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May 21, 2024

Are 30-Minute Music Lessons Worth It?

Are 30 minute music lessons worth it?

By Sam Villano, piano teacher

Are 30 minute music lessons worth it? This is such a great question! 30 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but it’s a great place to start for younger beginners!

What is the typical structure of a music lesson?

While the structure of a music lesson changes depending on what instrument you’re learning, your age, experience, goals and a variety of other factors, most 30-minute music that I have taught in my career follow the 10-10-10 rule.

It’s simple! We spend 10 minutes warming up, playing scales, chords, arpeggios, and exercises. This lets us build a solid foundation for technique, making sure we are playing in a healthy way that will avoid injury, as well as let us start to unlock the ability to play more difficult pieces over time.

Next, we’ll spend 10 minutes working on music theory—that’s things like naming notes, practicing rhythms, learning to build scales, identifying key signatures or time signatures, and a lot more. This theory work may seem unrelated to playing, but it essential to understanding what you’re playing how to learn to play on your own without someone showing you everything.

Last, we’ll spend 10 minutes working on repertoire—that’s the songs you play. Sometimes, this is working on pages in the book; other times, this is a piece we’re learning outside of the book.

Of course, the lesson isn’t always exactly 10-10-10. Often, we spend more time in one area over another area, because we are focusing on a specific need or answering questions. I like to incorporate games into my lessons, especially for younger students, so we may even do 5-minute activities, depending on their attention span.

As a teacher, I recommend starting with 30 minute lessons for kids ages 5 up to 9-10. Starting around ages 9-10, I recommend families start looking into 45 or 60-minute lessons. With almost all 30 minute lessons I teach, regardless of the age of the student, I frequently find that we would benefit from more time if possible. Talk with your teacher if you think you should have a longer lesson.

For adult students, I recommend starting with a 45-minute lesson based on my experience, because we typically go into more depth on topics, so I find adults benefit from the extra time.

These age ranges are approximate, and every student is different. If you’re not taking lessons at all yet, 30 minutes is a great place to start!

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