Quick Tips

How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano?

By Hoffman Academy Team
How long does it take to learn piano? Use our Piano Calculator to find out.

How long does it take to learn piano? Use our Practice Time Calculator to get an estimate

With our calculator it’s easy to see how much your daily practice time affects how long it takes to learn the piano. Choose any level, with any kind of teacher, and compare 15 minutes of practice per day with 30 minutes of practice per day. You’ll see how increasing your daily practice time makes a huge difference in how long it takes to learn piano!

This calculator is for all ages, including those who are interested in learning piano as an adult. It takes into account how long you’re willing to practice and the type of teacher you’re studying with. Remember that this calculator presents an estimate only. The actual amount of time needed to learn piano will vary.

Practice Time Calculator

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How Long To Learn Piano

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Discover how to learn piano with the right amount of practice.

Many people ask how long it takes to learn to play the piano. Maybe you have a certain song in mind, and you want to know how long before you can play it. Maybe you’re starting lessons and wondering where it ends. Or maybe you want to know how long before you can accompany yourself while you sing, or play with a band, or play hymns in church. The real answer to “How long does it take to learn the piano?” is: it depends! Let’s explore the possibilities.

How well do you want to be able to play the piano?

First of all, the amount of time required for learning to play the piano depends on what level of playing you want to achieve. A person with no experience can learn to play the melody of a short song in minutes. For instance, if you want to play “Hot Cross Buns” you can watch the first Hoffman Academy lesson and master this simple song right away. On the other hand, let’s say you want to become a professional classical pianist and perform crazy-advanced pieces like Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #3. This requires a minimum of 10 to 15 years of concentrated study with a master teacher, and hours of practice every day.

Most people who want to learn piano to play for their own enjoyment can get great results and achieve ever increasing levels of playing for every year of study and practice they put in. The more time you put in, the higher a playing level you can achieve. In this article we’ll outline the many levels of piano playing for beginner to advanced, and provide examples of the kinds of music you can play at each level. Finally, with our practice calculator above, you’ll be able to figure out exactly how much you should be practicing every day, and for how long, so you can hit the level of playing you want to achieve!

What can be learned on piano in 2 months?

In two months of piano lessons, you will learn how to play simple two-note chords and you’ll be able to play a wide range of melodies. See Level Prep A (Early Elementary) below for more information!

What can be learned on piano in 1 year?

After learning piano for a year, you could be starting Level 1A (Elementary) level. In this level, you’ll learn songs like “Vivace” by Gurlitt, “Happy Birthday,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and the French folk song “Au clair de la lune.” You’ll also be able to learn new pop classics, like “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.

What will I be able to play at each level?

No matter what your level of piano experience, there are enjoyable piano pieces to learn. You can find arrangements at your skill level for many of your favorite pieces if you look on websites like sheetmusicdirect. To get an idea of what kind of pieces you’ll be able to play at each level, we’ve created the following guide:

No Experience:

Before you’ve even had a single lesson, you can learn to play a few melodies. However, you’ll probably be limited to one hand at a time, one note at a time, with your hands in one position. Examples include songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Lean on Me.

Early Elementary: (Level Prep A – Units 1-2)

At this point, you’re starting to add simple two-note chords, and can play a wider range of melodies. If you learn piano with Hoffman Academy, you’ll play “The Wild Horses,” which uses both hands together. You’ll also be able to play the melody of some popular tunes like “Linus & Lucy.

Early Elementary (Level Prep B – Units 3-4)

Both hands can play together with increasing complexity. You’ve learned a few chords, like I, IV, and V7, and can use them in more complex rhythms as you play songs like “Jingle Bells” or “The Imperial March.

Elementary: (Level 1A – Units 5-6)

Now you can play faster songs, and are incorporating more dynamics and expression. You’ll learn your first simple classical pieces, like “Vivace” by Gurlitt. Also tackle a growing repertoire of simplified pop songs, like “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.

Elementary: (Level 1B – Units 7-8)

You can play songs that require more hand shifting, and you’ve learned to cross over and under with your fingers. Many simplified versions of pop songs are within your ability, as you’ll find if you give our Katy Perry “Firework” tutorial a try. In the Hoffman Academy repertoire, you’ve reached “Canoe Song.”

Late Elementary: (Level 2 – Units 9-11)

You can play one-octave scales in a few keys, stretch your fingers to handle skips, and use a variety of chords. In classical repertoire, you’ll learn songs like “Andante” by Johann Christian Bach. You can also learn easy arrangements of songs like “Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams.

Early Intermediate: (Level 3 – Units 12-14)

Now your hands are more independent, and you’ve continued to master the skills you learned in earlier years. You’re playing the famous “Minuet in G,” and more challenging arrangements of pop songs and movie themes like “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars.

Intermediate: (Level 4 – Units 15-16)

You can play music that include octave reaches, arpeggios, and constant hand-shifting, such as the lyrical opening section of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” and “He’s a Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Intermediate: (Level 5)

You perform at greater speeds and your virtuosity is beginning to emerge. You can impress your friends by performing C.P.E. Bach’s “Solfeggietto” and the full version of “Linus and Lucy.

Late Intermediate: (Level 6)

Your artistic expression continues to develop as you learn piano. Your fingers are comfortable with frequent wider reaches, and you can play four-note chords. You can learn to play most popular music and movie themes, like the theme from “Mission Impossible,” as well as many classical pieces, like the full version of “Für Elise.

Late Intermediate: (Level 7)

More complex keys and harmonies are now open to you. You can play more challenging classical music, like the famous first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.

Early Advanced: (Level 8)

Now you can play music with large chords at virtuoso speed. You can tackle impressive piano solos like Jon Schmidt’s “All of Me,” which is the music played during the opening sequence of every Hoffman Academy lesson.

Early Advanced: (Level 9)

Now speed and large chords are combined with quick, wide-ranging hand shifts. You can play advanced pieces like “Maple Leaf Rag.

Advanced: (Level 10)

With virtuosic speed on double octaves, arpeggios, large chords, and fast hand shifts, there’s not much outside of heavy-duty classical repertoire that you can’t handle. Pieces like Debussy’s “Clair de lune” and Grieg’s “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” are now within your reach.

Great Teacher + Dedicated, Hardworking Student = Success

If you are serious about maximizing your rate of progress as you learn piano, I highly recommend that you invest in a quality teacher. A great teacher will know when to push you to the next level, and will show you how to get the most out of your practice minutes as you learn piano. In fact, having a great teacher is the only way to achieve your maximum rate of progress. Read more about finding an excellent teacher in your area. Even with the right teacher, a huge factor in your rate of progress is simply the amount of focused practice you put in, week after week, month after month. Read more about learning piano by practicing effectively.

Is a private piano teacher not in your budget? Learning online is very effective too! Try online piano lessons with Hoffman Academy today!

Learning Piano is a Lifetime Journey

No one should get discouraged if it takes them longer to learn than someone else. The joy is in the journey! Try to see your piano study not as something you’re doing just to reach a certain level of skill, but as something that’s meant to provide you a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enjoyment, at every step of the journey. There’s nothing quite like being able to sit down at the piano at the end of a hectic day and play a favorite piece. If you’ve been waiting your whole life to learn the piano, please start today! You can start to learn piano for free with our Hoffman Academy lessons. It may seem like a long road, but in five or ten years, you’ll look back and be so glad you started the journey!

Happy practicing!

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