Lesson Length

Katie Avery said: Jan 16, 2013
Katie AveryViolin
Whitehorse, YT
6 posts

I’m wondering when other people recommend an increase in lesson length. When do you go from 30 min. to 45 min. and then to 60 min.?


Malgosia Lis said: Jan 16, 2013
Malgosia LisInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
West Hartford, CT
15 posts

In piano I start note reading towards the end of book 1 (or in second half of book 1 for a bit older student). We also start scales and penta scales at the end of book, so for me a 45 minute lesson is a must in book 2. i usually move to 60 minute in book 4-5. The reading material is more extensive. Lots of my students do a little accompanying (mostly school choirs), jazz bands, and sometimes need help with music, we also do A LOT of scales. I am not sure how things work in violin but I remember my daughter moving to 60 minute lesson somewhere in violin book 5.

Barb said: Jan 16, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

Hi Katie,

I have so far played it by ear for kids. When I find myself going overtime or feeling like we really can’t cover all I want to in 30 minutes I ask the parent if we can change to 45. Of course the young kids will take longer to get to the point where they are ready to attend for 45 minutes than the ones who start later. In my short experience the girls have been ready to move to 45 minutes before the boys. My first year teaching I had three six year olds. With the two boys I could tell exactly when it was 20 minutes. Then I had to really change things up for the last 10 minutes in order to hold them. With the girl I accidentally went to 45 minutes with her full attention! I’m sure it’s not that way for every girl/boy, and that is the youngest girl I have had, so I shouldn’t make generalizations, but…

When I first started teaching I offered the adults a choice of 30, 45 or 60 minutes. After one term, they all opted for 45 and I have found that to be good (not that I never go over!). I now only offer adults 30 minutes for introductory lessons. After 10 lessons or so they all get 45 minutes.

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Sue Hunt said: Jan 17, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

I don’t know about increasing. I can always find plenty to do.

I remember someone saying, “Stop before the first yawn.” Now that’s beyond my psychic ability, but what a difference it would make, to general co-operation.

Sophia said: Feb 15, 2013
Sophia Kim
Suzuki Association Member
Vancouver, BC
16 posts

I always encourage twice a week. Smaller sessions with greater frequency. Set a teacher goal each lesson and get the student away from the actual duration of the lesson itself. Depending on the repertoire and age of the student, I would decide on what is needed each lesson whether it be once or twice a week—this of course is up to the parents. Vary the lesson, don’t always do the same ‘routine’ for example, always starting with scales at the beginning…try sight reading or listening to an excerpt to set an example of what is expected at that very moment.

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