How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano?

You are thinking about playing the piano but are unsure of the level of commitment required? If you are a complete beginner, you may doubt your ability to learn the piano. As a pianist and music teacher, I often receive requests along the lines of:

How long does it take to learn piano?

How long does it take to learn piano? 5 skill piano levels.
How long does it take to learn piano? 5 skill piano levels

Becoming a professional classical musician requires at least 8-15 years of intensive training in play under the guidance of a master educator and many hours of daily work and practice.

However, within four to five years of study and dedicated practice together, most people who want to learn to play the piano for their pleasure can achieve outstanding success. It takes only about a year to learn how to play and develop sound techniques.

You should be able to read sheet music and play songs like “In The End” by Linkin Park, “The Wild Horses”, “Linus & Lucy”, “Lean on Me” etc. after a year of constant practice and you should be able to reach ABRSM levels 1 and 2.

Determine the level you want to reach

First of all, ask yourself the question: “What does “great” piano playing mean to you?” This is the first thing we need to define. Wondering how long does it take to become an accomplished piano player or piano teacher?

You might just want to play a piano version of your favorite rock or pop music or easy songs. Or do you want to read sheet music and play classical music? Most things are very subjective.

A classically trained musician will find a professional jazz pianist enough good, but not exceptional. The reverse is also true.

I will divide the way into 5 main levels because in the last levels, people practice for hours and years.

Beginner level

When to start to learn piano? Beginner level

When to start to learn piano?

This is the first beginner level of playing piano. These are students who can hold chords in their left hand while playing the main melody with their right hand. The hands don’t really move independently, not just the hands, and neither do the chords.

You may be familiar with several I, IV, V, and V7 chords in some typical keys. Five-finger exercises with combination chords are something you really excel at. Piano keys begin to be deposited in your memory.

It usually takes 4 weeks to get to the entry level. Of course, this assumes that they practice hard. I sincerely encourage you to study with a tutor or a first-class program at this level. Early detection of errors is very important because they are harder to fix later.

It may surprise you that at this level you can actually play anything on the piano. You can get to this level quickly, and just as quickly exit. For beginners, the main problem is posture and understanding the location and function of the keys.

A good teacher is very important for total beginner students. It’s time to hit the basics of playing piano – note reading, good sound, and muscle memory.

Intermediate level

How long do you need to learn piano for Intermadiate level?

Many pieces and songs are available for intermediate pianists. They easily break chords into different patterns. The intermediate player can mentally follow other keys and are familiar with fingering exercises for scales in popular keys. They make sure that the notes on the staff match the notes they play.

The hands begin to play independently of each other. An intermediate pianist will be able to approach learning a new piece, even if sight-reading music is still difficult.

I assume it will take two months to get to the intermediate stage. To be honest, most people find this period to be the most difficult. You might think that nothing has changed. But it’s not. Your fingers, eyes, and brain begin to coordinate better and better as you begin to understand how the piano works. The most mentally challenging phase is this one.

You’ll be performing a lot of technical tasks, but don’t lose sight of the end goal!

Everything becomes much more enjoyable once you pass this stage. Believe me! You still need to learn from an instructor or an excellent program at this point.

Advanced level

I believe this is the point at which most people would describe your piano playing as “excellent”.

Advanced players can sight-read simple plays quite easily. They can already play some really difficult songs.

Although the hands are independent of each other, experienced players will still have problems with more complex techniques such as frequent and wide-ranging arm crossings and jumping hands on the piano.

Most pianists take about six months of the learning process to reach this level. For most people, the advanced stage lasts the longest.

Fortunately, most songs can be played by those at an advanced level; it just takes more time to master them. Your technique, music sheet reading skills, ear training, and song list are now evolving.

Be prepared to stay at this level for a while. The good news is that nowadays you can learn by playing new music and taking classes. This is where piano prowess is usually judged.

Expert level

Experienced pianists spend a lot of time honing their technical abilities. With ease, they can now play songs from any key of the piano and do a variety of activities. Simple pieces are easy to sight-read, but more complex ones take some practice to master.

At this level, you already have a solid technique and know many difficult things – double harmonic minor scales, whole tone scales, diatonic chord progression of different keys, double harmonic scales, major chord families, minor triad chords with chord composition, etc.

