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Joined: Jan 2018
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Quick poll:
Those of you who take lessons: what is the frequency of your lessons? and if it's less than once a week, why?

I asked my teacher to reduce lessons frequency from once a week to once in two weeks, because I wanted more time to practice other stuff (music reading, technique, playing by ear). When taking weekly lessons I only have time to prepare for the next lesson by practicing my pieces like crazy, and other piano activities are pushed aside... otherwise I don't feel prepared for the next lesson.
Note that I'm not an absolute beginner so I'm less likely to develop bad habits over the span of two weeks.


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When I restarted I had not played in 30+ years. I spent a year without a teacher, just trying to get my fingers to move and remind myself what it was like to play, working my way through the Alfred's books. Then I started lessons. I was working at the time, so I did bi-weekly for a couple of years before going weekly. I just didn't have the time to make much progress in a week. Having 2 weeks between lessons worked, but it would have been better to take weekly lessons. I just didn't have the time, and the cost was less.

My teacher preferred weekly lessons. It was easier for her to keep track of my progress and make plans, but also it was a scheduling problem and a potential loss of income.

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If it's weekly half-hour lessons, switching to bi-weekly hour lessons seems reasonable. I hated the half-hour lessons as it seemed to be over when you had barely played anything.


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I opted for every couple of weeks when I restarted lessons earlier this year. My last lessons were just before I left for uni when I'd finished ABRSM grade 8 and was working on some Dip ABRSM pieces. The plan had been to continue with some lessons and try and prepare for the Diploma but a term into uni and over enjoying student life soon put paid to that idea. After 25 years of not playing, I was simply looking for an experienced teacher to get me back on track with some technical work to get my fingers back into shape and also to oversee pieces I wanted to learn. The problem I had even with fortnightly lessons was that I really didn't have the time to both do the technical exercises and also work on a piece at the same time. Young kids, work, trying to find time for tennis/gym.. you get the idea. Time was at a premium and trying to get an hour or two everyday for practice just wasn't possible. I tried to get a couple of hours practice 3 days a week which was as much as I could find. Even then there were weeks when I had lessons where I felt I hadn't really put in enough work for the piece I was working on (c.f. putting 3-4 hour days when I was a teen). Sometimes I think my teacher would argue two weeks was too soon for me as there was little she had to say bearing in mind I was only working on 1 piece at a time!

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Once a week with 40 min. travel time to & from the teacher. It's an adult group lesson and the people in class play as a hobby.

A year ago, the teacher switched to Zoom and now back to in person classes. People still have the option of connecting through Zoom while the lesson is in session. The group is made up of mostly retired people so time is less of a factor. At the moment nobody in class except myself who is working on a piece beyond an intermediate level. None of the assigned pieces (arranged for easy piano) requires more than an hour of practice a day.

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Once a week here, at least officially. Once a week is a struggle for me to feel like I've made progress, especially with new pieces. Every two weeks, on the other hand, gives me just that much longer to practice in errors such as poor articulation or poor rhythm.

In practice we have summer and winter breaks over which we can spread lessons if one of us has a conflict, and we take advantage of that option. But during the fall and spring, it's once a week for the most part. I think my ideal interval between lessons would be 10 days, but that's not gonna work, lol.


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Once a week here. It used to be once in two weeks for a month or so, but the teacher insisted that we do once a week, because learning proper technique requires constant reinforcement. That is, you can practice all you want, but you need to try to practice well and that's hard to do.

Even with once a week, there is usually not enough time to cover everything. If I prepared 2-3 small pieces and wanted to work on an old piece, or scales, arpeggios etc., there's just not enough time for everything. Still, it works out.

My teacher pointed out recently that in order to get to a very high level, you can progress really fast if you have multiple hours of instruction a week with a great teacher. Almost all of the top level aspiring pianists take 4-5 hours of lessons a week. He personally knew some people like that, who were at the top of their game and participated in competitions before college.

