Our largest enrollment is for individual lessons at Music Pillars. Students attend either 30, 45, or 60 minute lessons depending upon their ability, drive, and musical goals. For most beginning students, 30 minutes 1x a week is sufficient for them. As students become more advanced, and their practice habits improve - then 45-60 minute lessons are the norm.
Weekly Management of a Student's Progress and effort
We have developed a custom system (we call our system Einstein) that allows students to track and record their practice time each day. It also provides the teacher and student complete clarity on the expectations in-between lessons. We provide occasional incentives and other enticements to reward EFFORT over time. This is because in music (and in life for that matter) CONSISTENT EFFORT over time will beat out talent every single time. Telling/rewarding an individual student by telling them that they have a "gift" or "special talent" is a really good way to essentially poison your child. Why? Because in music (and in life) your child will run into difficult obstacles and challenges that are not going to be solved with clever sound-bytes or tricks. When that time comes, the students/people that succeed are those that are used to having to work-hard to obtain something. NOT those who think that they have a "gift" or "talent."
Frequent "Friday Fest" Performances are an important part of development
Students who go to lessons and then perform once every 6 months (in May and December) WILL NEVER become good performers. Let me repeat that last sentence a different way...Would you EVER sign up your son/daughter to learn to play soccer by having them go to practice for 5 months and then play in one single game that lasts only 45-90 seconds? Sounds silly right? But time and time again we see students subjected to this ridiculous heuristic, and then we all stand back and somehow are baffled that a student didn't progress/improve/learn the piano. This is a terrible tradition that must not continue, and it never will at Music Pillars.
Students should be up on stage playing 2-4 songs every 6-10 weeks. They should learn and be taught to be confident performers....and that will NEVER happen with such little stage time. They need to be on stage more often, and they need to perform several pieces of music so that they are up on stage 3-10 minutes each time. This gives their heart a chance to slow down some, and so them to begin to relax while up there. This process should be repeated over and over and over again. There is NO SUBSTITUTE or secret sauce for becoming a confident performer. It takes much more time on stage than what is traditionally done. Too many teachers/studios focus on their student playing a piece of music flawlessly on stage. The emphasis should be on the emotional development of the student. Damn the notes...they will come, but more important than a perfectly executed piece of music is the emotional maturation of a child to learn that they can be in front of people, and be confident, and even enjoy themselves. Until a student can enjoy themselves and own their experience on stage - the audience will never be able to enjoy it.