Piano Practice – how much should I do?


My last blog post focused on the amount of time it takes to learn to play the piano. I had some thought-provoking comments on this post – a couple of pianist friends reckon 30 years and they make a valid point.

This little chart suggests the time required to make real progress in your piano playing and it seems to be good advice:

1 60-minute Practice per Week = 2 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 30-minute Practice per Day = 6 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 45-minute Practice per Day = 12 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 60-minute Practice per Day = 15 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 90-minute Practice per Day = 24 Months Progress in 12 Months
2 Hours Practice per Day = 36 Months Progress in 12 Months

Therefore, if you can devote this amount of time to your piano practice every day then you should see real progression in your playing.

Little children really don’t need to spend too much time at the piano; it is better that they are kept interested in music generally and maybe practice for 10-15 minutes per day. It’s all about keeping them focused and making it fun.

For older children, teenagers and adults, it’s a tricky balance between spending enough time working on the more mundane aspects of playing (scales, technical work etc.) whilst keeping inspired and interested. If you can motivate yourself to do this, you will have won the practice battle! Good luck.


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. robertwoliver says:

    Finally – practice time quantified! Love it, Mel!

  2. Very interesting article, Melanie! Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  3. Ceinwen Bran says:

    All my beginners start off with 5 – 10 mins a day regardless of age – and they soon realise they want to do more! Even adults need to realise that 10 minutes every day is far better than 30 minutes twice a week when they feel panicky and stressed about not practising. The first month is critical – once they are hooked then its easier to do more. Teenagers I suggest 20 minutes depending on level but they have so much school/college work that even 20 mins a day will keep then going nicely. I NEVER let any one miss more than the odd lesson at gcse/a level stage or it screams “its not important” so if they are mega busy then I say “10 mins is superb to switch off at the end of the day” Alot of my adults are doing loads and loads – one guy aged 30 did an hour in the morning b4 work and 30 mins after – he did grade 2 in 15 months and got two distinctions. So he is proof that the more you do, the more you gain 🙂
    Happy 2013 Melanie and all her followers x

  4. Divya says:

    Thank you for this 🙂
    Really helped define how much practice is essential.

  5. Wow this was super helpful! That chart that walks through the number of hours of practice to get the results is incredible. I’ve always been fascinated by the piano but never was consistent enough to become great at it. I’m OK, but I need to work more.

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments. So glad you found this article useful. Best wishes, Melanie

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