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Lesson Length
#2674910 09/13/17 04:59 AM
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I've been looking around recently trying to find a piano teacher in my area for when I can afford lessons again.

Because my funds will still be limited I'm looking at the following options...

Option A = 1 x 30 minute lesson every week
Option B = 1 x 45 minute lesson once a fortnight

I'm a little worried that 30 minute lessons won't be long enough, but the regularity of having a lesson every week might be a better motivator for me than fortnightly. I can't afford a 45 minute lesson every week, so that's not an option.

Do you think it's better to have the shorter lessons more regularly or slightly longer lessons further apart? Which of these would you choose?


(Learning piano 'on and off' since 2009/2010)
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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674913 09/13/17 05:31 AM
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it's a tricky one because I like having weekly lessons. But I am going to go for the longer lesson because I started with half hour lessons and they were just over too quick. There are also some weeks when nothing much has changed from the last, and a lesson can feel like it has been a waste of money.


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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674914 09/13/17 05:39 AM
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Yes there is not an easy answer to this, but I would agree with the fortnightly lessons with the caveat that you can't use lessons as a motivation to practice. If you're going to have lessons at this interval, you need to practice virtually every day in between the lessons and not wait until the last minute to prepare. That takes discipline.

Be prepared for your lessons: not only by having practiced, but by identifying things that give you problems for which you need assistance.


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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674915 09/13/17 06:08 AM
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If I may ask, are you a beginner?

The reason I ask is that,as a beginner myself, I have a 30 min session on a weekly basis and find that although the lesson goes fast, I feel we just about cover pretty much all is needed. This involves going through the finger techniques, one or two practiced pieces I studied on my own during the week and any questions I may have.

Maybe I got used to this setup but so far I don't find myself wanting more...

PS this is all done online through a website called Your Space Music Lessons - (I am a student of theirs not a teacher and I hope it is okay to mention them as they are very good).





Last edited by jamiecw; 09/13/17 06:29 AM.
Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674921 09/13/17 06:58 AM
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I would personally opt for the weekly lessons. The frequent feedback is more helpful.

Re: Lesson Length
jamiecw #2674922 09/13/17 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
it's a tricky one because I like having weekly lessons. But I am going to go for the longer lesson because I started with half hour lessons and they were just over too quick.

This is my dilemma. I like the idea of having a lesson every week but I don't want lessons to feel like they're over almost before I sit at the piano. frown

Originally Posted by jamiecw
If I may ask, are you a beginner?


I still consider myself a beginner, however, the last teacher I contacted disagreed. lol. I could play pieces at about Grade 3 and 4 (ABRSM) level before my last break (although I've never taken a piano exam) but, since coming back to it, I've been reviewing my older pieces and a few issues are cropping up (timing in particular). While I can put this down partly to having a long break from the piano, I imagine a bigger part of it is that these are all pieces that I taught myself. On the plus side I am actually having fun going back over things and working them out. smile


(Learning piano 'on and off' since 2009/2010)
Re: Lesson Length
sara elizabeth #2674924 09/13/17 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
I would personally opt for the weekly lessons. The frequent feedback is more helpful.

+1
I have now only 20 minutes lessons (I come from 1hr lessons - were after 40 minutes frequently was asked "Do you have other issues to handle?"). Maybe 20 minutes is too short, but it's how my school works. I think it is better to practice short pieces or part of pieces and have fast feedback if something is wrong. And @home, you have some time left to practice something else (scales, chords...)

As a total new pupil, I think 20 min is definitly too short, but 1 hour is too long

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674926 09/13/17 07:38 AM
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I think that the answer depends on your commitment and your level.

If you are not committing a lot of time on daily practice, lessons once in a fortnight are better. You could actually bring to your teacher a real improvement, so that he/she could give you different advices every lesson. If you attend every week but you have little time to practice, it's really not worth it: the teacher would tell you the same things over and over again.

All in all since 30 minutes weekly lessons sum up to more time than 45 minutes lessons once every 2 weeks, I'd go for weekly lessons if you can afford them and you have enough time to practice every day. smile

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674928 09/13/17 07:55 AM
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It depends on your goal in music, want to be amateur or want to play in a national symposium etc. weekly lesson works if you want to play some for your friends smile

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674933 09/13/17 08:29 AM
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I like lessons every two weeks because that gives me a chance to relax a bit between lessons and still have time to make noticeable progress and I do not really need someone monitoring my playing every week ... I have plenty to do ... I just have to do it.

I would also suggest that you keep a notepad handy during your practice time in order to jot down any thoughts that come to mind to bring up at your next lesson.

I also make a video of my lesson (I use Skype) so I can refer back to it during the time between lessons.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-S1000, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq, FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Focal Professional CMS 40 monitors
Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674935 09/13/17 08:31 AM
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I agree with the weekly lessons. Otherwise you might be doing something wrong for 2 weeks without knowing.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674937 09/13/17 08:37 AM
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What kind of a learner are you (fast, slow)? How many pieces (and technical exercises) would you be likely to be working on at any one time?

If your pieces are short and few and you make considerable progress in a week, then go for the weekly lessons.

