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Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons #2837604 04/10/19 10:48 AM
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I'm trying to gauge what's the reasonable time commitment a teacher expects from adult students? Of course that depends on goals, desired pace and level but I'm just trying for a rough estimate for those who are in for a long ride and okay with not aggressive pacing.

There's the weekly lesson and daily practice time. Do you get homework aside from what/how to practice? How much time do you spend on it, if any? Other supplementary work that's expected?

My last lesson was 25+ years ago, when I was a little kid, in a different country. So I suspect different circumstance warrants different expectation. Not that I remember much of my lessons! smile

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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837613 04/10/19 11:20 AM
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As a teacher, I tell my students that I expect daily practice time equivalent to their weekly lesson time. In other words, I expect a student taking weekly 30 minuite lessons to practice at least 30 minutes a day on average. Furthermore, I tell them that a shorter amount of focused, effective practice is more beneficial than a long, rambling, unfocused practice. (And part of learning an instrument is learning effective practice methods.) Of course, life sometimes gets in the way, so I'm not too hard on my students about practice time. I simply remind them that if they practice more (and efficiently), they will progress more quickly.

I do give music theory homework, but for non-exam students that should take no more than 15 minutes or half an hour a week. (Those studying for a music theory exam will need to do more.)


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837615 04/10/19 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
I'm trying to gauge what's the reasonable time commitment a teacher expects from adult students? Of course that depends on goals, desired pace and level but I'm just trying for a rough estimate for those who are in for a long ride and okay with not aggressive pacing.
[...]


I am not sure that one can give a "reasonable" one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

It depends upon:
- the demands or expectations of the teacher
- the commitment that the student has to those expectations
- the student's ability to fit practice into a schedule that may involve work, family and sometimes unforeseen commitments
- the common-sense necessity of getting one's money's worth out of lessons

The bottom line is that it's an individual situation that requires individual planning, perhaps in consultation with the teacher. Some teachers of adult students understand that adult life often interferes with the best of practice plans. Other teachers may be more adamant about practice commitments and less tolerant of "excuses".

Discuss this with your teacher, but try, if possible, to get the most value for your money by being well-prepared for your lessons. Not every student, adult or otherwise, may need to have weekly lessons. In some cases a lesson every two weeks works well.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837626 04/10/19 12:20 PM
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I try to practise for a minimum of 1h a day, split into 2 or 3 short sessions. I find I lose concentration if I practise for more than 20-30m at a time.


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2837629 04/10/19 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
As a teacher, I tell my students that I expect daily practice time equivalent to their weekly lesson time. In other words, I expect a student taking weekly 30 minuite lessons to practice at least 30 minutes a day on average. Furthermore, I tell them that a shorter amount of focused, effective practice is more beneficial than a long, rambling, unfocused practice. (And part of learning an instrument is learning effective practice methods.) Of course, life sometimes gets in the way, so I'm not too hard on my students about practice time. I simply remind them that if they practice more (and efficiently), they will progress more quickly.

I do give music theory homework, but for non-exam students that should take no more than 15 minutes or half an hour a week. (Those studying for a music theory exam will need to do more.)

My teacher has never suggested a specific amount of practice time but I am finding that it is naturally coming out to 7:1 as you suggested above. As I mentioned in this other thread here, last year when I was taking 1hr/week in lessons, I found I was practicing 1hr/day. When I increased my lesson time to 1.5hrs/week this year, I was expecting to stay at 1hr/day practice time, but it just naturally expanded to 1.5hr/day to practice everything we'd cover in the lesson. Based on these two data points, it's starting to seem that empirically, 7:1 is the right ratio, at least for me.

And yes, the above numbers for me also doesn't include theory homework, which I've been a little slack on this year.


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2837637 04/10/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
I try to practise for a minimum of 1h a day, split into 2 or 3 short sessions. I find I lose concentration if I practise for more than 20-30m at a time.

This is me too. It's usually more than one hour but twice a day. Mornings are my most productive. Sometimes late evenings can actually make things worse, for me, and I try to recognise those cases and stop. I usually prepare a practice plan weekly so that practice is focussed on specific things and is not just aimless practice.

