A Simple Practice Schedule for Piano Students

Below I have included a simple outline or schedule to help piano students and parents of piano students break down their practicing into segments. But before we break down the practicing time into individual chunks, I think it is important to understand what the purpose of practicing the piano (or any other instrument, for that matter) is, and why we are doing it. Here are some questions I have my own piano students answer (along with a free downloadable PDF you can use in your own studios):

  • Why do you want to learn the piano?
  • Why do you think you should practice the piano?
  • How long will you practice each day? When? Where? What are you practicing on (Piano or Keyboard)?
  • Why do your parents or guardians want you to play/practice the piano each day?
  • Why does your piano teacher want you to play/practice the piano each day?
  • What are your individual goals with learning the piano (for this year)?
  • How many piano pieces (songs) do you want to learn this year? How many will you learn per month? How many will you learn per week?
  • How many hymns will you learn this year? How many will you learn per month? How many will you learn per week?
  • How many pieces (songs) will you arrange this year? How many per month? How many per week?
  • How many pieces (songs) will you compose this year? How many per month? How many per week?
  • How many scales will you learn this year? How many per month? How many per week?
  • How many chords on the piano will you learn this year? How many per month? How many per week?
  • What will your piano practicing be like? (How long will you practice? What will you practice?)

Click on the image below to download the FREE questionnaire PDF you can use in your own piano studio or with your piano students:

 

Why do you want to play the piano by Jerald Simon - Music Motivation (musicmotivation.com)

 

I often hear from parents that they would like to have an outline for what and how their children should practice the piano each day. I generally teach older and more advanced piano students and adults, and though I give them an outline of how to practice and talk about what they should work on, I don’t really micro manage their practicing for them by breaking down every piece and exercise into specific timetables or playing each piece 5 – 10 times with the right hand, then the left hand, then both hands together (even though I tell them during their lessons that they should do that with every piece as often as needed until the piece is polished and performance perfect). Instead, I allow them to work out how many pieces they will learn in a year (20, 50, 75, 100, etc.). We can take that number and break it down into smaller micro goals to accomplish by learning, let’s say, two or three pieces per week depending on how many they would  like to learn in a year, month, week, etc.. In addition, I have piano students choose their own music (at least one song per month). I find it helps if the student selects their own music and has a say in what they want to play. After all, they are the ones who will be practicing/playing the piano during the week. If they don’t like the pieces, no one will enjoy the piano lessons (including the piano teacher, the parents, and the student). Here is a recommended or suggested practice schedule for piano students. This is only an idea or suggestion. If you have something else you are doing that is working, please keep doing that instead. This will give you a basic foundation or structure you can use with your own piano students. I switch it up and change the amount of time in each area. Sometimes we only do repertoire, and other times we only do exercises, ear training and sight reading. You can structure this to best fit the needs of the individual student. See what works best for you and your piano student and stick with that. Again, these are only ideas to help get you thinking.

 

Suggested Practice Schedule for Piano Students (feel free to modify any way you’d like)

30 Minutes Per Day (broken down into time blocks – you can modify these times as you see fit)

  • 5 min. – Scales/Chords/Exercises (use fun cool music that teaches them their theory the fun way)
  • 5 min. – Play with iPod (play by ear)
  • 5 min. – Sight read new music (simply open a book and play what you see)
  • 15 min. – Repertoire (music the students are learning and working on each day – I generally suggest at least 3-6 pieces per week with at least one to two of the pieces being one they have selected)

45 Minutes Per Day (broken down into time blocks – you can modify these times as you see fit)

  • 15 min. – Scales/Chords/Exercises (use fun cool music that teaches them their theory the fun way)
  • 5 min. – Play with iPod (play by ear)
  • 5 min. – Sight read new music (simply open a book and play what you see)
  • 20 min. – Repertoire (music the students are learning and working on each day – I generally suggest at least 3-6 pieces per week with at least one to two of the pieces being one they have selected)

60 Minutes Per Day (broken down into time blocks – you can modify these times as you see fit)

  • 20 min. – Scales/Chords/Exercises (use fun cool music that teaches them their theory the fun way)
  • 5 min. – Play with iPod (play by ear)
  • 5 min. – Sight read new music (simply open a book and play what you see)
  • 30 min. – Repertoire (music the students are learning and working on each day – I generally suggest at least 3-6 pieces per week with at least one to two of the pieces being one they have selected)

Click on the image below to download the FREE PDF image of my (Jerald’s) Suggested Practice Schedule for Piano Students. Again, please feel free to modify this any way you’d like:

 

Suggested Practice Schedule by Jerald Simon - Music Motivation (musicmotivation.com)

 

Click on the image below to download a FREE 4 page PDF resource I wrote on THE BEST PRACTICE HABITS FOR THE PIANO.

The Best Practice Habits for Practicing the Piano by Jerald Simon - Music Motivation (musicmotivation.com)

Below I have included some videos from my Theory Tip Tuesday video piano lesson series from my YouTube channel (youtube.com/jeraldsimon – I’d love to have you subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date with my latest piano video lessons, how to motivate teens to play the piano series, videos on music theory, improvisation, arranging, and composing, as well as the new music videos, and motivational messages I come out with each week). I hope these videos inspire you and your students with practicing the piano!

 

 

Here are some books I have written as piano resources for piano students (and their piano teachers) – you can CLICK HERE to see all of my books I have written featuring original music I have composed:

The Music Motivation Goal Book by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

The Music Motivation Goal Book ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $6.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Essential Piano Exercises by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Essential Piano Exercises ($25.95 – Spiral Bound, $10.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

An Introduction to Scales and Modes (second edition) by Jerald Simon

An Introduction to Scales and Modes ($18.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Many piano students and their piano teachers enjoy playing the pieces from my Cool Songs for Cool Kids Series (Primer Level and Books 1, 2, and 3 – including the Cool Songs that ROCK! Series):

Cool Songs for Cool Kids (primer level) by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Cool Songs for Cool Kids (Primer Level) ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Cool songs for Cool Kids (book 1) by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Cool Songs for Cool Kids (Book 1) ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Cool songs for Cool Kids (book 2) by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Cool Songs for Cool Kids (Book 2) ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Cool Songs for Cool Kids by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Cool Songs for Cool Kids (Book 3) ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

Cool Songs that ROCK! by Jerald Simon - published by Music Motivation

Cool Songs that Rock! (Book 1) ($14.95 – Spiral Bound, $9.95 PDF) (CLICK HERE to learn more about this book)

 

 

 

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