Time for Daily Piano Practice

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How much time do you really need for daily piano practice? The time required to practice and make good progress varies significantly with each individual. 

But it is a fact that a certain number of practice hours are required to reach any skill level, and to achieve a good level of piano playing- you need to put in the time! Read on for straight recommendations about the minimum time for piano practice to make steady progress from a young child to an adult.

Quality Daily Piano Practice

Simply put, less time means slower progress, and too little practice means no progress at all!

Time spent practicing should be quality practice. This means:

  • Having a clear goal about what to learn each time.
  • Dividing the practice time into 20-30 min sessions with a 5 min break in between (necessary for the brain and the muscles to learn better).
  • The practice material should also be divided into “portions” that are easy-ish to master.
  • Hands should be practiced separately before playing together. 
  • Slow practice should always come before fast practice. 
  • Never allow mistakes to “fester.” As they happen, slow down, analyze the problem and work in tiny parts from scratch. Then polish until there is no mistake anymore.
  • Studying away from the piano is also practice. Read the notes and listen to a performance of the music. Study the score and “conduct” as you were conducting an orchestra. Study a phrase, then close your eyes and imagine playing it. Really get a “feel” for the music.
  • Constantly search for something to improve for each repetition. Make it more and more beautiful.
How much time should I practice piano?Time for daily piano practice!

Are you teaching yourself how to play piano?

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Time for Daily Piano Practice Per Age And Skill Level

How much time to practice also depends on age and skill level. Here are my recommendations regarding the approximate age of the child and skill level:

Beginner

  • Level: Young Beginner A (5-6 yrs) Start with a few minutes and gradually work up to 15 min. /day
  • Level: Young Beginner B (6-7 yrs) 20 min. / day. Preferably divided into two 10 min. sessions.
  • Level: Preparatory A (Approx. 7 yrs old) 30 min. / day. Preferably divided into two 15 min. sessions.
  • Level: Preparatory B (Approx. 8 yrs old) 40 min. / day. Preferably divided in two 20 min. sessions.

Elementary

  • Level 1: Early Elementary (Approx. 9 yrs old) 45 min. / day. Preferably divided in three 15 min. sessions.
  • Level 2: Elementary (Approx. 10 yrs old) 45 min. / day. Preferably divided in three 15 min. sessions.
  • Level 3: Late Elementary (Approx. 11 yrs old) 1 hr. / day. Preferably divided in three 20 min. sessions. 

Intermediate

  • Level 4: Early Intermediate (Approx. 12 yrs old) 1 hr. / day. Preferably divided into three 20 min. sessions.
  • Level 5: Intermediate (Approx. 13 yrs old) 1 1/2 hr. / day. Divided like this: 10 min warm-up, 20 min practice, 5 min break, 25 min practice, 5 min break, 25 min practice. Or divide during the day.
  • Level 6: Late Intermediate (Approx. 14 yrs old) 1 1/2 hr. / day. Divided as above.

IMPORTANT:

  • Piano practice time needs to be built up gradually over time.
  • Never go from little practice to several hours at once to avoid pain and strain!
  • If you have practiced too little and want to increase time, increase gradually with 5-10 min more each day.

Advanced

  • Level 7: Early Advanced (Approx. 15 yrs old) 2 hrs. /day. Divided into two practice sessions at different times like this:
  1. Session 1: 10 min warm-up, 20 min practice, 5 min break, 25 min practice.
  2. Session 2: 25 min practice, 5 min break, 25 min practice, 5 min break.
  • Level 8: Advanced (Approx. 16+ yrs old) 2 hrs. / day. Divided as above.
  • For recreational playing, 1-2 hrs per day is fine to continue making progress.
  • For continuing music study or a professional career as a musician, this time has to increase, at least in periods, up to at least 4-5 hrs. / day.
  • Adult beginners could start with 20-30 min daily piano practice and gradually increase to 1+ hour, divided as for the intermediate levels above.

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