As the leading destination for piano lessons in West Chester, we often get asked this question. Are thirty minutes worth it? Do you have to take 45 minute or hour long lessons to improve? The answer varies from student to student, but here is our best attempt at answering the question in a forth-coming manner. For information about lessons at our studio, get in touch!
Are 30 Minute Piano Lessons Worth It?
Yes, thirty minute piano lessons with a qualified teacher are absolutely worth it. A skilled teacher will get right to the point, explain the new concepts for that week, drill them with you, assign specific practice techniques for you to work on during the week, answer your questions, and send you on your way. Children in particular should start with 30 minute lessons, since they may lose focus in longer lessons.
That said, adults should start with 45 minute long lessons if the budget allows. You will improve more quickly with a longer lesson. That’s because adults are capable of digesting more information, and your teacher will be able to cover additional concepts more quickly. For instance, in 30 minutes, you might be able to cover one new key signature, a brief discussion of the sharps and flats, and introduce a new scale in that key. With an extra 45 minutes, you can build on that foundational knowledge and introduce a second new key.
You’ll Need Longer Lessons As You Improve
As you get better at the piano, the music you learn will become more complicated. Once this happens, your lesson structure may follow this cadence:
Review and Introduction of Musical Concepts
For the first 5-10 minutes, your teacher will need to review the previous week’s lesson with you to make sure the principles “stuck,” and that you practiced them correctly. They may need to assign follow-up material. In the next 15 minutes or so, you will probably be introduced to a new concept; this could be a new chord (“This week we will learn about the dominant scale degree and chord”), or it could be a new articulation, like two-note slurs or portato playing technique. The more advanced you become, the deeper these musical concepts may become.
Working on Your Pieces of Music
Your teacher will need to hear the music you’ve been working on, help you with specific practice strategies, and more. If you are playing longer music, this will take more time. Your teacher will impart unique drills to help you master tricky passages, and lead you through an analysis of the music. This may include:
- Identifying the melody line and discussing strategies from showcasing it more
- Identifying chord patterns to make memorization easier
- Helping you identify a sequence of fingerings that will allow you to play faster
If you are preparing for auditions or recitals, you will also need to practice how to memorize music – this is a big undertaking all on its own.
Answering Your Questions or Digging Into Music Theory
At their core, piano lessons are about helping you learn to play music on the piano. But there is so much more to music.
Adult students may have questions about compositional styles, blues progressions, improvisation, and more. Piano lessons are a wonderful time to discuss these concepts, but they take time away from the art of playing. Longer lessons allow you to dig into analysis of musical form, comprehend concepts like neapolitan chords, learn relative majors and minors, and more.
Your Teacher Will Help You Decide on a Lesson Length
Be honest with your teacher about goals, your budget, and your commitment to practicing. A knowledgeable teacher will help you decide on the right lesson time for your goals, and they will cater the teaching material accordingly. They can also assign supplemental material for parents to use at home if they want to accelerate the learning process. If you are looking for piano lessons in Coatesville, piano lessons in Downingtown, or voice lessons in West Chester, PA, get in touch!