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Hi, I am an adult 39 year old student, and have been taking piano classes for a year. Love my piano teacher and our lessons. I practice daily, but would like to learn more pieces faster. For those of you who are adult learners practicing with a teacher, how many times a week do you see your teacher and how long are your lessons?

Once, 45(ish) minutes. She definitely gives me enough homework to last the week.
2 x 60 mins/week for piano, 1 x 30 mins/week for musicianship.
What is a musicianship?
Once a week for 45 minutes; however, I miss a lot of lessons so will be changing to “occasional” lessons soon. I’ll still aim for 45 minutes once a week though.
Once a week for an hour. I started out every other week but found that I needed more guidance so I switched to every week.

For classical guitar, after nine years of weekly lessons, I switched to every other week and my teacher said that was sufficient because I am more experienced, and keep up with practice and can learn pieces on my own with less help.
I have been taking lessons for seven years, the first year was for thirty minutes but it has been an hour since then. Half an hour is not very long to do much, and in a full hour we can work on three or four pieces. It varies quite a bit depending how much is involved with the pieces of course.
If I may ask, how old were you when you started (both piano and guitar)?
inna_denver, I sent you a PM (private message). You can find it at the upper right corner of the webpage immediately to the left of your "inna_denver" forum handle. Click on the envelope-shaped icon.
Originally Posted by inna_denver
Hi, I am an adult 39 year old student, and have been taking piano classes for a year. Love my piano teacher and our lessons. I practice daily, but would like to learn more pieces faster. For those of you who are adult learners practicing with a teacher, how many times a week do you see your teacher and how long are your lessons?



Taking more lessons per week isn't necessarily going to help you learn more pieces faster. You need time not only to absorb what your teacher has had you work on in your lesson but also time to put it into your practice sessions until it really becomes natural. Unless your teacher is having you work on very few pieces over a long period of time, faster/more is not necessarily beter.

How long do you practice daily, what do you practice, how do you practice and how efficient is your practice time?

If your goal is to learn more pieces faster you may find that you are not learning them as well and understanding them as thoroughly than if you were to move at your current pace. Have you discussed this wish to learn more faster with you teacher? Surely, s/he is the one to advise you on what is the best course of action for you, given your particularly learning style and the amount of time you have to practice.

Remember, too, that there are no shortcuts to piano learning and thus it is the journey and not the goal that should give you the most satisfaction.

Regards,
Originally Posted by BruceD
Taking more lessons per week isn't necessarily going to help you learn more pieces faster.

My thought exactly. Why don't you start by asking your teacher to give you more homework, so you can increase your practice time? Then, in case you notice that you run out of time during your lesson, you can increase your lesson time.
Once a week for an hour. I could increase the lesson time a bit, because often it isn't enough but at the same time I have had a couple of lessons where the teacher and I have been scratching around for something to look into. So perhaps an hour is right, not always long enough but it doesn't seem to impede progress.

I am probably not far below the limit of the rate I can improve currently. I suppose my practise could be more disciplined and focussed, but I do think there is a limit on how quickly new information this old slowing brain can take in and I'm probably not far below that now.
Originally Posted by Animisha
[quote=BruceD] Taking more lessons per week isn't necessarily going to help you learn more pieces faster.


+1

just after my first year I started the 40 piece challenge for all the advantages that gives. You get to do a ton of short, easy, throw away pieces that when staggered you find you are finishing approximately one per week. This can be done with or without a teacher and might be what you are looking for.
I did 30 mins once a week for a while, then 45 mins once a week, and currently 1 hour every other week.
An hour every other week works quite well for me, my only gripe is when school holidays, mid term breaks, etc extend this gap further.

A rule of thumb I heard before is that your average daily practice time between weekly lessons should be at least the same as your lesson time, so eg a 30 minutes lesson if you are practicing an average of 30 mins a day, at least an hour a day practicing if you have an hour long lesson (and adjust accordingly for different frequency)

I certainly find that I don't make enough progress between lessons if I am not practicing at least this amount.
So in regard to your specific question about increasing the frequency of lessons, this would probably only be valuable if you are able to do lots of practice between these more frequent lessons.

Even when I am practicing consistently for 45 mins - an hour a day, there can sometimes be lessons where there is not a huge amount to say about some of my pieces that I don't already know and am not already aiming towards in a reasonably competent way, it's just going to take a lot of practice time for it all to come together. There is still value in going through it again. Sometimes something will click that didn't before. often there are new layers to add now that one aspect has improved, etc etc. But sometimes all that is worth saying on that particular day can be said quite quickly!
[/quote] BruceD

You need time not only to absorb what your teacher has had you work on in your lesson but also time to put it into your practice sessions until it really becomes natural.

