Beginners piano lessons - how much daily practice is the norm?

(23 Posts)
bryte Fri 14-Mar-14 13:57:56

DD (Y3) started private piano lessons last month and is being asked to do half an hour's practice per day. Whilst she is very keen to learn, she's completely overwhelmed by the amount of things written in her practice book. Is this the norm? It seems a bit much to me. I'm not overly keen on the teacher anyway, but I struggled to find a teacher near to us.

ihatethecold Fri 14-Mar-14 14:02:04

My dd started lessons at school when she turned 9. That was 18 months ago.

I ask her to do at least 10 mins practise everyday.

I can really hear her getting better an she enjoys the practise because it's short and sweet but regular.

chocolateshoes Fri 14-Mar-14 14:02:32

Gosh that seems a lot. Ds started in yr 3. He has a fortnightly lesson for 30 minutes and does 5 minutes practise most days. He enjoys it and a rarely have to nag him. He has been learning a year now and is about to do his grade 1. I don't know if that is the expected rate of progress but we didn't want it to become a chore, but for him to learn to read music and to enjoy playing an instrument.

Technoprisoners Fri 14-Mar-14 14:04:58

Our piano teacher says no more than 10 mins per day at that age. The important thing is the regularity, not the length.

OldBeanbagz Fri 14-Mar-14 15:20:40

DS started piano lesson at 8 years old (now into his 4th term of learning).

He has a weekly 30 min lessons, does 10 mins practice a day at home plus scales & sight reading.

littleredsquirrel Fri 14-Mar-14 15:22:33

5-10 minutes a day here (which gets forgotten at least twice a week)

BackforGood Fri 14-Mar-14 15:32:44

I think if you can get them to practice every day - even for 5 - 10mins, they you will be doing brilliantly. Learning an instrument is supposed to be a pleasure, not a chore.

bryte Fri 14-Mar-14 15:37:49

I agree with the every day practice. That's the tactic I took with DD1 to get her in the habit of practicing her violin. But more like 10 minutes, not 30.

JulieMichelleRobinson Fri 14-Mar-14 23:01:50

Beginner at that age, 5-10 minutes a day with very specific instructions e.g.:

Do section A of this piece twice with the right hand, twice with the left hand and then twice hands together.
Clap the rhythm of section B and then try the right hand, making sure that your minims are twice as long as your crotchets. On Tuesday and Thursday, try hopping the rhythm!
Practise the walking exercise four times, making sure that the change between the notes is really smooth but that your notes don't overlap or 'smudge'. Think about 'swapping' your fingers.

I went through a phase of asking for "one minute a day".

chauffeurmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 08:56:27

I like the idea of really specific instructions - thank you, I'll try that with my dd.

meditrina Sat 15-Mar-14 09:08:17

30 minutes daily seems way to much for a yr3 (7/8yr old) beginner and will pall.

10 minutes really done daily is probably more realistic and will still have good effect. And once the habit of daily playing is established, it's much easier to expand the playing time as required.

JulieMichelleRobinson Sat 15-Mar-14 09:14:03

"If you need to practise more than five hours a day, you're not doing it right."

Chauffeurmummy, it's the only way I can get any practise out of some of my students, because some of the parents don't help much or explain things to them. Writing down exactly what to do makes it manageable for the child.

chauffeurmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 09:58:17

Just tried this with my dd and it worked a treat! I mentioned practice and she rolled her eyes...... so I said how about you do the first piece through once hands separately and them 3 times hands together and then this afternoon do the same for the second piece?" She was at the piano in a flash and is currently on her second time through her second piece!!

JulieMichelleRobinson Sat 15-Mar-14 18:56:54

Brilliant! I think it seems more achievable that way.

bryte Sun 16-Mar-14 07:46:54

Thanks everyone. I've found a different piano teacher. We were still in the probationary period with the other one. I had reservation about them being a good fit for an absolute beginner child already and this has helped me make the decision.

yomellamoHelly Sun 16-Mar-14 07:49:49

Not piano, but ds does 10 minutes a day. Can't hear a difference straight away, but can over the week / month. Any more would kill his enjoyment.

Acinonyx Sun 16-Mar-14 10:01:35

Very glad to read this advice. I have a yr4 dd who began piano yr3. She used to practice up to 30 min/day but hasn't for a few months now - more like 10-15. I won't push for more and will also split the tasks more. I'm concerned that it is becoming a chore. I've also got her a big book of easy Disney tunes to play at home only - any way she likes. I want to get back the enthusiasm she had when she started out but not sure how.

NannyPeach Sun 16-Mar-14 22:12:29

Ds is 6 (y2 and grade 2 standard) and practises his violin for around 20+ minutes a day. We spend a short time on the new piece, scales and reviewing old pieces (suzuki method). We move an object up our piano keys so he knows how much he has done and how much more to do which helps.

Theas18 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:54:22

Do you sit with your DC when they practice ( and in the lesson) ? I reckon at that age they really need help to follow instructions and focus on what they should be doing.

10 mins is plenty surely. Isn't concentration time approx a minute per year of age anyway, so 7 mins average and with guidance 10mins would be a good session!

Clobbered Mon 17-Mar-14 08:58:58

Glad to hear you have made the change - it's really important to find a teacher who is a good fit for the child. Some are great players and teachers for advanced students but don't know how to teach beginners effectively. It's crucial to get off to a good start. 30 mins a day for a beginner is bonkers. 5 minutes 5 times a week is my rule of thumb for new starters….

NannyPeach Mon 17-Mar-14 10:03:11

I do sit with my 6yr old (and 10yr old) for every lesson and practise - 6y old dc would do very little (if anything) if I wasn't there!!! He enjoys playing review pieces and a few scales plus some time on the new piece - the time goes quickly and we're usually surprised that 20 mins has flown by. We don't time practise - just do what needs doing.

Acinonyx Mon 17-Mar-14 12:29:41

I sit with dd for practice but not lessons. She definitely needs someone listening and paying attention. I try not to interfere too much!

My dd is 9 and does 20 mins a day (beginner) and 20 mins for each of her other two instruments. Sounds like a lot but she's reaping the rewards in terms of quick progress and being able to take part in concerts - much better than being bored doing the same stuff for weeks on end imo.

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