If you have three, four, or five pieces in various stages and they run several pages each, and progress feels slow (the pieces take time to "mature"), then the 45-minute lessons every other week might work better for you. But as others have said, you still need to practice every day.

In general, weekly 30-minute lessons work for early beginners, but as the pieces get longer and more complicated, longer lessons work better. Even with longer, weekly lessons, you might not get to every piece at each lesson.

I fall into the slow learner, multiple pieces category. I have a 60-minute lesson every week. Ideal for me would be a lesson every 10 days, but that's too difficult to schedule and keep track of.


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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674948 09/13/17 09:26 AM
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It depends what level you are. As a beginner, I started out at 30 minutes a week. Last year I was doing 1 hour every two weeks which I liked. It gave me more time to work on the material. It also depends how motivated you are. Need to practice every day not get lazy.

You can start out at half a hour a week in beginning and see how that works out. I think I would do that.

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674953 09/13/17 09:42 AM
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In the teacher's forum I saw the rule of thumb of 14 hours of practice for each hour of lesson. That means 1 hour of practice per day for 30 minute weekly lessons. For 45 minute fortnightly lessons that would mean 45 minutes of practice per day.

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2674960 09/13/17 10:05 AM
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Is there a way for you to warm up before you get to your lesson? In college, I'd warm up in one of the rooms before my hour lesson. (I was working on some pretty advanced pieces, rated 80s-90s on the international scale.) I think if you can warm up before, you can get the most out of 30 minutes.


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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2675019 09/13/17 01:53 PM
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As an adult beginner who just completed my first year, I started off with a 45 minute weekly lesson. I figured 30 minutes would be too short, while one hour was too long. After a few months, I noticed that 45 minutes was not enough to cover theory, technique, my questions in-depth, etc. Starting this fall, I decided to increase my weekly lessons to one hour. I also found that having weekly lessons kept me accountable and motivated to practice every day. Over the summer, I noticed that my practice had slipped, since I was taking lessons sporadically.

Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2675041 09/13/17 03:45 PM
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I had 45 min weekly and now 1 hr every other week. I like 1 hr much better and wish I could have a weekly lesson but I am simply not able to afford it at the moment. I practice daily 1hr - 1.5 hr and 2 hrs on weekends to make sure I get the most out of my lesson. My teacher assigns me material with expectation that I have two weeks to practice so it means I cannot really skip days because I have a lot to do.

As long as I know what I need to do and what goals to aim and what milestones to reach, I can practice without a slip. My latest purchase was a very cute clock that stands next to my metronome now. When I practice I'm on the clock lol, oh, and I have to report daily practice time to my teacher too.

Re: Lesson Length
PerAspera #2675075 09/13/17 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PerAspera
I had 45 min weekly and now 1 hr every other week. I like 1 hr much better and wish I could have a weekly lesson but I am simply not able to afford it at the moment. I practice daily 1hr - 1.5 hr and 2 hrs on weekends to make sure I get the most out of my lesson. My teacher assigns me material with expectation that I have two weeks to practice so it means I cannot really skip days because I have a lot to do.

As long as I know what I need to do and what goals to aim and what milestones to reach, I can practice without a slip. My latest purchase was a very cute clock that stands next to my metronome now. When I practice I'm on the clock lol, oh, and I have to report daily practice time to my teacher too.

thumb This is the key to making every other week lessons work--you have to practice as though you had lessons every week.


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Re: Lesson Length
Haunted Keys #2675081 09/13/17 05:51 PM
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To the OP I have 2 questions

- Why do you stop playing with you previous teacher?
- Why learning 'on-and-off' since 2009 ?

I think the most important factor is consistency, if you are stopping then you need to think why.

I am not a fan of forced practice, I certainly would never go back to a teacher if he was telling me I need to practice everyday nor a timer - wtf - but I understand some people like this sort of support and they thrive on it.

I am not this sort of person so there is no real rule on it. I would advocate a slightly relaxed approach to piano if you have stopped before. I certainly don't have much structure to my practice but it is a hobby, also an art, and not a job.

I sometimes have times when I can't be bothered to practice and I don't want to, and you know if I forced myself to do it I probably would have given up. I also find with piano you have major leaps and jumps quite randomly and when I;m playing longer these become less and harder to achieve, but in the end things come together if you like the music enough and you persist with it through the lessons, which can be hugely satisfying.

If you are not a consistent learner I think a shorter weekly lesson is better. I myself have hour lessons and it varies between weekly and fortnightly and find a more relaxed approach can be better.

Re: Lesson Length
Moo :) #2675093 09/13/17 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)

I am not a fan of forced practice, I certainly would never go back to a teacher if he was telling me I need to practice everyday nor a timer - wtf - but I understand some people like this sort of support and they thrive on it.
LOL not a timer, a shelf clock to track time! I love pretty clocks and have many of them around the house smile And not forced practice but just the opposite, have to be careful not to spend too much time because there are other recurring things that demand my attention. Unfortunately or fortunately, at this stage of my life my schedule is pretty tight.

What I'm not a fan of is a teacher that has a 'relaxed approach' aka doesn't give a f**&^ about the quality of his or her student's practice. Had one like that, thank you very much. I rather have one that wants to know how much time I spend on assignments so he can adjust the covered material accordingly and assess the progress.



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