This article is written by Virtual Piano Academy Founder + Head Teacher, Amy Jørgensen. August 2020.

Do AMEB piano exams and receive premium piano lessons online at Virtual Piano Academy

How much should I practice piano?

This is a really hard question to answer! It's like asking "How many hours a day should I study maths in order to become an Accountant?". Or "How many hours a week do I need to practice before I can speak French?".

The answer to these questions depends on soooo many factors, from the quality of your study/practice, to the support you have from your parents and family, to the impact other stressors in your life have on your concentration during your study/practice, and your innate aptitude for that skill.


The secret to successful practice (and becoming a great pianist)

One thing that's for sure though, is that it's not really about the quantity of practice you do, but rather the quality!

Most of my students over the past 20 years of my teaching career have achieved a piano exam result of an A or A+. Why? Is it becuase I only teach the most brilliant students? Nope. Not at all. Some of these students have been far from "natural talents". These are the reasons these students have done so well:

  • They have support, encouragement and a parent that takes an active part in their piano studies. This is extremely important to a child's success. A child who practices on their own for 2 hours a day without parental support simply won't do as well as a child who practices 30minutes a day with a parent who is actively involved.

  • They practice regularly (most of the students who have achieved A's or A+'s practice 6 days EVERY week). Binge-practicing just doesn't work.

  • They make practice part of their routine and stick to it no matter what. It's so easy to find an excuse to not practice. Perhaps the excuse is "Too much schoolwork. I'm tired. I didn't know what to practice. I don't like my piano teacher" etc. There's always SOMETHING you can blame for not practicing. But excuses get you nowhere.

  • They aim to walk away from EVERY practice session being able to do something they couldn't do before. Playing through your music once from start to finish isn't practising. That's playing. It's different. Practice means working on improving something and being able to do something you couldn't do before you sat down to practice.

  • They focus on the small details during their practice and make sure they are practising everything correctly, and slowly. Sloppy practice is useless. Why train your fingers to play something wrong? Slow and correct, with attention to detail, is the best way to train your muscles where they need to go.

  • They focus well in their practice. It's easy to be thinking about a thousand other things whilst you're practising, but this lack of focus renders your practice pretty useless. Try using your practice time to switch off from everything else that's going on. Studies have shown that people who play the piano unknowingly meditate. Focusing intensely on something like music for 20 or 30 minutes is a great stress-reducer and a form of meditation. Don't see your practice as something stressful you have to do. See it as an opportunity to escape the other stressful things in your life for 20 or 30 minutes.

  • They have a teacher who guides them, nurtures them, and is part of their musical journey, every step of the way.

My students who have followed these principles have generally always done well. There's no secret to piano success beyond these points. It has very little to do with "natural talent" and a lot more to do with your attitude and focus.


Do AMEB piano exams and receive premium piano lessons online at Virtual Piano Academy

Want to learn piano with us? We purposely keep our boutique online piano school small, so we can give each of our students the mentorship and guidance they need to achieve their musical goals.


The following are our suggested practice times for each level

  • Complete Beginners (learning for less than a year) = 10 to 15 minutes each day.

  • Intermediate Beginners (learning for approx. 1.5 years) = 15 to 25 minutes each day.

  • Advanced Beginners (learning for approx. 1.5 to 2 years) = 25 to 35 minutes each day.

If you're preparing for a piano exam, these are the recommended daily practice guidelines:

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC EXAMINATIONS BOARD (AMEB Grades): Minimum amount of practice required each day:

  • 1st Grade = 35 – 40 minutes

  • 2nd Grade = 40 - 45 minutes

  • 3rd Grade = 45 – 50 minutes

  • 4th Grade = 50 – 55 minutes

  • 5th Grade = 55 – 60 minutes

  • 6th Grade = 1 – 1.5 hours

  • 7th Grade = 1.5 – 2 hours

  • 8th Grade = 2 – 2.5 hours+

** If you've been learning 2+ years but are not preparing for exams, we recommend you maintain between 25-35 minutes of practice each day.

** If you're undertaking exams through a different examinations board (like the ABRSM or Trinity), these practice time suggestions will be similar **


Do AMEB piano exams and receive premium piano lessons online at Virtual Piano Academy

Want to learn piano with us? We purposely keep our boutique online piano school small, so we can give each of our students the mentorship and guidance they need to achieve their musical goals.


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