For me, a week is enough to get my hands around a new piece. It probably takes around 4-5 hours total if it's a short piece, and since I'm fairly busy with coursework I often end up starting 3-4 days before the class. However, I don't play it perfectly, I can just sort of play it at the end. It still works out because I always get tons of things wrong, which I then correct in the lesson. Even if I try to play it fluently, it's still going to be completely off, so I don't bother nowadays about perfecting a piece before presenting it to my teacher, instead focusing on trying to implement as many of his suggestions as possible.

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Teacher here...

Many of my adult students take lessons every other week (vs weekly) but I only welcome this mode for those who are beyond beginner level, who have had a few years of lessons and can work on their own for 14 days without getting stuck or too messed up.

Granted, sometimes it's an issue of cost. If I am too expensive for someone to see weekly, I tell them better that they find a less expensive teacher and see that person weekly, than come to me twice monthly. They are typically a little startled by this advice.

One more thing. Adult piano students often think the music they bring to their lesson should be delivered all polished, and they think it is disrespectful to a teacher to come weekly when they have had less time to practice. But piano teachers of beginners and intermediates don't think this way: we don't expect polish, we are just there to assess what's going on and be of help. We know how hard it is to carve out practice time as an adult.

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Granted, sometimes it's an issue of cost. If I am too expensive for someone to see weekly, I tell them better that they find a less expensive teacher and see that person weekly, than come to me twice monthly. They are typically a little startled by this advice.
This depends on the situation. I really wanted a very good teacher, because 'lesser' teachers simply couldn't answer my questions properly and were leading me down blind alleyways. It took me a long time to find a teacher who really understood technique and all of the basics, and could teach it. I would much prefer biweekly lessons with such a teacher. However, this is also an individual thing, because my aim at the piano is essentially to master it.

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One more thing. Adult piano students often think the music they bring to their lesson should be delivered all polished, and they think it is disrespectful to a teacher to come weekly when they have had less time to practice. But piano teachers of beginners and intermediates don't think this way: we don't expect polish, we are just there to assess what's going on and be of help. We know how hard it is to carve out practice time as an adult.
Yes, exactly. I think a good teacher would be much more happy if a student was able to really understand a new concept at the piano, such as creating a good tone etc, than just bringing pieces to a lesson. From my own experience, I would memorize things in a week and play them for my teacher, but he wouldn't be impressed as he would just see so many things to correct. Things changed for the better when I tried to perfect easy pieces. I'll still occasionally learn something crazy and show it to him, for fun, but it doesn't take up the majority of our time, and I think that is better in the long run.

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I have a 1-hour lesson every 2 weeks for one single reason: I can’t afford more. I wish I could have a 2-hour lesson every week. Heck, I wish I could find a professional pianist for a girlfriend so that I could ask her questions 24/7.

By the time my lesson comes, I have a gazillion questions and want to play a lot of things for my teacher to comment on. The 1 hour goes by like 10 minutes. I want knowledge! There’s so much to learn!


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I've been taking lessons for nearly 2 years. We started with weekly 30 minute sessions. After about a year, I think she could tell that I was frustrated when the 30 minutes was up so quickly so she asked if I'd like to switch to a 60 minute class every other week. It works perfectly for me. The time between lessons gives me enough time to really focus on the pieces and theory. The time at the lesson gives us time to dive into issues and lessons un-rushed.

As a retired person, I could stretch my budget and time to do a 60 minute lesson weekly but I've not been motivated to do that. I nearly said that I didn't have any concrete goals - but I do....I'm playing for personal enjoyment. I think that is a worthwhile goal. smile


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It started weekly at 30 mins..then weekly 1 hour, and since the pandemic and taking early early retirement..my teacher suggested we move to fortnightly lessons, which is perfect as I can have healthy balance between exams [now] and life. I agree with Peter Mose: the lesson is checking in on certain bars for quarantine, exam recital practice, I am self studying grade 5 abrsm theory..a lot of questions there from test papers. We also spend time on talking about the piece, the history at that time. Fortnightly class works best for me. The changes over the year reflect where I am and life. There is no one plan fits all.


