The Cognitive Sweet Spot
For nearly all human people, 45 minutes is the cognitive sweet spot for focus and concentration. An hour is almost always too long, and 30 minutes is rarely enough, especially if the student has practiced and is ready for new material. Within each lesson we also have an underlying framework that keeps student strategically rotating from one task to another. It's a bit like interval training for music.
30 Minute Lessons are Actually 25 Minute Lessons
Here is the most fundamental problem with the 30 minute format: If you're a good teacher, you'll inevitably wind up with several lessons back-to-back-to-back. In order to stay on schedule, the teacher must stop the lesson a few minutes early so that they can get one student out and start the next lesson on time. You're paying for 30 minutes but only getting 25 - that's nearly a 20% reduction of your lesson time! If parents have questions about homework and how they can help their child practice, the teacher is forced to give as brief an answer as possible. For most parents, especially ones without musical training, that's not conducive to healthy communication and the parents have a huge impact on whether their child succeeds or not.
We Block Off Time for Teachers to Thoroughly Recap Each Lesson in a Relaxed Setting
Instead of doing lessons back-to-back ad infinitum, we intentionally build a 15 minute gap into the teacher's schedule after each lesson. This gap is a classic win/win because it allows the student to get their full 45 minute lesson and have plenty of time to ask questions before heading home. For the teacher, the schedule gap allows for time to decompress, refocus, and review the next student's lesson plan. Instead of being increasingly exhausted as the lesson day unfolds, our teachers remain sharp all day long.