The question that most beginners ask their teacher is “How much should I practice my instrument?” Practicing an instrument at home is the most important part of learning a new skill thus it is vitally important to develop good practice habits from the beginning. Practice can become a pleasurable process, if progress is felt and practicing is encouraged. The only way to improve is to do it on a consistent basis and to make it part of your daily routine. In other words, practice should be done at the same time each day.
How Much Should I Practice My Instrument?
If you are new at your instrument, start practicing 20 minutes per day, 5-6 times per week. If you are intermediate, practice 30-40 minutes per day. And if you are advanced, practice 60+ minutes per day. Regardless of what your level is, practicing consistently is very important. It’s better to play for 5 minutes a day than a half an hour one day and nothing for the rest of the week.
Practicing can be divided into several sessions. If you have 10 minutes in the morning, start with the ten minutes and do the remainder at the end of the day. It is important that you are not too tired and you are able to pay attention to the practice. Take breaks if your mind starts to wander.
Practice Tips and Advice
Ideally, your teacher should provide you with a goal and weekly assignments to achieve that goal. Learning to play an instrument requires repetition, which can get tedious. So make sure to create mini goals that will not overwhelm you. And always practice sections that you cannot play well, not the sections that you can already play.
Practice slowly. If you cannot play slowly, you cannot play at a faster tempo. Practicing slowly and accurately is most important. Playing at a faster tempo will come naturally. If you notice that you are making the same mistakes, stop and practice slowly. Don’t practice mistakes and make that a part of your vocabulary.
It is also very important to expose yourself to live music, especially to the genre of music you like. The listening experience establishes a connection between practice and motivation.
Remember learning to play an instrument is similar to learning a new language. It requires persistence and repetition, but the rewards are great.