A teacher friend of mine doesn’t even offer 30-minute lessons. If you sign up for lessons with her, you get minimum 45-minute lessons. Awesome idea. I jumped on it a couple of years ago. Got a number of beginner students coming for 45-minutes and really enjoyed the extra time with them. It certainly reduced my stress level – I could afford a few moments here and there to take a breather rather than having to be on high alert the entire time. I had the luxury of a bit more time to do off-the-bench activities to reinforce some concepts.
At the same time there were a couple of families who specifically wanted to stay at 30 minutes – 3 kids in one family – neighbours – so I accomodated them. There were also some scheduling holes where I could only offer 30 minutes, with the understanding that we would move to 45 as soon as we could. The result is that I’ve had a mix of 30 and 45-minute beginner lessons for the last 2 years and can make a comparison.
Conclusion: progress has a lot more to do with the student – aptitude, attitude and effort – than the extra 15 minutes of lesson time. Unfortunately. I expected and hoped to see a bigger difference.
Next year – I’ll have a mix again of 30s and 45s. A couple of older beginners (9) I’ve got coming for 45 – progress can be quite rapid at that age. The neighbourhood families will continue to come for 30 and we’ll do what we can. I charge by the minute (the hourly rate is the same regardless of lesson length) so it doesn’t make a difference to me that way. Somehow things all work out in the end.