Practice Schedules - Ideas & Suggestions Please!

Hi Hayden,

In the introduce yourself section you gave this examplary structure for a practice session to someone who asked about how to start. Looking at it, I realized that my practice is kind of unstructered. I play whatever comes to my mind, when I sit at the piano. I will start using this structure from now on, but I was wondering, if you could provide us (and future beginners) with an outline such as this one or even better sets of “homework” to give a structure to our learning. (Or maybe this exists already and I haven’t found it.)

Why I am asking for this: I have watched quite a few of the beginners lessons and I think I have understood most concepts theoretically, since you explain them quite clearly and in a very structured way.
Nevertheless, I struggle remembering the exercises, when I sit at the piano and I don’t know, should I be exercising scales first or 2-5-1s. So a cheat sheet for learners would be good. Maybe along the lines of “If you have 1 hour for practice, do this” or “If you have 30 minutes, do this” and with a supershort reminder of how each exercise works (eg. play the inversions, appregiate the inversions…).

Rather then having this in form of a post in this forum, I think it would be super helpful to have it as a PDF to download. Maybe even several PDFs (in the form of week 1 do this, week 2 do this).

I know, it sounds super “schoolish”, but I think it would help me and it might give learners the good feeling of having accomplished something (like: I did my homework for today).

Looking forward to what you think.

Cheers, Moritz

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Brilliant idea Moritz… I have created a new thread here so we can discuss it in detail, and I can post updates here.

Also good timing with this… @ken1136560 has recently requested something similar and I am currently working on it.

Here’s our current plan:

  • Practice schedules for beginner, intermediate, advanced, for 30/60/90/120 mins per day. What to practice, target result, repetition, next steps, etc.

  • Incorporate the iRealPro software, to run through theory drills.

  • Create numerous “beginner” practice plans to cater for the different level (and background) of students.

  • All the plans will follow the same structure but will vary in length to accommodate for the different amount of time each student has to work with.

  • we will also create plans focused on different elements of jazz piano, such as improvisation, ensemble playing, and also different styles.

  • I also think that moving forward, every course should come with a practice plan which gives guidance on how to drill and learn the material covered.

  • This would also be nice, because each of our teachers could give their own insight on how and what to practice, based on their experiences in developing their own playing.

This initiative will naturally grow and develop and I will post all progress here.

Any ideas, comments, or suggestions, post it here.


This sounds really great. I especially like the irealpro connection. I haven’t worked a lot with it yet, but I think this would be a really good addition! Looking forward to this!

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Yes I also think the iRealPro connection will be a great addition.

It’s useful for drilling through common progressions, and also just for seeing all of the 251s in front of you.

I will share an update on this soon.

An excellent structure Moritz, this would help me (and I think many others) significantly. A Cheat Sheet for Beginners/Intermediates/Advanced practice is what I suggested to Hayden, with versions for 30/60/90/120 minutes per day practice. I believe this would be high value, grow PianoGroove, and benefit many!!

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Brilliant… that’s all the information I need guys.

I like the idea of the PDF download. Perhaps this could also have checkboxes for each task to keep track of what has been completed.

I think also a blank version of the document would be good to encourage students to plan their own schedules following the format and guidance of our example plans.

Once the example practice plans have been made, I will create video instruction which accompanies them, to walk through them and highlight other important areas.


One thing I just realized while sorting some of the print-outs from the ressources section: It would be very helpful if hand-outs that have more then 1 page would have a page count and the topic written on all of them. You have done that in the “how to read Lead sheets” hand-out, but for example not in the one for triads.

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I really like the idea of the DIY practice template!

Great idea Moritz… I will add the page numbers to the documents.

Brilliant. I envisage it to be a selection of different length tables for the varying amounts of practice time 30/60/90/120 minutes - each table will have the following columns:

  • task or area of practice eg. major 251s
  • time eg. 15 minutes
  • tick box to show completion
  • maybe a note section eg. must work on key of F# Major or next time start on the ‘black key’ 251s

I also think that each sheet should have a ‘focus jazz standard(s)’ section so that once the theory drills have been completed, the student can then apply in the context of a jazz standard, and also use the jazz standard video lesson as a supplement.

Here’s a couple of documents, the first covers the foundations, stuff you should be working on every day as a beginner.

Download the first draft of the document here:

Practice Table Example 1.pdf (1.1 MB)

Ideas Behind The Layout

  1. Keys listed so that they can be circled once they have been practiced. This would ensure the student is hitting all 12 keys:

Covering all 12 keys is important, and it’s easy to get comfortable starting with the same keys each time. When they are in front of you, it will be easier to start at a different point to make sure that you are practicing the keys equally.

  1. Time allocated for each exercise. This will help you see your practice session as a series of smaller exercises.

This can be modified to suit the time available to the student

  1. Notes Section. This is a place to make little notes. When first starting out with these drills, it will likely be hard to get through all 12 keys in the allocated time. Make note of how far you got, where to start next time, keys that you found tricky, perhaps how this ties into another thing to practice etc…

The idea is that with focused daily practice, you will be able to get through all 12 keys in 5 minutes with your eyes closed. We maybe not with your eyes closed :grin: but you get the point.

