutes and with most students I really wish I had that kind of time! If you can swing the cost, go for it. Are they $45 for an hour (considering they're $30 for a half and you get 15 minutes free)? That seems like a great deal. As long as you go to your lessons prepared, that time will fly and you will hit the ground running.

As far as the price, I charge $45/45-min. and $60/60-min., but that is if you pay by the semester. Paying monthly increasing the per-lesson rate a little, and paying per-lesson (irregular lessons) increases it a little more. I would say the markets in south FL are probably similar though a little less expensive than in CA. The other poster who said he pays $30/hour is from South Dakota, so a very different market than CA, so that is something to keep in mind. Have you shopped around to other studios?

Last edited by Morodiene; 08/12/13 08:01 AM.

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#2131684 - 08/12/13 10:04 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: Morodiene]  
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The school where I take lessons charges $38 for 30 minutes, $57 for 45 and $76 for 60. When i went back to the piano after many years and started taking lessons again, I started with 30 minutes because that was all they had available since I started in February. That really was not enough time and in the summer I increased to 45 minutes. Most of the time I take 45 minute lessons but often increase to an hour during the summer. I live in upstate New York and $60 an hour is probably more typical but I am very happy with my teacher. The reason I can afford longer lessons in the summer is because the power bills are much lower. One summer we used the extra time to work on theory and went through a college first year theory book. This summer we are spending more time working on technique.



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#2131699 - 08/12/13 10:20 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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KurtZ Offline
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I could never manage on 30 minutes. I need lots of verbal explanation and it eats up time. My lovely and gracious teacher gives me an hour of off peak time for the 45 minute rate.

Kurt


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#2131729 - 08/12/13 11:02 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: KurtZ]  
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adultpianist Offline
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I would like to point out that I have only ever had 30 minute lessons and have passed Grades 1 2 and 3 and half way through learning the things required for Grade 4. I do a lot of preparation and practice at home in between.

#2131840 - 08/12/13 01:48 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: adultpianist]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
I would like to point out that I have only ever had 30 minute lessons and have passed Grades 1 2 and 3 and half way through learning the things required for Grade 4. I do a lot of preparation and practice at home in between.


As do/did the students I was speaking of that improved when increasing from 30 to 45 minutes. The fact is, when the teacher has more time to go into depth on how to practice, answer questions, introduce ideas thoroughly, the student benefits. This is assuming the teacher is good, the student does their work at home, and the relationship between the two is positive.

Your post seems to imply that 30 minutes is better than 45 minutes since that is all you have done. But really, all other things being equal 45 is better if it's something you can afford. If not, of course, you make the best of what you are able to do. It's just not ideal for most people in my experience.


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#2131858 - 08/12/13 02:14 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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I'm certainly with Morodiene and Bob. My specialty is the adult learner at the piano, and I really cannot accomplish what I wish to with an adult student in less than an hour.

Once in awhile I will make an exception and teach a 45-minute lesson if cost is an issue, but for me one-hour weekly lessons are the norm.

I would actually recommend finding a less-experienced, more affordable teacher and taking at least a 45-minute weekly lesson, rather than opting for half an hour. Using similar logic, I would prefer to point all adults toward hourlong weekly lessons, even if it means seeking a less-experienced, less-expensive teacher.

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 08/12/13 10:46 PM.
#2131871 - 08/12/13 02:43 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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i do an hour lesson and i always found those to be too short haha. honestly i'm not sure what a 30 minute lesson could really accomplish. The problem I find is that an hour is almost not proportionate enough for the amount of things you can complete or learn in that week of practice. For example I can complete a few hands together measures of a project piece, various worksheets and assigned method book work and i push myself pretty hard. in the hour lesson sometimes we go 10 minutes over just kind of side chatting about all the things i'd liked to have brought up but ran out of time while demonstrating what i've learned on the piano in lessons. i feel a half hour is not enough to demonstrate as well as teach. perhaps if the workload was halved but then i'd feel like i was progressing at a snail pace which would frustrate the heck out of me.


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#2131905 - 08/12/13 03:42 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: Sweet06]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Sweet06
perhaps if the workload was halved but then i'd feel like i was progressing at a snail pace which would frustrate the heck out of me.
Which is precisely what happens when a teacher has to do 30-minute lessons: she ends up assigning less material. frown


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#2132015 - 08/12/13 07:29 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by adultpianist
I would like to point out that I have only ever had 30 minute lessons and have passed Grades 1 2 and 3 and half way through learning the things required for Grade 4. I do a lot of preparation and practice at home in between.