If your goal is to learn more pieces faster you may find that you are not learning them as well and understanding them as thoroughly than if you were to move at your current pace. Have you discussed this wish to learn more faster with you teacher?

Remember, too, that there are no shortcuts to piano learning and thus it is the journey, [/quote]

100% agree, and something I learnt over time. I even sloooowed down on how fast I progressed on a piece. As a result, my turnaround on new pieces are much faster now. Why? I took the time to learn the techniques the first time, and that I really need time with a piece to get it to ‘musical’ level.

I moved from 30 mins to 1 hour per week. And I need the week to work on techniques and progress on pieces [2 at the moment].
Once a week for an hour. I have done 1 1/2 hours in the past when we were also doing theory.
45 minutes every 2 weeks
I have an hour long lesson every second week. Sometimes we run out of time and take extra 15 minutes. I used to have weekly lessons (first 6 months after coming back to piano after long-long break), but it became too stressful instead of being helpful and serve as extra motivation. It didn't leave me with enough time to settle with piece and not enough time to work through everything that teacher directed me to work on. I'm working on 4-5 different pieces at any given time and have 2 new pieces every lesson (recently, it means 3-5 pages of new material in total). I normally practice 1.5 hour per day, sometimes more on the weekends and days I work from home (I take 10-15 minutes breaks 2-3 times on such days to refresh my head and I use it to focus on some technical minutia, sight reading or scales).

I agree with others that more lessons may not help you to learn more music. Maybe you are going through the frustration period in your studies now, I've been there - it's time when you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and not moving forward fast enough. Take a deep breath, your brain is working hard, give it time to digest and grow connections. Talk to teacher about your practice routine, maybe give yourself 15-30 minutes of extra practice time, but do something different, something that you are not normally doing. If you not doing scales normally, spend 5 extra minutes a day on that, or sight read through "easy" books, or pick up some pop song arrangement, play just left hand and sing. Mix it up, it will expand your abilities and help to work through frustration that is inevitable, but temporary state when learning something new and hard.
Once a week for 1 hour since January 2010.
Once a week for an hour.
Same...
Once a week for an hour.
My lessons are every other week. I did 45 min for a year and a half, and just this month switched over to an hour. We are trying to incorporate more theory now. Plus, my teacher tends to talk a lot, and not always on topic. crazy There have been times when I only had time to work on 1 of 4-5 pieces in a lesson, and that's really frustrating when my next lesson is 2 weeks away.
Agree with BruceD--you need time to let things soak in. It's important to get a night's sleep to give your brain a chance to put what you've practiced on a particular piece into long term memory. You could work on more pieces at one time. You won't learn any particular piece faster, but at the end of a period of time you'll have more pieces learned. Over time, as one increases in skill level and experience, learning a piece becomes a more efficient process, but at the same time the pieces are increasing in length and difficulty, so the time needed to work up a piece often actually increases.

There was a poster on another forum years ago (Bernhard) who said his fastest learning students (and he only had a few) where the ones who had lessons five days a week (I don't think it was every day); basically this amounted to supervised practice. Few of us have the time or finances to do this.


I started with 30 min lessons, which were too short to get much done, then moved to 60 min lessons once a week, which feels about right. Thirty minute lessons work for younger children, who often have a short attention span, but adults can go longer.
Thanks everyone for replies. I practice daily (5 days/week) for a few hours and yes, each piece takes lots of time, which is great as it's more important to play it correctly than to learn more.
I take lessons two times a week for an hour but even that feels like not enough, and that's why I wanted to see what everyone else does.
Fourty-five minutes every two weeks, and am practicing twice a day, 30 minutes in the morning and 15 to 20 minutes in the afternoon.
Its not ideal but I am currently working with 2 teachers. Teacher #1 is in my adult group classes at Juilliard (evening division) which is 2 hours once a week (actual 1v1 time is 30 min), then teacher # 2 is a Russian concert pianist I see for 1 hour lessons every 2 weeks.

