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How often should I take music lessons?

How often should I take lessons?

Katie Hone Wiltgen, Chief Education Officer

April 29, 2024

You’re learning an instrument (yay!). You’ve found the perfect teacher for you (excellent!), and you know that working with this great teacher is the best way to make sure that you progress (so true!). 

But how often should you take lessons? Is once a week enough? Too much? How long should your lessons be? Is a 30-minute lesson too short? Is a 60-minute lesson long enough?

How often you take lessons (and how long your lessons are) can have a huge impact on how quickly and comfortably you advance. With not enough lessons, you may become frustrated with slow progress, lose track of your goal, or develop bad habits between lessons. With lessons that are too short, you may not be able to cover everything you want to learn. So what’s the right balance?

A traditional private lesson schedule is once-weekly 60-minute lessons. With 60-minute weekly lessons, you can:

  • dig in on fundamentals and technique: Your teacher can fully teach the necessary technique during your lessons and can then fix any technique issues each week, before they become ingrained as bad habits. 

  • build your repertoire: A 60-minute weekly lesson allows enough time to work on multiple pieces in a single lesson, meaning you move more quickly through repertoire and continue to feel challenged and inspired by your growth.

  • develop skills between lessons: You need time between lessons to put the new lesson material into action. So much of music learning (for any instrument, including voice) involves developing muscle memory, and six days between lessons gives you time to practice and really absorb what you learned in your lesson.

  • stay focused and motivated: By booking weekly lessons for yourself, you always have a reason to practice. The knowledge that your beloved teacher will be listening to you in a lesson every week motivates you to practice consistently and make progress between lessons. The external accountability that weekly lessons provides can be hugely important!

When might you need something else?

  • You want to make lots of progress quickly. → Consider twice-weekly lessons

    • The extra facetime with your teacher is irreplaceable if you want to progress as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Your attention span or busy schedule doesn’t support 60-minute lessons. → Consider 30-minute lessons.

    • 30-minute lessons can be great for

      • beginners who want to sample lessons before committing to pursuing more in-depth musical study. 

      • younger students who struggle to focus for longer periods of time.

      • busy kids or adults with packed school, work, social, and extracurricular schedules.

    • Consider taking two 30-minute lessons per week to keep the level of progress high, without losing focus or stressing your schedule.

  • You’re preparing for an upcoming performance or audition. → Consider taking two lessons per week

    • The additional lesson time allows for the in-depth coaching you’ll require to be super solid on both technical and performance elements.

  • You’re an advanced student or want to focus on other topics, in addition to technique and repertoire. → Consider 90-minute weekly lessons

    • In a 90-minute weekly lesson, you can cover technique and repertoire, and still have time to delve into lots of other fun topics too, like music theory, songwriting, extended techniques, other styles or genres, improvisation, and ear-training.