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837644 04/10/19 01:09 PM
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I'm about 1.5 hrs / day on avg, more on weekends. I split this into about 15 min scales / exercises, 45-60 minutes learning / practicing a piece, and I recently began the long neglected sight reading. This is tough for me; I am not sure I'm sight reading at a low enough level, frankly. (I'm not sure they make a low enough level!) My timekeeping is really not good on sight reading. I should really pick up a series, and start from grade 1. However, my current strategy for this is learn pieces 3-4 levels below my grade to see if it works. I feel like a need a Grade -2 (that's negative 2) sight reading book!


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837651 04/10/19 01:30 PM
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FWIW:

I am retired, so I have the luxury of time on my hands. Well, not really; as many active retirees find out, life gets busier in retirement, but I'm not complaining because most of that busy-ness is doing things that I want and like to do.

I have a one-hour lesson every two weeks, and I practice 2 to 2-1/2 hours daily, most of it on repertoire.

Regards,


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2837668 04/10/19 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
As a teacher, I tell my students that I expect daily practice time equivalent to their weekly lesson time. In other words, I expect a student taking weekly 30 minuite lessons to practice at least 30 minutes a day on average. Furthermore, I tell them that a shorter amount of focused, effective practice is more beneficial than a long, rambling, unfocused practice. (And part of learning an instrument is learning effective practice methods.) Of course, life sometimes gets in the way, so I'm not too hard on my students about practice time. I simply remind them that if they practice more (and efficiently), they will progress more quickly.

I do give music theory homework, but for non-exam students that should take no more than 15 minutes or half an hour a week. (Those studying for a music theory exam will need to do more.)


Thanks, Dr.Rogers. Exactly what I wanted.

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: BruceD] #2837673 04/10/19 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Roadkill
I'm trying to gauge what's the reasonable time commitment a teacher expects from adult students? Of course that depends on goals, desired pace and level but I'm just trying for a rough estimate for those who are in for a long ride and okay with not aggressive pacing.
[...]


I am not sure that one can give a "reasonable" one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

It depends upon:
- the demands or expectations of the teacher
- the commitment that the student has to those expectations
- the student's ability to fit practice into a schedule that may involve work, family and sometimes unforeseen commitments
- the common-sense necessity of getting one's money's worth out of lessons

The bottom line is that it's an individual situation that requires individual planning, perhaps in consultation with the teacher. Some teachers of adult students understand that adult life often interferes with the best of practice plans. Other teachers may be more adamant about practice commitments and less tolerant of "excuses".

Discuss this with your teacher, but try, if possible, to get the most value for your money by being well-prepared for your lessons. Not every student, adult or otherwise, may need to have weekly lessons. In some cases a lesson every two weeks works well.

Regards,



Of course I'd discuss it with a teacher but I don't even have a teacher yet. Hoping to start lesson sometime in summer and because I want to make a serious commitment, I wanted a general gist to guide me towards clearing up my schedule to make time for it.

Btw, in what circumstances would you recommend biweekly lessons?

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837675 04/10/19 02:33 PM
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Thanks to everybody else who answered. You guys are a really studious bunch! Anybody who's aiming for half an hour a day? How are you progressing? I have a rather long commute and as much as I'd like to, I don't think I can manage that during weekdays.

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837679 04/10/19 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
Thanks to everybody else who answered. You guys are a really studious bunch! Anybody who's aiming for half an hour a day? How are you progressing? I have a rather long commute and as much as I'd like to, I don't think I can manage that during weekdays.

How long are your lessons? According to my 7:1 ratio that just has been happening, if you have 30 min lessons, 30 mins a day should just be about right.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837682 04/10/19 02:57 PM
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I've never been given a number. I spend about 1.5-2hrs a day actually sitting at my piano and maybe another hour online reading or watching videos about piano and music in general.

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837694 04/10/19 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
Thanks to everybody else who answered. You guys are a really studious bunch! Anybody who's aiming for half an hour a day? How are you progressing? I have a rather long commute and as much as I'd like to, I don't think I can manage that during weekdays.


