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  • Bonnie

Getting the most out of your music lessons

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Selecting the correct number of lessons a week/month and duration for each will make your music learning more effective.

Most recurring lessons will be weekly. With the consistent weekly lesson, students can meet their teachers regularly, thus clearing doubts and progressing steadily. Students will also be able to remember what was being taught by the teacher and practice accordingly. Eventually, students will cultivate good learning and playing habits that are key to short and long-term improvement. Regular weekly meetings will also give teachers a clearer picture of the students' progress and expectations and ultimately customize an excellent and suitable lesson plan to take the students to the next level.

Though more unusual, I also have students taking lessons twice a week and five times a week. These students have more time to pursue music and would like to progress faster. Sometimes students prefer shorter class duration but more often as they feel they can understand and learn better. They can also be students preparing for music examinations or other music performances.

That said, I have students doing fortnightly lessons or just twice a month too. These are usually adult students who are learning for leisure but are busy with work or may need more practice time in between lessons. I do not recommend young beginners doing fortnightly classes as this will not provide the consistency they need to progress.

For young beginners, an individual 30-minute weekly duration is adequate for each lesson. As beginner pieces are relatively short, the lesson time is sufficient for revising old pieces and learning new ones if the students have done their practices at home before lesson day. To make the lesson more exciting and engaging for young children, especially those five to seven years of age, teachers can introduce some off-the-bench activities. A well-planned-out 30-minute class is good enough for students who are responsive and cooperative.

The next level of duration would be the 45-minute weekly lesson. For intermediate grade students or those preparing for examinations, this is a comfortable duration to cover more topics within one lesson. Besides the performance techniques, there is additional time to review theory, aural, sight reading, etc. For my twice-a-month students, a 45-minute or 60-minute lesson is the minimum lesson time I require since their lessons are less consistent.

Advanced students usually opt for a 60-minute weekly lesson as there are more aspects to teach and cover during each lesson. Even the pieces are much longer, needing more time to play a part.

The above is my personal recommended frequency and duration for each lesson. It may vary slightly for certain students depending on their individual preferences, attention span, schedule availability, and financial budget.

The goal is to learn at your comfortable pace so lessons are enjoyable.


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