When I start new students in piano lessons, whether they are beginners or transfer students, one of the first questions that parents ask is how long I expect students to practice each day. I wish I had a simple, standard answer that I could give to everyone, but really, time will vary greatly depending on tons of different factors – age, level, knowledge retention, interest, motivation, efficiency, etc.
Instead, the main concept that I want all of my students to grasp from the very beginning of their piano study is that in order to learn and succeed at a new skill, creating consistent habits is critical! For this reason, I place a lot of emphasis the number of days the student sat down at the piano and did something, anything.
Once a student is actually at the piano, there is a good chance the student will stay there and practice. So, I always emphasize the importance of getting to the piano as many days as possible.
Any musician will tell you that it is impossible to cram for a performance, whether it is a recital for an audience or a weekly lesson with your teacher. On an instrument, you have to put in the time.
So, the #1 tip I have for parents of students is to find a routine that works for you and stick with it.
Parents, is your student waiting around in the morning while siblings are getting ready for school? Send them to the piano! Does your student have regular block of time they work on homework? Break it up with 10-15 minutes of piano practice in the middle. Does your student have a routine after school? Get piano practice finished right away, so they can have some relaxing time later. What about winding down before bed? Piano practice might be a good way to relax and finish the day. Even if you’re coming and going after school with several activities, encourage your student to at least sit down and play for a few minutes!