We often have people ask how long it will take them to learn to play an instrument, we tell them it depends on how well they want to play. There are a few different schools of thought on what makes a good music education.
We believe it is 10,000 hours to do it really well. Malcolm Gladwell has done a lot of research and found a lot of examples to support the theory that if you dedicate 10,000 hours to something you will become an expert at it. We know that some doubt has been shed on this theory but we still think 10,000 is a good goal if you want to become an expert musician.
We also know that practising for 5 hours a day every day for 5 years isn’t what most people have in mind when they sign up for lessons. We also know that not everyone want’s to be an expert, some people just want to have fun! So to continue progressing in lessons we recommend you practice each song/scale/theory/etc three times a day. This is any where from 10 minutes to one hour a day (depending on how long your songs are etc). Following this thought you will be having fun and playing songs you want to learn within your first year of lessons.
A lot of people fall somewhere between wanting to be an expert and only wanting to have fun. If that is you what you have to do is practice, practice and practice some more. Often what we recommend these students do is start to develop a repertoire of songs. Pieces that they enjoy playing, memorize and continue to practice while adding new skills and pieces to your repertoire. This is the most common desire of our students, to be able to play a piece and impress their friends and family. This takes 1 to 2 hours of practice most days of the week to achieve.
We hope this gives you an idea of what to expect from yourself when you sign up for lessons or decide to learn an instrument yourself. This is why it is so important to tell your teacher what your end goal is because as you can see the teacher teaches very differently depending on what you want to achieve.