They can improvise using melodic concepts and pick up melodies quickly. When they write songs and we listen to their improvisations, it seems like they always wanted the song to be like that. In addition, they can perform some of the most difficult pieces. This category includes experienced popular pianists as well as classical music specialists.

Your piano teacher and the amount of study time will play an important role in your ability to reach the expert level. It is difficult to reach this level on your own, but perseverance can get you there. It will take most students at least five to six years to get there. Even with a lot of experience, getting better requires regular, focused practice and a well-thought-out strategy.

Once you get to this point, you should focus on expanding your repertoire and gaining as much experience as possible by playing various tunes at a high level.

These will be incredibly popular with professional pianists, and musicians who excel at playing musical instruments (think Elton John or John Baptiste).  This is what I would call mastery. How long does it take to become a piano master? It’s a lifelong journey!

Professional level

How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano? – Professional level

Experienced and professional players primarily differ in period and repertoire of pieces. At this level, the pianist usually masters the piano depends a particular style or genre.

All special tasks these pianists perform at an even higher level. They have a huge repertoire.

Most likely, they performed many works with the highest degree of complexity. Most people who watch Experts are wondering how they even managed to play this way.

People are equally fascinated and moved by the performances of these professional concert pianists. For many people, it is difficult to achieve such a high professional level. Getting to this level requires years of work and practice at an unknown rate.

Some people will achieve it as soon as they achieve the expert level. Others won’t get there for ten years or ever. Only 8-10 years of diligent work and teaching are anticipated to get you here.

Important Elements That Determine How Long It Takes to Learn The Piano

Many factors go into how much time you need to learn to play piano. Below I will list those that I consider the most important.

Who are you learning from?

Your main priority shouldn’t be time. The choice of your teacher is something you give serious thought to. Learning to play piano requires discipline and consistency.

Your tutor will unavoidably hold your hand as you progress from learning the instrument and music theory to learning.

Playing complicated songs, later on, will put you in a big dilemma if you develop bad habits and subpar techniques along the road. Every good pianist is aware that their level of proficiency is just as important as the instruction they get.

Your own practice, lessons, skill level, ability to read music, and life, in general, can all benefit from having a wonderful mentor.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano? – Learning piano. Group piano lessons.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano? – Learning piano. Group piano lessons.

What are the ways of learning music? 

There are numerous methods for learning the piano, however, some are superior or inferior to others.

I’ll briefly discuss the most popular ways to learn:

  • Private piano lessons are frequently the most successful. A good piano teacher will provide suggestions on how you can improve while guiding you through the process. Here you can find an experienced teacher in your area.
  • Group piano lessons. Attending a group class offered by a university or music retailer is an additional excellent choice. Good piano teachers will help you quickly master the piano, and the opportunity to listen to other piano students will make classes very exciting. You still receive feedback from the teacher, and it can occasionally be a little less expensive than a private class. You won’t receive as much feedback as in private classes, and you’ll frequently get stuck in the class’s progress.
  • Piano Books. There are a huge number of piano books available. They can be incorporated into your one-on-one or group lessons. While doing them independently is acceptable, they are typically not made to accommodate self-directed learning.
  • YouTube. There are many wonderful videos deconstructing songs and techniques on YouTube, so it’s okay to learn from them. But this is the least productive strategy for improvement.
  • Online piano lessons. Online courses have advanced significantly over time. Some of them, in my observation, have advanced to the point of group lessons. View an example of an online piano program.

How long do you practice?

To improve, you must have consistent piano practice time, but you must do it for the correct length of practice time. It’s acceptable to play for 10-15 minutes a few times a day in the beginning. Also, 15 to 20 minutes each day should be adequate for a child.

Beginners should start with a piano course of at least an hour each day for adults. Less will not demonstrate much advancement. This can take anywhere from two to five hours every day as you become a more accomplished pianist.

How regularly do you practice?

Daily practice volume is more significant than duration. A person will advance more quickly if they train for 30 minutes, five days a week, as opposed to 2.5 hours, one day a week. Daily piano lessons should be your objective, but this is typically not realistic. Try to do it at least five days a week.

What consistent practice are you doing?