As do/did the students I was speaking of that improved when increasing from 30 to 45 minutes. The fact is, when the teacher has more time to go into depth on how to practice, answer questions, introduce ideas thoroughly, the student benefits. This is assuming the teacher is good, the student does their work at home, and the relationship between the two is positive.

Your post seems to imply that 30 minutes is better than 45 minutes since that is all you have done. But really, all other things being equal 45 is better if it's something you can afford. If not, of course, you make the best of what you are able to do. It's just not ideal for most people in my experience.


Well the music school I go to do 30 minute lessons. They do hour lessons but I have never done them because I would have to pay double what I am paying now for weekly one hour lessons and to be honest I cannot afford them. I can just afford the 30 minute lessons and then I have to pay for the books and pay for the exam and each exam is more expensive than the previous one. I work very hard at my studies because I cannot afford to mess up so I want to get a good run for my money. The other factor to consider is that if I am going to pay a lot for the examination, then it is in my interests to pass because if not, I will have to redo it again and pay again and to fail an exam after having paid so much to take it seems like a waste of money (and I would have to pay again to retake)

#2132027 - 08/12/13 08:00 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: adultpianist]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by adultpianist
I would like to point out that I have only ever had 30 minute lessons and have passed Grades 1 2 and 3 and half way through learning the things required for Grade 4. I do a lot of preparation and practice at home in between.


As do/did the students I was speaking of that improved when increasing from 30 to 45 minutes. The fact is, when the teacher has more time to go into depth on how to practice, answer questions, introduce ideas thoroughly, the student benefits. This is assuming the teacher is good, the student does their work at home, and the relationship between the two is positive.

Your post seems to imply that 30 minutes is better than 45 minutes since that is all you have done. But really, all other things being equal 45 is better if it's something you can afford. If not, of course, you make the best of what you are able to do. It's just not ideal for most people in my experience.


Well the music school I go to do 30 minute lessons. They do hour lessons but I have never done them because I would have to pay double what I am paying now for weekly one hour lessons and to be honest I cannot afford them. I can just afford the 30 minute lessons and then I have to pay for the books and pay for the exam and each exam is more expensive than the previous one. I work very hard at my studies because I cannot afford to mess up so I want to get a good run for my money. The other factor to consider is that if I am going to pay a lot for the examination, then it is in my interests to pass because if not, I will have to redo it again and pay again and to fail an exam after having paid so much to take it seems like a waste of money (and I would have to pay again to retake)
Glad it's working out for you! smile


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#2132135 - 08/13/13 04:48 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: Morodiene]  
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Thanks. I guess I could do one hour lessons every other week as someone else suggested on here, and that would equate to weekly half hour lessons, but to be honest, I think the teachers at my music school prefer to see students every week as it messes up their schedule and they will have a spare slot every other week which they may not be able to fill.

#2132136 - 08/13/13 04:50 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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It depends on the level you are at I suppose.

My weekly 1-hour lessons cost me $80 per lesson.


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#2132171 - 08/13/13 07:40 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: adultpianist]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
Thanks. I guess I could do one hour lessons every other week as someone else suggested on here, and that would equate to weekly half hour lessons, but to be honest, I think the teachers at my music school prefer to see students every week as it messes up their schedule and they will have a spare slot every other week which they may not be able to fill.
I agree with your teacher - every other week lessons really only work well if the student is pretty advanced, but still not as good as weekly even in that case. Sounds like you're doing the right thing in your situation.


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#2133081 - 08/14/13 09:38 PM Re: piano lessons [Re: Morodiene]  
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Thank you for all your replys. I have decided to try the 1 hour lessons. $45 for an hour is a good deal. The lessons will start in September. I haven't had lessons in 13 years but I am looking forward to them.

#2133137 - 08/15/13 02:18 AM Re: piano lessons [Re: dat99]  
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Bravo on this decision. Enjoy this new/old adventure. Keep us posted if you wish.
My only suggestion is to aim at daily practice (or at least 5X a week). The amount of time is less important than the consistency.

You'll figure out what feels right.


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