For lessons with Teacher 2, I usually play a piece that I already learned on my own or noodled with well enough to get 90% of the notes/rhythm down and he will find areas I can improve on. Sometimes we will work on half the piece or problem measures. My Juilliard class - I view more of as performance based as its a group format and the feedback is more general and “big picture” based..I would probably stay with Teacher # 1 for 1 hour weekly lessons but his hourly rate is $130 and thats just too steep for me. shocked
I learnt piano as a child to about age 16. Piano lessons were always 30 minutes weekly in term time. My lessons when I returned as an adult are 1 hour lesson. I average about 3 a month. I think having more than 1 lesson a week is excessive. I did not realise people did this. I think it may be a good idea for a high level pianist who practices many hours a day to have more lesson input week but for an amateur pianist I think it is excessive.
Originally Posted by Stubbie
There was a poster on another forum years ago (Bernhard) who said his fastest learning students (and he only had a few) where the ones who had lessons five days a week (I don't think it was every day); basically this amounted to supervised practice. Few of us have the time or finances to do this.


That is insane !
If you having more lesson time, is this because a teacher persuaded you that you should be coming twice a week or was the drive from you as a student ? I think these are very different things. I think a teacher who manipulates people to paying him for 5 times a week is another kettle of fish ! Bad.
I just PMd my teacher this morning and asked for an hour and a half two times a week but she didn't think it's a good idea. Not sure why, may be it would be difficult for both of us. In any case, two times a week sounds just enough, as it gives time to work on the technique, progress with the current piece we are learning, etc.
1 hour once a month. It pretty much takes up my whole day as I have a multi-modal journey to get there. I am at the point where I can and need to figure out solutions on my own and not completely rely on a teacher to tell me how to solve all issues. But I probably would benefit and progress faster if I took lessons every 2 or 3 weeks. I think for intermediate level players, an hour lesson each week or every other week makes sense.

I think how many lessons and for how long is very personal. Something that is excessive for me would be just right for someone else, or even not enough. Some of us have full-time jobs, kids, and other commitments, and yet others are retired with many hours in the day to practice and have piano lessons, so...really can't be comparing IMHO.

And I haven't even gotten to what level you are, or what goals you have...again, so personal.

I think you will know if you have enough or not enough.
I have a 45 minute weekly lesson. I began with 30 minute lessons but my lessons felt unfinished so my teacher and I went to 45 minutes and that has worked well. I play/practice about an hour a day so 45 minutes is just about right to play and discuss the pieces I'm working on during the week.
I find 30 minutes a week is enough. I don’t think I improve enough in a week to justify more than that.
Originally Posted by Moo :)
Originally Posted by Stubbie
There was a poster on another forum years ago (Bernhard) who said his fastest learning students (and he only had a few) where the ones who had lessons five days a week (I don't think it was every day); basically this amounted to supervised practice. Few of us have the time or finances to do this.


That is insane !


No, it was actually not insane; if you want the details you can go to PianoStreet and read Bernhard’s training plan for these students that took lessons five times per week. These students progressed amazingly fast (as yes, practice in between lessons was a requirement).

As an adult, I go to yearly piano camp where I have an hourly lesson five days in a row and it is awesome! But then, there is no job and no home stuff to interfere.
I have not had tuition for over fifty years, but when I did it was an hour a week, the same as many people had. I had a lot going on back then, many other interests, and I could not have coped with more frequent lessons.
Ok if you can post a link i will read about it.
Originally Posted by Moo :)
Ok if you can post a link i will read about it.


I don’t know which post of Bernhard’s outlined this, and he was a prolific poster at one time. If you haven’t read his words of wisdom, it is highly recommended
Yes, Bernhard was great fun, very broadminded and helpful. We used to have some glorious fun over there, not a trace of the present Pianostreet sourness and antagonism, those were the days.
Here is a link to all of Bernard’s posts:

https://pianoselfteached.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/contents/
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Moo :)
Ok if you can post a link i will read about it.


I don’t know which post of Bernhard’s outlined this, and he was a prolific poster at one time. If you haven’t read his words of wisdom, it is highly recommended

I don't think this is where he originally talked about it, but there was a reference made to it in this thread.

Here is where Barnhard himself references his topics. Bernhards Tips
I actually read only this thread on this forum when searched who he is. Kids starting with 1 hour a week which consisted of 5 10-15 mins a week which then goes up. After 3 years up to lessons of 2.5 hours many times a week. Then referred to another teacher. Sorry I found it all very disturbing. I don’t understand the online cult following. This is not like a joke with josh wright and the YouTube stars which I was joking about. this I found very disturbing. I don’t really want to read any more about him. I will thank my parents that they have never had any interest. Only my grandmother is interested. But whenever I play she only wants me to play besame mucho and old French songs!
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1599894/Bernhard_s_Piano_Street_teachi.html
Are you sure you didn't misread his post? It sounds like he was suggesting 15 minute lessons 5 days a week for beginners. Then two 30 minute lessons a week after a few month and then moving to a single one hour session each week for more experiences students.

