Very Young Students (Kindergarten - 2nd grade) Should be able to practice 15 to 20 minutes a day Be mindful parents, if your child cannot read you will need to be present during practice times to help her read and understand her assignment. For very young children with short attention spans, 8 to 10 minutes twice a day may work better than one 20-minute practice session.
Elementary Age (3rd grade - 5th grade) Should be able to practice 20 to 30 minutes a day Goal: 30 minutes a day, minimum 5 days a week
Middle School Age (6th grade - 8th grade) Should be able to practice 30 to 45 minutes a day Goal: 45 minutes a day, minimum 5 days a week
High School Age (9th grade - 12th grade) Should be able to practice 45 to 60 minutes a day Goal: 45 - 60 minutes a day, minimum 5 days a week
Advanced Students (any age) Should be able to practice 60 - 75 minutes a day Goal to progress: 60 minutes a day, minimum 5 days a week Goal to exceptional progress: 75+ minutes a day, 7 days a week
Ideally, a student who has the desire to progress and perform to the best of their ability should set a minimum goal to practice as many minutes as their lesson time, and to practice every day.
The most important thing to remember: if a student wants to progress in their studies there must be consistent practice. It is more conducive to progression to practice a little bit every day then to practice an hour on one day and miss two or three days in a row of any practice.
If a student comes to lessons having had very limited practice time at home or absolutely no practice time at home, I may use the student’s lesson time as his or her practice time. Most students like to use this time in such a manner. We may play some theory games or study some music history, depending on each individual situation.
Every child is different and has a different capacity to concentrate during a practice session. It is up to the student and parent to communicate with a student’s teacher if there are any practice problems. It is very important to let a music teacher know if the student has any learning challenges or difficulties, i.e., dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, etc. Lessons and practice guidelines can be altered for children with these challenges.
Practice guidelines are the same for piano and voice. Some specific practice guidelines for vocal students will be discussed with student.
It never hurts for a parent of a student to check in with his or her student once a week by actually listening to a practice session and/or going through the assignment with the student.