Developing a daily practice routine and sticking to it is essential to mastering the piano. Daily piano practice must assume the same priority as homework and sports. I recommend that beginning and intermediate students practice a minimum of 30-45 minutes every day and advanced students 1-2 hours daily. Students with professional aspirations should practice 2-3 hours daily.
In order to practice effectively, be sure that:
• Fingernails are kept short
• The piano is in a quiet area away from family distractions
• The bench is at the correct height and distance from piano
• Pencil, metronome, and CD player or listening device are nearby
• Piano is in tune and in working order
• Level 3 and above must practice on an acoustic piano
Parents are responsible for establishing a practice routine in the home and helping students stick to it. Writing the practice time on a family master schedule and/or keeping a record of weekly practice can be very helpful. Although completion of all parts of the assignment is more important than the amount of time spent “on the bench,” increasing focused practice time will develop concentration and pianistic development. Young students may divide practice into two short sessions rather than one long one. Practice charts with stickers or additional screen time can be effective incentives. To aid in monitoring progress, parents should check the assignment book weekly.