Students who practice thirty minutes on a regular basis during the week (5-7 days) will progress well. Those students who consistently practice will either learn a new song(s) or something new at almost every lesson! Weekly lessons should be filled with review as well as learning something new. They are not for practicing since that should be done at home during the week. Generally students can complete 1 level/grade in 1 year sometimes 2 if the student is diligent and responsible with practice.
I suggest starting with a warm up (flash card or technical requirements-scales, chords, formula patterns, arpeggios, chromatic scales etc) for 5- 10 minutes, then play songs 3x in a row to obtain accuracy with notes/rhythm, followed by some sight reading/ear training, depending on what the student is working on. Once accuracy is achieved students should then work on dynamics. Once accuracy of notes, rhythm and dynamics are grasped students should then move on to proper tempo marking. Remember , students can also break up their practice times if it helps make practising at home easier. Practice times can be broken up into two 15 minute sessions in a day or three 10 minute sessions. Do whatever works, as long as students are practicing 30 min for 5- 7 days a week.
Parents are highly encouraged to attend their children’s lessons in order to understand what their child is currently working on, and what they should be listening for at home during their practice time. Parents are then able to help and direct their child at their practice time. Even sitting and listening will encourage the child to practice properly. By attending lessons, parents will be informed of the necessary requirements for their weekly practice at home. Children generally want to excel in front of their parents so this will encourage students to practice . Lessons can be thought of as the student’s time to shine, where they can show what their hard work and practice all week has enabled him/her to do!
A big THNK YOU to those parents who attend every lesson!! Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout your child’s musical journey. Also, thank you to the students who consistently practice every week. Thank you for your hard work, dedication and diligence. It is very much appreciated as a teacher!
Jenny Chan, piano teacher