The 2 to 2.5 hour lesson also is mentioned as a "one off" lesson, not a regular thing and not multiple times a week. More an extended lesson to really focus in on a specific piece. I assume that'd be for more advanced students?

The daily 45 minute lessons, that sounds more like a bootcamp style approach, for students that want to put in a lot of work in a short space of time. Would that not be akin to some of the piano camps adult learners have discussed going on here?

I can see a degree of logic to that. As beginners are the ones that could benefit the most from going home, practicing what they've learned and ready to show progress/receive further pointers the following day. Rather than waiting a week before the teacher sees them again and realises they didn't understand what was intended to be practiced and they're now a week down the path of doing the wrong thing/in the wrong way.

Maybe I'm the one misreading it, but whether that's what he meant or not, I do wonder, particularly for younger students/beginners, if one short lesson a day + homework, could produce more rapid progress. Of course, that's assuming parents are able to sacrifice the time to get to/from lessons every day 5 days a week for a number of months before moving to a more infrequent schedule. I'd expect that to be a tough sell for many parents, but perhaps it pays off for those who can?
I just clicked on these links and got absorbed into Bernhard's posts. It is like reading piano talmud.
That sort of nonsense can really mess up a kid. I have had a few kids have lessons with my teacher before my teacher. I even find what happens uncomfortable, The parents sit in the lesson. Monitor. Hassle their kid about getting things wrong. Monitor practice. Give negative feedback about their exam mark. Clearly these parents are wanting to learn piano through the kid. These kids normally give up. My first piano teacher was a neighbour and i don’t have parents who play or understood music. I can’t therefore relate. I find the idea of kids for months having daily short lessons 5 days a week highly manipulative. Especially with the wrong sort of parents it can be really doubly damaging. Sorry I find it sad and very disturbing. I won’t say anymore on this.
I agree with you Moo. As a parent, the idea of of your child having near-daily piano lessons is whackadoodle and cruel and unusual punishment, not to mention unaffordable. If your child shows great musical ability and interest, find a highly regarded and trained piano teacher and go once a week.

Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
I agree with you Moo. As a parent, the idea of of your child having near-daily piano lessons is whackadoodle and cruel and unusual punishment, not to mention unaffordable. If your child shows great musical ability and interest, find a highly regarded and trained piano teacher and go once a week.


Maybe for the West it's wackadoodle.

When my wife was in music school in Moscow Russia, it was daily. And she had to practice 4 hours per day, She was 6yo when she started,

Oh, and it was also free - paid for by the State.

(BTW, she did burn out. But that happened too and the schools understood that.)
I had half-hour lessons once a week for the first few years, then forty minutes when I was at boarding school, then one-hour lessons weekly with my last teacher.

They were plenty long enough to get everything done in each lesson, including the requirements for the ABRSM syllabus - learning the pieces, aural skills, sight-reading, scales & arpeggios.

Of course, my teachers - and I - never chitchatted about the weather, or the spouses or our kids (I was then too young to have any wink ). And I only asked relevant questions, otherwise I just listened and observed and learnt.......
Quote
Course 1: Standard for children and complete beginners: 1 hour per week.

Students start by having the hour spread during the week: 10-15 minutes everyday 5 days/week. After 3-6 months (depending on progress) students are upgraded to two 30 minute lessons per week.

After 1- 2 years (depending on progress) students upgrade to one hour per week.

After 3 years student is independent to pursue his/her own interests. S/he is given two choices depending on how s/he wants to move on. S/he can continue with me, but this time through advanced classes centering on a particular piece that take 2-2 1/2 hours and are one offs or they can be referred to a performer teacher.


He's suggesting lessons of one hour per week (spread over five days, or two 30 min lessons per week) for beginners.

One hour (spread over five days, or two, or one day) after one year.

One-off, stand-alone lessons of any length for an advanced students.


This is not unreasonable. Moo, why do you find it disturbing?
Once a week. 30 munutes.
Every other week for an hour (which often goes over a bit :))

My teacher only deals with adults now, and every other week seems good for most of us...though I often wonder sometimes if going every week would be better for me.
I take lessons once a week for 45 minutes. Started my 3rd year in January. Initially started with 30 minute lessons for about a year. We don't get through all of my stuff every time and sometimes I think and hour might be better. Here is what I had for my last lesson as an example: Scales in A# Minor - Natural, harmonic, melodic and harmonic in contrary motion (all 2 octaves), cadences, A# minor arpeggios, G# diminished seventh arpeggios, Sight reading, Moonlight Sonata 1st page and half of 2nd page (this was my first week), Sonatina Op. 20, No. 1 by Kuhlau 1st movement and started 2nd movement, Elegie by Massenet 2 pages, and the hymn Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us from "Hymns Re-Harmonized" by Carol Tornquist. These hymns are all 2 pages. The 1st page is like the traditional hymn and the 2nd page has a lot more chording etc. added to it. That's the one I really have work on.
Originally Posted by PatG
[...]Scales in A# Minor - Natural, harmonic, melodic and harmonic in contrary motion (all 2 octaves), cadences, A# minor arpeggios, [...]


