Often, I get asked what an appropriate length of time is for lessons. Many factors including attention span, age, work ethic, and learning style play a role.
Beginning Students - In general, I recommend that beginning students start out with 30-minute lessons once per week. If a student has a particular slant towards kinesthetic learning, 45-minute lessons may be recommended. At a minimum, your lesson length should provide enough time to assess what you’ve been working on and explain new assignments, with time left over for any questions to be clarified. Lessons at this stage build up over time to include a healthy “diet” of repertoire, etudes, and scales.
Intermediate Students - At the beginning of Level 4 in the NMS curriculum, I recommend students increase their lesson time to 45-minutes, once per week. Typically, we begin to incorporate solo Bach at this level which runs on a different timeline than the typical three pieces in rotation that students have gotten used to in Preparatory through Level 3. Due to the increased workload, students simply require more instruction time.
Advanced Students - When students begin Level 6 in the NMS curriculum, I consider them advanced students, and I recommend that they increase their lesson time to 60-minutes, once per week. Typically, we introduce orchestral excerpts at Level 6, which adds a third layer of study: Repertoire/Etudes/Scales, Solo Bach & Orchestral Excerpts .
Bimonthly Lessons - For students who display an incredible amount of discipline and who are beyond the rudimentary stages of building left and right hand form, bimonthly lessons may be an attractive option. Usually these lessons are in 60-minute increments so that all of the repertoire studied over the two-week period can be addressed, while giving time for assigning new material.
90 & 120-Minute Lessons - Longer sessions are only recommended when preparing for an important performance or audition, or for chamber music ensemble coaching. Usually, you’ll need enough repertoire to warrant a longer session, with the maturity and attention span to match.