I always get asked about how much time a student should spend on practice. For me, I understand the busy schedule of a kid /adult, and frankly, I do not expect anyone to spend lots of time only at the piano as there are just so many things to do every day! Also, I am all about efficiency and effectiveness now, that I want the maximum result in the shortest time. But that can only be achieved by maximum level of focus, awareness and determination to succeed. So, it is not just about what the teacher can do in a lesson, but also how the student would do in a practice session!
Now here is a rough guideline to teachers, students and parents, who are new to this whole music teaching/ learning journey.
For our Piano Beginner Course, I recommend this:
15 minutes a day, 5 days a week
E.g. Monday to Friday
Instructions: Set a regular time for daily practice
It is a very important matter that students know they need to have a regular routine for their practice, so setting the same time for daily practice is a great way to go. When sometimes it might not be plausible to log in the same time every day (like 5pm SHARP is completely ridiculous and out of line probably, we are not in a military camp here!), simply set a time for piano practice after a certain daily task is completed would do the trick.
E.g. 5-5.15pm (after homework /before dinner) or 8-8.15pm (before bed)
I never try to pressure anyone into having a DAILY practice, which really means seven days a week. Certainly I would be glad that any student would do that, but it is not really necessary or strict like that (unless of course you are getting trained to become a professional musician/your child is a music prodigy! But then you/your child would just do it out of the love and passion for music without anyone urging you/him/her to do so already). So here is a sample practice schedule:
Sample practice schedule-
M T W T F
T W T F S
Students should go through all elements in each practice session, and that includes songs, scales, and sometimes writing/reading (as in our piano beginner coursebook). We have a very clear guidelines in our student book on what and how much time to spend on each element, so both student /and parent can follow the guidelines and practice accordingly to get maximum results.
I hope this is clear enough for anyone who has just started with us (or with someone else) on their piano journey, and even to the teachers who feel lost when telling their students to plan their practice routines. I am always glad to see anyone starting to play the piano NOW, from 4 to 104!
*This is a minimum requirement of daily practice routine. Students are encouraged to either do two 15-minute sessions (morning and evening) or one longer sessions of 20-30 minutes if keen to learn and progress faster, and have more fun at the piano!