A-sharp minor? Why would you be playing a scale with such an obscure key signature (seven sharps) instead of the more common enharmonic of B-flat minor? Even students taking fairly advanced piano exams don't have to prepare a scale in that tonality.

Regards,
BruceD - I'm using The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences - Alfred's Basic Piano Library. It's arranged to do all sharp major scales, flat major scales, sharp minor scales and then flat minor scales. I'm on the last sharp minor scales then go to flat minor scales, starting with D Minor. And besides the A# Minor scales aren't hard except maybe the cadences and the contrary motion. But they have always been harder for me. Oh before I go onto D Minor I will do the Enharmonic with Bb minor.
Interesting to see the variation in lesson length and frequency, as well as the different goals being worked on. Here's another perspective.

(1) Lessons increased to 2 hours a week, ~48 weeks per year, with newish teacher past 2 years. Never run out of things to work on. Scales/arps/technique stuff (20 min); major piece and/or pieces moving toward performance (1 hour); newer or shorter pieces, maybe 2 at 20 min each, focus on how to practice specific sections; confirm what needs to be ready when and how to get there; discuss performance successes and <ahem> challenges, as needed.

(2) New this year: master classes or performance practice w/a coach (different perspective, opp to play in different halls and unfamiliar pianos), ~monthly

I'm mid-intermediate trying for high intermediate (Pathetique 1st movement and Chopin etudes, please); don't expect to get to advanced or Pianist Corner level (no Gaspard et al); lingering technical deficits to fix. 8 years lessons as child, ~10+ as adult after 30+ year gap. Performance goals are all self-inflicted: piano groups, music clubs, senior residences. I try to have 15-20 minutes ready at any time. I stopped recording when I changed teachers, but hope to work on red dot syndrome as well as live performance (somehow easier for me).

Practicing: goal is 3 hours/day or until I've achieved what I wanted for the day. Lately ~2 hours; varies w/how busy at work.

It would be wonderful to get to the stage, as with PianogrlNW, of being able to figure out what I need to work on, on my own, but am not ready for that.

As a returning adult, I started with 1 hour/week and fewer pieces; increased to 90 minutes after a few years, and now 2 hours. I definitely feel I'm making progress the past year or so.
This is very personal. Once a week for 30 minutes. That is right for me given the rate at which I am working.

I have seen other adults try an hour every two weeks. Personally, I will find that problematic for me as I would not work as hard one week and would try to make up for it the week before the lesson. One advantage of having a lesson every week is that it forces one to practice every week regularly as you have to have something to show for when you go to the class.

Osho
When I started with my teacher we originally arranged for an hour every fortnight. It quickly became obvious to me that I had finished all I could practicing what I had learnt in the lesson in a few days and that waiting an extra week was just wasting time, so I dug in my budget and switched up to an hour every week. That seems to be exactly right. I have a chance to make some progress, but not so much that I run out of things to try and master before the next lesson.
I take a lesson every other week and they are in general an hour long, depends on how ready I am and what we need to cover how long the lesson lasts. I do every other week mainly for financial reasons, but can see once I get further along switching to weekly. My teacher is very good about if I have a question during the two weeks between lesson I can contact him and he'll answer it so I don't have to wait two weeks to clear something up. Sometime my teacher will ask me to contact him during the two weeks to see how I'm doing and if he should make it a bit more challenging.
Originally Posted by Osho
This is very personal. Once a week for 30 minutes. That is right for me given the rate at which I am working.

I have seen other adults try an hour every two weeks. Personally, I will find that problematic for me as I would not work as hard one week and would try to make up for it the week before the lesson. One advantage of having a lesson every week is that it forces one to practice every week regularly as you have to have something to show for when you go to the class.

Osho

The hour every 2 weeks is just the opposite for me. I used to have an hour a week lesson. I have a very busy schedule so during weeks I just couldn’t practice i felt I was wasting time on both our accounts. Now I find I’m far more prepared. I only had one lesson in January and February due to schedule conflicts but it actually made me practice harder knowing I had to make the best of the one lesson. As you noted- it’s very personal and needs to work for you.
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