Robert Estrin - piano expert

Should You Take Two Music Lessons a Week?

A useful answer to a common questionq

In this video, Robert shares his thoughts on whether taking 2 music lessons a week is really necessary.

Released on September 24, 2014

  
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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to virtualsheetmusic.com and livingpianos.com. I'm Robert Estrin with a great viewer question: "Should you take two lessons a week?" Well, this is a great question. You know, we did have a question a while back about "Are 30-minute lessons okay?" You might wanna reference that video for additional information. But today's question: "Should you take two lessons a week?" Well, that's a really good question, and there's a lot that determines the answer to that question.

First of all is the age of the students. Sometimes, younger students may have difficulty sitting still for an hour, so two 30-minute lessons a week could be ideal. Plus, it gives the opportunity for the student to refresh the lessons, so that they don't forget what they're supposed to be doing during the week. Because I can't tell you how many times I've taught lessons where you tell the student everything to practice, and you write it down. And they come in the next week, and they forgot to do it. So at least if you get to see them on a regular basis, it could be very helpful.

But for adult students, two lessons a week can actually be a very, very big challenge. Why? Well, the teacher shows you a great deal of what to practice and how to practice it. And are you going to have enough time to devote to doing what the teacher showed you? In some cases, you might have two weeks of work or even more that you're exposed to within the first 10, 15 minutes of a lesson. I've had lessons like that. So, you have to know realistically the amount of time you have to devote to practicing. If you're in a situation where you can practice unlimited amounts of time, you got a great teacher, two lessons could sometimes be exactly what you needed at a certain stage of your development.

Other times, however, you may find you'll have plenty to work on for a week or two after a good lesson with a great teacher. As I said, younger students: two lessons a week, or ideally 10 or 15-minute lessons every day in a perfect world could be spectacular, which is why parental involvement on a daily basis with younger students can be really, really helpful for the progress of the student.

Thanks for the great question. Keep them coming in. Once again, I'm Robert Estrin here at virtualsheetmusic.com and livingpianos.com. Thanks for joining me.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Gib Rogers on September 27, 2017 @5:47 pm PST
My Mother taught piano in the public school when I was a little boy. Am 72 years old, now. Still playing the piano and taking lessons. My Mother's policy was to give two (2) lessons each week to the beginning students. They left their class during the day, and went to their piano lesson. My Mother also taught me piano, and yes, I took two lessons each week. As I got older -- High School and College -- there was only one lesson each week. I now see the value of two lessons each week for a beginner. However, I do see a 'bump in the road' for some students, since they now have many activities outside the home they are involved. Hopefully, two lessons each week would keep their interest and desire to play.

gib Rogers (Lexington,SC)
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Robert - host, on September 30, 2017 @1:55 pm PST
Today, so many kids are so overscheduled, that they not only don't have enough time to practice, but just getting in lessons once a week can be a challenge! But in a perfect world, young students would have daily guidance in their practice.
Edwin Hawke on September 27, 2017 @11:08 am PST
Just watched the two lessons video. My wife just retired, and signed up for piano lessons. Her teacher gives her an hour a week currently, and she practices in short 10-15 minute segments, about 4 times a day. She is making fast progress, and learning a new chord/hand position each week. She could handle, and assimilate 2 lessons a week, as she now has the time to apply. I am a fan of the concentrated approach where you get frequent short instruction, and practice as often as possible in small nibbles, to work out particular difficulties. I am also enthusiastic about playing with others, as soon as possible, in order to integrate the sterile learning into the overall art.
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Robert - host, on September 27, 2017 @11:54 am PST
Sounds like your wife has found a routine that works great for her! You offer good suggestions. Unlike almost all other instrumentalists, too many piano students go years before playing with other musicians.
Edwin Hawke on September 27, 2017 @1:37 pm PST
She corrected me... It's a 30 minute lesson. Personally, I found solo practice leads to slow advancement, but working ensemble speeds things right along. The bad part about piano as a party instrument, is your host has to have one... The good thing is, we can personally host more parties!
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