You’ve found a great music teacher and are ready to book – but if you’re not sure about the ideal music lesson length, you’re not alone! Read on for some helpful advice from Greensboro, NC teacher Alanna H...
How long should a lesson be? This is a question that often perplexes students and teachers alike. There is no easy answer, as the ideal length of a lesson will vary depending on the level of the student, the type of music being studied, and other factors.
However, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine how long your lesson should be.
Read on to learn more!
How Long is a Typical Music Lesson?
There’s no single best length for a lesson. Some common music lesson length options include:
- 30 minutes
- 45 minutes
- 60 minutes
- 90 minutes
The more focused and individualized your lesson is, the shorter it can be. Larger group lessons are usually a bit longer since you won’t be “on” the entire time.
Working with a talented teacher in small group lessons is a great way to learn – you’ll get strength in numbers but you can still ask all the questions you need to ask.
Learn more about some of the skills and techniques you might pick up in a lesson by watching the video below. It highlights the special benefits of music lessons for kids!:
How to Choose the Music Lesson Length That’s Right for You
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right music lesson length.
First, what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? The more ambitious your goal is, the longer your lessons should be.
What are your concentration levels like? If you find that you have a hard time concentrating for extended periods of time, then a shorter lesson might be better so that you don’t lose focus. Remember that your ability to concentrate is impacted by your ability, experience, and of course, your teacher’s ability to keep you engaged.
While we’re on the subject of ability and experience, it’s important to note that the more experience you have – and the more skill you have – the more likely it is that you will be able to stay focused for long periods of time.
What is your budget? While a longer music lesson length might be ideal, that might not be possible if you can only afford a half hour lesson.
Make sure you’re still practicing at home regardless of how long your lessons are. If you aren’t practicing consistently, a shorter lesson might be better so that it gives you the time to develop better habits in your practice routine at home.
Finally, the teacher. The right music teacher will help you stay focused for much longer – allowing for a longer music lesson length – than one who is not the most helpful.
How Long Should Beginner Music Lessons Be?
When first starting lessons, either for your child or yourself, it’s hard to know how long your lessons should be. Eventually many students can work up to 60-minute lessons if they want to, but where is a good place to start? Here’s my advice:
–Young children (elementary school and most middle schoolers)
–Students who have never played the instrument before
30-minute lessons are great for young children and people brand new to the instrument. If you have a young child (middle school or younger) who is new to the instrument, I would definitely start with half an hour.
Music lessons for kids shouldn’t be too long or your child might become bored or worse, disenchanted and frustrated with the entire experience. You don’t want to turn them off on music for the rest of their lives!
In addition to not having the playing endurance, young students often don’t have the attention span to get full use of an hour or a 45-minute lesson. There are of course always exceptions, but that is a good rule of thumb. Adult beginners might also find that 30 minutes is the best for them endurance-wise.
–Children who are serious about learning the instrument
–Adult students who have never played before
45-minute lessons are great for adult beginners, high schoolers, and younger children with a keen interest in music and longer-than-average attention span.
Voice lessons should usually be 45 minutes or longer, too. That’s because it takes a while to get the voice warmed up, so you’ll have better results by giving yourself more time in your routine.
For serious music students, or students preparing for auditions or competitions, 60-minute lessons are ideal. An ideal candidate for a 60-minute lesson practices regularly and therefore has built up the playing endurance to feel comfortable all the way through the lesson.
What Do You Learn in Music Class?
In a lesson – really, regardless of the music lesson length – there are a few key elements you’ll cover. These include:
- The proper posture for playing your instrument
- Finger position and technique
- Music theory and music history
- Technical exercises like scales, rhythms, and arpeggios
- Various pieces that teach certain rudiments and the other elements of good playing
You’ll learn various skills that are relevant to the instrument being taught (and yes, your voice counts as an instrument). Some lessons are one-on-one while others are taught in groups.
You might be assigned technical exercises, warm-up drills, and musical pieces to help you improve your musical skills. You may even be given exams!
If you take online music lessons, you might learn these things through technology tools like webcams, videotelephony, and microphones.
Is a 30 Minute Music Lesson Enough?
Think carefully about your goals when you’re trying to find the right music lesson length. In most cases, 30 minutes is more than long enough to help you meet your musical aspirations.
So, what is the best way to structure a lesson? The answer may surprise you. Lessons should be around 30 minutes long. This amount of time is ideal because it allows you to focus and learn without becoming overwhelmed or bored.
Music lesson length can also be determined by the actual time you have available, as well as budget, and those are perfectly acceptable reasons to choose a certain lesson length. If you still feel unsure about how long the first music lessons should be, contact a TakeLessons Student Counselor, or speak with your teacher about your goals, experience, and schedule prior to your first lesson to get a recommendation.
Alanna H. teaches music theory, clarinet, and saxophone lessons in Greensboro, NC. She received her degree in Music Performance (Saxophone) from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Learn more about Alanna here!
Photo by woodleywonderworks