This a common question, in particular for adult piano beginners.
How much time to you need to work on the piano to make enough progress?
In short, it depends!
I knew you would love this answer.
Let’s be a bit more precise.
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What is your goal?
The first thing you should ask yourself is what is your goal on the piano?
From there, you will have a better idea of how much you need to practice reaching this goal.
If you are a complete beginner, your goal is probably simply to get to know better your instrument.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a more specific goal right now, it will come later.
And you can, you should always revise your goals anyway. Nothing is fixed here.
How much practice time for a beginner?
If you are just getting started on the piano, it is not useful to set long sessions.
The recommendation would be around 20-30 minutes.
Less than 20 minutes and you won’t have time to really make progress. You need to set some time to warm-up, to practice basic techniques, and to learn and practice a song.
The most important thing to do is to set very regular session, daily if possible. At least several times a week.
It is much more efficient than trying to learn for 2 hours, without being focused and efficient. You will only get discouraged.
The most efficient way to keep going and make progress quickly is to make your practice a habit, a part of your daily routine.
How much practice time for an intermediate player?
If you already have some experience on the piano, you will benefit of longer sessions.
Ideally, 1 hours or 1.5 hours.
Since you are now able to learn more complex and longer songs, you will need more time to learn them and practice.
Also, you need to dive deeper on each technique to start to master them.
Now you may ask if it is better to have one session of 1 hour or several shorter sessions.
Again, it depends on you.
If you are able to focus for the whole session and if you don’t feel particular pain, do one session.
If after 20 minutes, your hands or fingers hurt, stop. And do one or two other sessions later on.
Working with painful hands won’t allow making much progress. And hurting your body is not a good idea if you want to play the piano for years.
Listen to your body and decide.
With time, you will probably improve your physical and mental abilities on the piano. Then you will be ready for longer sessions.
What if you want to become a professional?
Now that’s different, it seems that professional pianists practice for about 4 hours per day.
I don’t think that you should start right away with such long sessions if you are a complete beginner.
But after a few months of practice, you can plan to increase the duration of your practice and reach this.
Always be careful not to hurt yourself. Otherwise, you can end up with an injury or inflammation forbidding you to play. Not what you want.
Less is more
What I mean by that is that there is practice and practice.
Much clearer, right?
More seriously, if you spend two hours noodling on your keyboard, you should practice with a focus for 20 minutes instead.
You will make much more progress and you won’t waste your time.
I have done this so much, both on the piano and on the guitar. I would have a much better mastery of these instruments if I have followed this advice.
That’s why I highly recommend to practice with intention as I explain here.
The main message of this article is that you need at least 20 minutes of practice to be able to really improve your skills on the piano.
Set this as a habit, if possible as a daily practice.
If you can gradually increase the duration of the sessions, according to your goal.
My question for you: how much time do you practice your instrument? How often? Let’s start the discussion!