“Learning a musical instrument is unlike almost any other endeavor a young child attempts. Virtually no other activity requires the same kind of weekly private instruction, the intense individual effort that must continue over a period of several years, and, most of all, the daily practice that is so essential to learning to play piano, guitar, violin, or any other instrument.

Quite simply, music education requires practice. And not just sitting down at the instrument for five minutes. Playing a few notes and declaring yourself done doesn’t do it.

What is the difference between playing the piano and practicing the piano? Should students just play through their songs for fun and enjoyment, or should we help them think critically about practice and progess?

No matter what your student’s goal is, the path to that goal is practice – and not just mindless playing through songs and assignments, but goal-oriented practice. And where might you find goals for your student each week? That’s right! Their goals are listed on their weekly assignment sheet. Please take time to read your student’s assignment with them each week and talk about their goals for each song. Often you’ll see steps and practice suggestions written there as well.

So how long should students practice?

Read more thoughts from Karen Berger.