It matters what you study as well. Playing a tune you know well or only your favorite songs for 30 minutes could be more enjoyable, but your skills won’t advance as much. Your practice sessions have to have at least 4 of these components:

  1. technical training (scales, arpeggios, etc)
  2. learning new information
  3. mastery of known materials
  4. improvising music (finding songs on your own)

You will be constrained in the long run if you prioritize one above the others.

The rush to play difficult pieces

Sometimes piano students ask me questions like these, or perhaps I should say make exceptional requests that never result in anything but failure and sorrow.

And I know why. I have one straightforward explanation: Lack of patience is the key to failure.

Imagine this:

  • difficult chords,
  • long passages in sixteenth notes,
  • huge arpeggios,
  • complex rhythmic patterns.

Let’s learn basic music theory and how to read piano sheets music!

You insist on learning to play Franz Liszt’s Etudes, but in the first week, you have trouble reading music.

You struggle to hit all sixteen notes in the second week and become frustrated with your development. By the third week, you have poor hand-eye coordination and exaggerate everything.

In the end, you give up…

Keep in mind that no one ever excelled at something by being impatient. You should strive for slow growth. It is far more satisfying to take things slowly and steadily to learn how to execute all the essentials correctly. Only regular practice time with increasing levels of difficulty will lead you to virtuoso pianism.

Are you worried that you don’t have enough talent? – No need! Regular practice and persistence are much more important. If you have any doubts, read this great article: How to Become Famous Without Talent.


Is piano really hard to learn?

Is learning the piano difficult? Yes, but how difficult it is will depend on how eager you are to practice! The bulk of advancement in learn to play piano is done away from your teacher during regular lessons.
You probably won’t advance as quickly as you’d want if you merely play once or twice in between your weekly courses.

Is it hard to learn piano at an older age?

Adult beginners have a far tougher time learning new skills than kids do. Children have the plasticity, or sponge-like ability, to absorb knowledge. This does not imply, however, that grownups are unable to perform such things.
Even if it takes more time as you get older to acquire something, such as a new skill or foreign language, it’s still doable. Adult starters are just as capable of learning as children.
Although an adult beginner novice will frequently suffer more with motivation and frustration over their slow progress, they too can learn! When learning a musical instrument for the first time, you must overcome a lack of drive.
Find a quality teacher (one who understands grownups who just want to play for fun!) and some of your favorite pop songs.

How long should I learn piano a day?

15-20 minutes a day should be enough for a child.
An adult beginner should start with at least 45 minutes – 1 hour per day for adults. In the future, this can take from two to five hours each day as you become a more experienced pianist.
And remember that the main thing is the regularity of classes and the right attitude and not the amount of time spent practicing.

What is the average time to learn a piano piece?

It depends on the answer to two questions – what level are you and what kind of piece do you want to play? To master technical complex works, longer practical exercises are needed.
For example, it takes years to master, develop and play well Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, Bach’s English Suite No. 3, Chopin’s Etudes, or Elliot Carter’s Sonata.
However, this can take 2 to 3 months with constant daily practice of relatively simple classical pieces such as Für Elise or Clair de Lune.

How long does it take to learn piano at home?

Reaching the novice level started playing piano, being comfortable with the piano, learning to multitask, and learning the fundamentals of music theory, such as note values, all take roughly a month. But it depends on your musical background.
If you don’t practice as frequently, lack rhythm, and have poor motor coordination, it could also take you up to six months.

How to make learning to play the piano easier?

Learning to play can be a simple, enjoyable experience with the correct tutor, consistent learning of the piano is a skill that takes years to master, even with all the proper ingredients.
My final piece of advice is to set your own pace and reasonable goals, take each lesson one at a time and concentrate on moving forward. You are capable of doing it.

Can piano be self-taught?

Can you teach yourself piano? You can, of course.
The main issue is that, unless they are motivated and disciplined, most people will just occasionally do their own private lessons and never actually develop or finish any piece of music!
In three to five years of study and work, the majority of people who wish to learn how to play the piano for their own enjoyment can achieve outstanding success.
Your development will depend on how carefully and effectively you practice at the level you want to reach.

Final thoughts and conclusions about learning piano and piano lessons

I sincerely hope you have found this learning chart helpful. The answer to our question largely depends on your goals, as well as the amount of time and effort you have. I wish you good luck and inspiration on your path to the world of master piano.

Love for music, desire, aspiration, and regular learning piano will allow you to enjoy beautiful music and your skill in playing the piano.

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