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What's your policy on lesson length?


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#1 Piano Meg

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 12:50

Do you require or encourage pupils to have longer lessons as they progress? If so, at what stage do you suggest what length of time?

I find it impossible to fit everything into a 30 minute lesson and would love pupils to have more time, but I don't like asking them when lessons are already expensive (especially if they have more than one child having lessons). Any thoughts? What do you do? Or how do you manage fitting everything in?


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#2 Hedgehog

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 13:55

At grade 4 or 5 I ask for longer lessons. Sometimes it works - it's much easier.  However, I had one girl who managed grade 8 on 30 minutes and I really did not find that satisfactory at all.


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#3 zwhe

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 14:07

Most of my pupils don't do anywhere near enough practise to need more than half an hour! If they are hard working then I ask for longer around grade 5.


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#4 HelenVJ

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 15:01

My standard lesson length has been 45 minutes for some time - this includes theory and other activities. Fitting everything into 30 minutes was always uncomfortable for me - one of the reasons I stopped visiting schools as a peri.

Parents are aware of the length before arranging an initial meeting, so the cost doen't come as a surprise. Then after Grade 5 the length increases to 1 hour.

I've found that the more work they are given, the more they do - parents and students are encouraged by the tangible progress.


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#5 ma non troppo

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 19:01

It depends. I have two children who come for two lessons a week, both have one 60 minute and one 30 minute - they are both exceptionally quick learners.

Otherwise, around grade 6 I go to one hour lessons generally. That being said, I have one grade 8 person on 30 minutes at the moment as I can't find the extra time. She's actually very self motivated and is doing ok. we rotate pieces each week and it's working for her.
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#6 pianoisthebest

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 23:16

I've just changed my policy. 30mins up to grade 2, 45mins up to grade 4/5 and an hour after. Made my life so much easier! Feel like I can get stuck into some proper work rather than skim.
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#7 Aquarelle

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 12:04

I warn parents that the length of the lesson will change as the children progress. I reinforce the warning towards the end of the school year by saying that if I have time on the time table their child should have a longer lesson as from  September. As far as is possible my critera are motivation, ability to concentrate and the type of instrument they have at home because I don't usually go beyond half an hour if they only have a synthesiser. I have some quite young children who do  3/4 h because they like their music and are able to concentrate  for the time. I certainly can't imagine teaching the higher grades for less than an hour. I do occasionally get younger children who say at the end of the lesson "Is it finished already?" and that is my cue! Sometimes I take children in pairs  - beginners, 30 minutes and they work together. It works well with friends abut not very well with siblings. They normally progress to1/2h separately at the end of one or two years. I have some families who bring all the siblings on the same day. I take them one at a time and the others sit in another room and do their school homework while waiting their turn. As it's a block of time I can vary the length of lessons a bit if necessary. I have one nine year old who does  3/4 of an hour and is already complaining that it isn't long enough. I also have one boy who  looked at his watch frequently while doing half an hour so I was surprised when father asked for  3/4.  I didn't really want to move to a longer lesson but as it helped with the TT I did.The boy no longer looks at his watch. I think it has something to do with the fact that father bought a good piano to replace his sythesiser. It seems that it was worth waiting for.  :)


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#8 HelenVJ

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 12:33

Aquarelle - sorry to put this on here - I know some people get annoyed! - but I've sent you a PM (via Forums) and just wanted to check that the system's working (no pressure for swift reply) 
Same to Bremmer, if she's reading this.

Thanks and sorry again


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