As you are beginning, 30 min is plenty. There is only so much you can do or learn. As you progress, you'll find it takes more time to advance, as the pieces lengthen, the scale / chord work becomes more complex and time consuming, sight reading becomes more valuable, etc. I'd say take the 30 min and be happy. One day you may find you need more and will make the time, as many of us have.

Some is better than none. Just sitting down for 5 minutes helps, and often turns into longer.


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837711 04/10/19 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
[...]
Btw, in what circumstances would you recommend biweekly lessons?


It's a personal choice. I like to have my repertoire well prepared when I go to my lesson, with all notes solidly learned and in the hand, as they say. I don't bring a piece to a lesson that I can't play all the way through at a reasonable, consistent tempo, even if it's not yet performance tempo. That way, we spend our time discussing interpretation and resolving some technical issues, but it's never a question of learning the right notes at a lesson.

I find that two weeks between lessons is not only a good time to prepare but it also allows me the opportunity - when really necessary - to miss a day of practicing when life intervenes and interrupts my otherwise well-regulated schedule.

Regards,


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837723 04/10/19 04:01 PM
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Like Bruce, I am retired. I’m doing 2 to 2 1/2 hours now, and a 1 hour weekly lesson. But back when I was less serious and working, an hour a day and a 45 minute lesson a week were about all I could handle.

Sam

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837724 04/10/19 04:02 PM
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I think most teachers would recommend weekly lessons for a newcomer to the piano (sorry - I’m making assumptions here about your current level of experience) because the first few lessons are the most important - they’re what develop the basic skills and are the time when frequent corrections may be required. There’s not a lesson goes by when my teacher doesn’t correct something I’m doing wrong in my playing technique.


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: BruceD] #2837726 04/10/19 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Roadkill
[...]
Btw, in what circumstances would you recommend biweekly lessons?


It's a personal choice. I like to have my repertoire well prepared when I go to my lesson, with all notes solidly learned and in the hand, as they say. I don't bring a piece to a lesson that I can't play all the way through at a reasonable, consistent tempo, even if it's not yet performance tempo. That way, we spend our time discussing interpretation and resolving some technical issues, but it's never a question of learning the right notes at a lesson.

I find that two weeks between lessons is not only a good time to prepare but it also allows me the opportunity - when really necessary - to miss a day of practicing when life intervenes and interrupts my otherwise well-regulated schedule.

Regards,


My thinking exactly.

I have a full-time job that's not 9 - 5. At least at the beginning, bi-weekly lessons give me the flexibility to start lessons in the first place. I may eventually work up to weekly lessons but I'm happy for the flexibility at the outset.


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Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2837727 04/10/19 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Roadkill
Thanks to everybody else who answered. You guys are a really studious bunch! Anybody who's aiming for half an hour a day? How are you progressing? I have a rather long commute and as much as I'd like to, I don't think I can manage that during weekdays.

How long are your lessons? According to my 7:1 ratio that just has been happening, if you have 30 min lessons, 30 mins a day should just be about right.


I don't have a teacher yet but I was thinking somewhere along an hour lesson. I'd imagine 30 min lesson would whiz by so fast that only a fraction would get covered. But I can be easily persuaded for whatever appropriate lesson time, depending on what teacher thinks I'll need, and what I can afford time and money wise.

Re: Weekly time commitment for those who take lessons [Re: Roadkill] #2837730 04/10/19 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
How long are your lessons? According to my 7:1 ratio that just has been happening, if you have 30 min lessons, 30 mins a day should just be about right.

I don't have a teacher yet but I was thinking somewhere along an hour lesson. I'd imagine 30 min lesson would whiz by so fast that only a fraction would get covered. But I can be easily persuaded for whatever appropriate lesson time, depending on what teacher thinks I'll need, and what I can afford time and money wise.

If you only have 30 mins to practice per day, I suggest you start with 30 min/wk lessons, and then increase from there as the need appears.

I did similarly in that I had 1 hr/day to practice last year and started with 1 hr/wk lessons, but for reasons you allude to, decided to increase to 2x45min/wk this year. As mentioned on that other thread, I had fully intended to stick with 60min/day practice but found I wasn't covering enough material, given my 2 lessons/wk schedule, and without giving it conscious thought, found myself increasing to 90mins/day.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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