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I would definitely go weekly, assuming you have the practice time and the ability to make progress during the week. I cut back my lessons because I wasn’t showing enough improvement in a week and successive lessons were just encountering the same problems again.

Twice as many lessons does not automatically mean twice as much progress. It depends on the individual.


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I have a one hour lesson every two weeks. I was doing a weekly lesson (one hour) but that started to become a bit of a stretch for my budget, plus I found I was struggling to practise enough.

While I agree that most teachers don't expect polished perfection and should always be able to find something to do to fill a lesson, from my point of view the lesson felt like something of a waste if I had made little to no progress on whatever I was working on simply due to lack of practise.

As other have said, I don't think there's a right or wrong - it really just depends on your time, budget and goals. Different strokes and all that.

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I started piano lessons from scratch as a 60yo... my introduction was weekly 1.5 hour group classes for 8 weeks, then when that introductory program finished, I chose to continue with the same teacher for private lessons. He accommodated my request for a 1 hour lesson every 2 weeks. The reason I requested this was due to travel time.... 45min drive each way to the class venue, I just didn't see 1.5 hours total travel for a 30min class as being efficient use of time.
I am now in my 5th year of lessons, and mostly this has worked for me, and my teacher hasn't requested I change, so assume it works for him. I am a very reliable student, so very rarely miss a lesson. Occasionally I have been stuck on something, so leave whatever it is aside if I can't work it out, and sort it out at my next lesson. Occasionally I have practiced a mistake, so that is a down side.
My teacher has developed and teaches a sight-reading method right from the 1st lesson, so I know this is different to how many beginners are taught, so I am expected to be independent in starting new pieces as my 1st approach to them is to sight read them as best I can, I'm not sure if this has made 2 weekly lessons more workable because of that.... and the difficulty of the pieces progresses much more slowly because of the sight-reading emphasis and the sheer number of pieces covered.

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The schedule that worked well for me was set by the conservatory where I studied: weekly lessons for eight weeks then four weeks break before the next term (eight weeks break over summer).

This allowed plenty of catch up and review time — I was always ready for the break. I don’t know that the above schedule would work for private teachers.

I was intending to change to 45 minute lessons but I stopped altogether after COVID prevented in person lessons; I think Zoom lessons are too much trouble for too little benefit. I might go back next year though.

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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Adult piano students often think the music they bring to their lesson should be delivered all polished, and they think it is disrespectful to a teacher to come weekly when they have had less time to practice. But piano teachers of beginners and intermediates don't think this way: we don't expect polish, we are just there to assess what's going on and be of help. We know how hard it is to carve out practice time as an adult.

Hi Peter, thank you for this one! Very nice to read.


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I'm doing weekly half hour lessons and hadn't even thought of biweekly, because this is just what my teacher does. For adults who don't always have as much time to practice biweekly makes a lot of sense though. I always find that lesson day has crept up on me and I haven't practiced as much as I should have. (I play a lot, but don't always practice the things my teacher says to practice. The pieces she gives me are so easy that I neglect them until the last minute.)

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Originally Posted by Csj24
I always find that lesson day has crept up on me and I haven't practiced as much as I should have. (I play a lot, but don't always practice the things my teacher says to practice. The pieces she gives me are so easy that I neglect them until the last minute.)

And during the lesson, due to not enough practising, you play them with so many flaws that she continues to give you easy pieces! laugh


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I do every other week with my teacher. I think this works well for people who are self-motivated and have a solid schedule of daily practice (not that I don't miss a day when I'm forced to; life is like that). I have a lot I'm working on besides pieces, such as theory, sight reading, ear training, and technical. I did weekly lessons and felt it wasn't giving me the time I needed to get through enough, and I felt very rushed and stressed. Every two weeks works so much better for me, I feel like I'm accomplishing things now. smile


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