The Power of Two Practice Strategy
Practice Less, Achieve More

The Power of Two Practice Strategy – Practice Less, Achieve More

This new concept  will have you rethinking  music lessons and practice. I’ll be sharing with you an insight, a secret, if you will, that I uncovered recently and I believe that if you take this insight and apply it, it’s going to make a huge difference not only in your child’s music practice, but also in their learning in general. But first let’s talk about the current culture of music lessons…

The current culture of music lessons

The current culture is this: a student goes to their weekly lesson, then the teacher lets the student go hoping that the student will practice at home during the week before they meet again for the next lesson.

Unfortunately, the reality is the majority of students have a hard time or lack the motivation to practice after they get home. But it’s not entirely their fault as you will find out later in my presentation. The minority of students that do practice regularly, do the best they can. The insight that I’ll be sharing with you today will help all students practice better in less time, even the ones who are already practicing regularly at home.

Now, let’s talk about the challenges that music students and parents face…

Students do not practice.

Student’s practices are lackluster.

Students only practice the easy assignments.

Students do not do what’s on their assignments.

Students forgot many songs/projects.

Parents are tired of nagging their child to practice.

If you are a parent and have your child enrolled in a music class, maybe you can relate.

So what is going on here?

Why aren’t students practicing?

bored girl at the piano

Doesn’t the teacher remind the students to practice? and does the studio have a certain requirement when it comes to practice? Don’t the parents remind them to practice at home? In fact, both the teacher and parents remind them to practice. But, is it enough? Unfortunately, it’s not…

We tell them to practice 5 days a week, 20 min a day, but it’s not enough to tell.

So what do we do? We expect the parents to do their job. Well intentioned parents want to force their children to practice, but the problem is students don’t want to feel forced.

And, what about how fast students forget?

This is what happens when students forget something quickly.

If they forget, they become discouraged and if they are discouraged, they are less likely to practice.

So just how fast do we forget? Well, as it turns out, quite fast and in a very short period of time.

In 1885 German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus did a research project on memory. Specifically, he wanted to find out how quickly humans would forget information after learning it the first time. This is the result of his study. This graph came to be known as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. It shows the decline of memory over time.

ebbinghaus forgetting curve

As you can see here, in 20 minutes after learning, we retain about 58% of the information, after one hour 44%, after 9 hours 36%, after one day 33%, and so on. This was a landmark research project because Ebbinghaus was the first to identify how fragile our memory was. Imagine, one day later after learning something the first time, we retain only 33%, which means 67% of the new information is lost. To put it in perspective for us, the time students get out of class, they start to forget what we just taught them – rapidly. By the time they get home, a lot of information has been lost and if they wait a day later or longer to begin their practice, they will have forgotten most of the new information. This is the reason why many students are lost and they do not practice or if they do, they do not get the maximum results. This study has been replicated many times since with similar results and the conclusion was unanimous: information is lost exponentially in a very short period of time… unless we find a way to save it.

And the way to save it is review and review often. Every time we review we bring the forgetting curve up and therefore retaining more of what we learned in our memory bank. Does that mean that we should review all the time everyday for maximum results? The answer is no, we don’t need to. Studies have shown that If we space out our reviews in a certain way, we can maximize our chance for memory recall. This concept is known as spaced repetition. So the real question is how often and when should we review so that we can maximize our recall?

spaced repetition graph

This graph shows the best times to review for maximum memory recall. The first and best review is immediately after class, the second best review is 24 hours later, then 1 week later, 1 month later, and so on. This is how we beat the curve and retain the most information possible. For our purposes of piano lessons, I would like for you to focus on the first two reviews or in our case, the first two practices: immediately after class and 24 hours later. I call this the Power of 2 because I believe this is the key to unlocking students’ practice success. It’s what allows them to practice less and achieve more.

overcoming the forgetting curve

Practice 1 is practice immediately after class. Practice 2 is practice 24 hours later. These practices are important because we capture them in the most critical times. Of all the practices that your child is going to do, these two will be THE most important and the most critical. Together they set the stage for what’s to come. If your child retains more of what she just learned, she’s more likely to practice after the first two times. This creates momentum and a willingness to practice more.

The Power of 2 provides a window of opportunity for maximum recall so we want to capitalize on it. It is also most practical if practice is quote unquote “forced”. Bear with me here because I’m going to explain to you how we force students to practice without them feeling forced.

It’s not enough to tell students what to do, we need to take them by the hand and “force” them to practice.

How do we capitalize on the Power of 2 and “force” students to practice?


Piano Lessons With A Twist
Lesson + Power of 2

How it works.

  • Students receive formal weekly lesson in class. Immediately after class, students go to straight to a breakout room online to review what they’ve just learned. Practice 1
  • Students come back the next day for 30 minutes of SUPERVISED group practice and on the spot TUTORING. These practices are offered 3X per week Practice 2
  • Total time per week: up to 2 hours 15 minutes.
    30 min lesson, 15 min Practice 1, up to 90 minutes of supervised practice

Why It Works

  • We capitalize on the 2 most critical times.
  • Beat the forgetting curve and maximize memory recall.
  • “Forced” practice
  • Practice is much more efficient.
  • Take them by the hand, no more excuses or confusion.
  • One-two punch for maximum results
  • Nip it in the bud

Students won’t feel forced because practice 1 is considered part of the lesson and is done right after class. Practice 2 is no different than, say, a parent dropping off their child for soccer, or basketball or karate practice. Plus, the group atmosphere and seeing other students doing the same thing make it conducive to practicing. The bonus here is practice 2 is supervised.

I am there to help whenever students get stuck, something a parent cannot always do or may not have time to do at home. I’m there to lend a helping hand. As a result practice will be much more efficient. I take them by the hand, no more excuses or confusion. The Power of 2 provides a one-two punch for maximum results by watching over their practice and eliminating any problem areas immediately.

And when we nip it in the bud, students remember more. If they remember more, they feel encouraged. If they feel encouraged, they are more likely to practice.

happy curly haired girl smiling

Benefits of The Power of 2 Piano Lessons at Intrinsic Melodies Music Studio

  • Students get lesson time and review time. Plus, they get a half hour of SUPERVISED practice the next day. And, an option of 2 more supervised practices during the week. Our online piano lab is conveniently set up for all practices.
  • Provides structured opportunities for students to practice.
  • Serves as a springboard that can create momentum during the week at home.

And the #1 benefit…

Power of 2 + one extra day of practice at home > 5 days of unsupervised practice at home done after one day of lesson.

But There’s More

Our Power of 2 piano lessons also feature the breakthrough Australian developed, playing-based Simply Music method that allows students to play great-sounding songs immediately AND the Better Practice App that helps students keep track of their practice.

All Together:

power of two
the simply music piano method
simply music piano materials
better practice app

The three pillars that make us unique among our peers and allow us to get fantastic results for our students.

If you would like to learn more about the Power of 2 piano lessons at Intrinsic Melodies Music Studio, I invite you to come to one of our Free Introductory Sessions and find out how we can have your child practice less and achieve more. Call our studio at (602) 327-0493 or click on the link below to register online.

Intrinsic Melodies Music Studio logo