Practice Guidelines

Student Levels and Practice Guidelines

Levels. Seattle Cello Academy students are placed into one of several levels during their first trial lesson that provide a practice time guideline as well as help set tangible goals during practice. These levels also help determine the length of the lessons. There are two variables to determining the level: the student’s lesson history and age. Practice time increases with playing level and age. For instance, a student who has played 6 months but is 9 years old may be able and required to practice longer than 30 or 45 minutes. On the contrary, even after 1 year of lessons a young child of 5 years may still not be ready to practice 1 hour each day. The exact practice time will be determined by the instructor for each student specifically.


  • Level One
  • Early Beginner, first 6 months of cello lessons or 4-6 years old
  • 30 minutes per day, minimum 5 days per week
  • Level Two
  • Beginner, 6-12 months of cello lessons or 7-8 years old
  • 45 minutes per day, minimum 5 days per week
  • Level Three
  • Advanced Beginner, 1-2 years of cello lessons or 9-10 years old
  • 60 minutes per day, minimum 5 days per week
  • Level Four
  • Intermediate, 2-3 years of cello lessons or 11-12 years old
  • 90 minutes per day, minimum 5 days per week
  • Level Five
  • Advanced, 3-4 years of cello lessons or 12+ years
  • 120 minutes per day, minimum 5 days per week
  • Level PT
  • Performance Track, for serious students wanting a career in cello performance and available for students at any time
  • Variable depending on level of the student but begins with minimum 120 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

For all of these levels, the Lesson day does not count as one of their 5 practice days.


Lessons. Lessons are generally given on a weekly basis. Typically, the lesson length matches the daily practice expectation. More advanced students’ lessons may vary depending on preparations for auditions or competitions. During the summer, intensive lessons of twice per week or 1.5-2 hour lessons will be available as well.