This is a common question asked by parents of piano students, and adults who are learning to play. The answer varies depending on the age of the student, their playing level, and each student’s determination to play the piano. 

Practicing the Piano is Essential

Practicing is the most important aspect of learning to play the piano. Through practice, the player improves their skill and overall enjoyment of the instrument. Even so, human nature tends to shy away from repetitive actions such as practicing the piano. Some people make the mistake of believing that playing should come naturally. If they need to practice, then they have no real talent. 

However, nothing be further from the truth. The old adage that “Practice makes perfect” is fitting when it comes to learning any musical instrument, including the piano. 

Piano practice trains your fingers and your mind. Over time, as you gain in experience, you find your mind and fingers work together almost automatically. It’s at this point that your style comes through, along with the personal flair you put into the music. This is why practice is important. 

Consistency & Frequency

Consistency in your training is also important. It’s not possible to simply practice now and then. Learning to play the piano requires consistent effort over time. Practice needs to be done on a regular, consistent basis to train your brain and help it become accustomed to playing. 

For effective practice, you’ll need to find a regular time and place that works for you. Once you’ve found the right time, then committing to frequent training sessions is next. By staying committed to this schedule, your playing skills will develop faster.  

Length of Practice Sessions

This brings us back to the question of how long to practice piano each day. This will vary, depending on the student’s age and skill level. 

For beginners who are young children, many piano teachers recommend 15-20 minutes of practice a day. Kids tend to have a shorter attention span and the goal is to gradually increase their training times as they gain more skill. 

Beginners who are in their teens or adults should aim to practice at least 30 minutes a day, for at least 6 days a week. As you grow in skill, then gradually increase piano practice sessions to 45 minutes to an hour, 5-7 days a week. 

This may sound like a lot of practice, and you’re right. How well would you like to be able to play the piano? What is your goal in learning the piano? If you’d like to just play melodies, then lessons could be shorter. If you’d like to develop to a higher level, practice is a requirement. It takes diligence and effective practice to develop as a piano player. 

practice piano article

Systems of Piano Study

Most systems of piano study are organized into 10 levels. Once a level has been achieved, the student should be able to play any piece at that level in just a matter of weeks. For students, it can as long as a year to reach level one. 

The 10 levels of piano lessons include: 

  • No experience: students learn one had at a time, one note at a time, with hands in one position. 
  • Level Prep A: students are using two-note chords and can play a wider range of melodies. 
  • Level Prep B: both hands play together, working towards more complex pieces of music. Students have learned to play a few chords and use them in complex rhythms. 
  • Level 1A: involves playing faster songs and using dynamics and expression. 
  • Level 1B: songs require more hand shifting, and students learn to cross over and under with fingers. The student may be able to play various popular pop songs. 
  • Level 2: one-octave scales are played in a few keys, students learn to stretch fingers to manage skips and use more chords. 
  • Level 3: hands have become more independent and the student continues to master the skills learned at previous levels. 
  • Level 4: students at this level are able to play songs with an octave reach, arpeggios, along with constant hand-shifting. 
  • Level 5: speed has improved, and the student’s virtuosity is beginning to appear. 
  • Level 6: artistic expression continues to develop, and fingers are comfortable with wider reaches, and the student can play 4-note chords. 
  • Level 7: at this level, the student is able to accomplish complex keys and harmonies. 
  • Level 8: students are able to manage songs with large chords at virtuoso speeds. 
  • Level 9: speed and large chords become integrates with quick, wide-range hand ships. 
  • Level 10: at this level, the student has achieved virtuosic speed on double octaves, arpeggios, large chords, and fast hand shifts. 

Practice through organized, structured lessons is the way a student improves their skills. With diligence and dedication to consistent and frequent practice time, students can achieve their dreams. It does take hard work, but it’s well worth the time and effort to learn how to play the piano.  

Conclusion

No matter your age or skill level, piano lessons are necessary to improve and further your skills. With organized, structured lessons, you’ll soon be playing beautifully!

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