Lesson length?

Sylvia said: Aug 31, 2016
Sylvia Evert
Suzuki Association Member
Flute
Inchelium, WA
16 posts

At what point in the rep or age of the child, do you go from 30 mins to 45 minute lessons? What other factors weigh in for you? Thanks!

Mengwei said: Sep 2, 2016
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
120 posts

I have some book 3 & 4 students that I’d like to move to 45-min lessons. They happen to be age 7 and up, but it’s not about age. Their pieces are longer, they have supplementary material (reading, ensembles, etc.), and their motivation and practice habits are such that they could handle the assignment load that comes from a longer lesson. The last one is key: if students are not practicing enough at home and are spending lesson time practicing, they really need to address the home practice more than they need a longer time spent practicing on the lesson day.

By early next year, I could have 7-9 families needing more lesson time (in some case it’s for the second child who is currently sharing the older sibling’s lesson). Currently, almost all of them are either the first lesson after school or in between two others, so increasing lesson length would require overhauling my whole schedule. I am definitely the bottleneck in this process.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 10, 2016
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

I’d say a 45 minute lesson is appropriate for those
- at the book 2-3 level OR
- for book 1 students practicing an average of more than 240 minutes per week, OR
- those at least halfway through book 1 and beyond the 5th grade (age 9 & up)

Of course these are general guidelines, not rules, and can always be changed depending on the students’ needs.

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