To learn to play the piano, it is very important to practice regularly. It is not enough to devote time to music, but it will have to be quality time in which we can concentrate and study. In this article I will try to answer the question: how long does it take to start playing the piano?
I will try to estimate the time it takes for someone who has never played to get organized, buy the instrument, choose a music teacher and take their first lessons, then study their basic technique.
I suppose all this happens in the time equivalent to a school year, the classic ten months from September to June. So let’s see how much time we will have to devote to music during this first year of studying piano.
Starting to play the piano is a project that can be divided into three stages:
- The preliminaries: everything you need to do in the beginning, once.
- The music lessons: ideally once a week, but they could also be less frequent
- The daily study: this is the most important time of all, because if you don’t practice at least a little, you are unlikely to make progress
Let us now analyze these three “stages” one by one.
Preliminaries: the instrument, the study space, the music teacher
Among the preliminary steps you will have to take, the most delicate is the choice of an instrument. If you have the space and resources to buy an acoustic piano, it will not be easy to choose it because yet you don’t know how to play it! It will be good to get advice from a friend who plays, or perhaps from your music teacher if you already have one.
Once you have chosen your instrument, you should set it up in a suitable space, that is, a place in the house where you do not disturb your family members and at the same time you are not disturbed when you practice. Playing requires concentration so the space where we study is very important.
Personally, I have explored every room in my house: attic, basement, terrace (yes, even the terrace!). The instrument will have to be accessible at all hours, in fact we will happen to want to play in the early morning or evening.
A third preliminary aspect is that of choosing a music teacher. Studying music self-taught is very difficult, especially for an instrument like the piano. That is why I recommend that you look for a music teacher, go and meet him or her and set up an initial study program with him or her. If you want me to be your online piano teacher, write to me and we can have lessons via video call.
Here, then, is a summary calculation of the time required for all these preliminaries:
- Choosing and purchasing the instrument 5 hours
- Arranging our studio space 3 hours
- Interviewing a couple of music teachers 2 hours
Let us now see how much time is required to attend weekly piano lessons.
Weekly piano lessons
Let us consider a class period similar to the school term: from mid-September to mid-June. Nine months of weekly one-hour piano lessons, to which we add another hour to get to and from the teacher’s home or the music school of our choice.
So it is 2 hours per week for nine months: total 80 hours that we will devote to piano lessons, in the first year of study
One-on-one lessons are certainly important, especially at the beginning so that you don’t develop defects in your posture, which will then be tiresome to correct. However, the most valuable time is the time you will devote to daily study. Let’s see how much time is needed, at least for the first year.
The daily study
Daily practice is essential for beginning piano players. You will need to find some time every day and have a lot of patience, especially the first few weeks. For those beginning to play, it is not necessary to play for hours as much as to have good continuity, day after day.
In my experience, a reasonable exercise time may be:
- half an hour a day for the first three months
- 45 minutes per day for the next three months
- One hour per day for the next three months
Let’s apply this schedule to six days a week, considering one day off. If you can maintain such a pace, by the end of your first year of study you will have practiced for about 180 hours.
Conclusion: how long does it take to start playing the piano
Adding up 10 preliminary hours, 80 hours for lessons and 180 hours for home practice, in the first forty weeks you will have devoted to the piano about 270 hours, or an average of 58 minutes a day.
Thus, it takes about an hour a day to start playing the piano, hardly an excessive commitment if we think about the time we spend watching TV or Netflix, surfing Facebook or in other nonessential occupations.
Thus, we have found an answer to our initial question: how long does it take to start playing the piano? About an hour a day for a year of study (40 weeks) will be more than enough time to get to know the instrument, learn how to study and acquire basic technique. You will only be at the beginning of the road, but you will begin to reap the first rewards for your efforts.
All that’s left is to get to work, good luck! If you have any questions or I can help you in any way, please post in the comments section at the bottom of the page.