Then once all exercises have been mastered, it’s time to create a new schedule.

This document is just a draft…

You will notice that there is a lot of space, I will be revising and developing the document tomorrow.

Here’s some things I’d like to add:

  • Warm Up Exercises, I was thinking Hanon 1-20 … Maybe @marc421812 has some ideas for warmups

  • Listening To Records, I think there should be a section where you select 2 or 3 albums, and listen to them every day for the duration that this practice routine is followed. Then once you start a fresh routine, you also pick a few more albums.

  • Jazz Standards My cogs are turning on the best way to integrate jazz standards. I will figure this out soon.

Lots of Different Plans…

There will be many different plans, for different levels & areas of study, each one will be accompanied by a video tutorial where our teachers demonstrate how the plan should be followed.

Also, here’s a blank version of this draft layout:

Blank Table.pdf (878.3 KB)

@Moritz_Gekeler and @ken1136560 … let me know your initial thoughts, and/or any more ideas with the document.

Let’s finalise the layout, and then I will map out the different plans and accompanying videos to be created for all levels.



The layout and content is excellent Hayden, exactly what I was looking for, and no suggested changes. Your suggested additional items make sense to me. Do you plan to include links to IrealPro files? Many different plans for different levels and areas of study will be excellent and distinguish PianoGroove. And everything on one page only please, with a page number and file reference in the footer. Looking forward to seeing final versions and using these.

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I’ll play around with it and let you know. It looks really great though!

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Brilliant thanks guy, I will revise them today, and create a few different example plans from different areas of the syllabus.

I had an idea late last night, which is that for most courses, it would be nice to have one of these plans to indicate the best way to work on the material covered.

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I’m going to start by making the following 5 plans with accompanying videos.

These focus on the beginner-end of the syllabus, which I imagine is where students need the most guidance:

Here’s the plans:

Plan 1: jazz piano foundational theory

Plan 2: exploring extended chords

Plan 3: rootless voicings

Plan 4: exploring altered voicings and USTs

Plan 5: common substitutions

I decided that the “Jazz Standards Element” should not be in the main table above. Instead, that table should be exclusively for theoretical drills.

I think each sheet should have a focus of 3-5 jazz standards, which I will select based on how appropriate they are to practice the theory areas on the plan itself.

Each plan will have 4 modules: Listening, Theory, Jazz Standards, & Transcription.

I’m still working out the best ratio for each.

The listening aspect can be completed at any time in the day.

To start with, the transcription element will be small, but as the student progresses, this should take up more of the allocated practice time.

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Personally, I realised that I do not use the note section much. Maybe that’s my own lazyness, butmaybe you could use that space also to give some hints on how the exercise can be done or how to vary it. But I think it works just fine like this as well.

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Brilliant feedback… thanks Moritz.

I will do exactly that.

A post was split to a new topic: Pro Member Dashboard

Hi Guys,

I figured it would be best to start at the beginning with these practice schedule/plans, and so here’s the plan, and the accompanying video for the Foundations Of Jazz Piano Course:

Foundations_Practice_Plan.pdf (1.9 MB)

You will notice with the document:

  • the overall time is split in half - 50% theory drills & 50% jazz standards

  • the “notes” column is now a “drills/variations” column which gives more specific ways to practice the general topic. @Moritz_Gekeler - you mentioned that you didn’t use the “notes” column and so let me know what you think of this new idea.

  • I’m not sure if the bottom half needs more information?.. other than a list of jazz standards to work on that are relevant to the theory areas. Any thoughts?

  • “Just Friends” is a new beginner tutorial I have recorded, I will be editing it shortly and adding it to the foundation course.

  • This is a 1-hour schedule, you can simply x2 all of the allocated time for a 2-hour slot. or x1.5 for a 1.5-hour slot etc. I think this works well and gives the student flexibility.

Now, here is the accompanying video:

I will add this to the course page shortly, with chaptering. I decided on 6 theory areas so that it fits perfectly with the 6 chapters of our video player offers.

It’s a long video (28 minutes) but I felt this was necessary to properly explain how to practice the material.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

@Moritz_Gekeler - please let me know if this is what you are looking for. From our chats, I think that you are towards the beginner end of the PianoGroove syllabus and so I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this explainer video, and whether the format works.

I want to create one of these for every course on the website, so that each course has a focused lesson on specific exercises and drills to work on, along with the accompanying PDF schedule.

@ken1136560 - what course(s) are you working on? I will create the same for another course, let me know which one you would like and I will get started shortly.



Excellent suggestions and materials for practicing! Dividing things up into handy, useful chunks is just what I needed, since some days I only have a small amount of practice time, easily wasted, but maybe other times I might have several hours. Extremely helpful, everyone, and thanks for the tutorial video, Hayden, packed up methods I can put to work immediately!


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Brilliant thanks for the feedback Scott.

I will be adding this to the Foundations course page shortly, and the 6 parts of the video will then be easier to navigate with the chaptering.

I’ll post a link here once it’s been published.