Maintaining a practice regiment at home is an essential part of learning a musical instrument. Instructors often get asked the question "How much should I practice?"
The simplest advice is that the more you practice the better you get. As such you should seek to practice as often as possible. It is important to practice every day. Consistency is more important that length of practice time. For example, ten minutes every day is better than 3 hours on one day. Here are some tips to get the most out of practice.
1. Differentiate between "Practice" and "Jamming". Practice is a time to work on skills you do not yet have mastered. Jamming is when you enjoy playing a song or exercise you have already learned reasonably well. It is important to schedule time for both Practice and Jamming.
tip: If it sounds great you are not practicing.......
2. Consistency is key. Be sure to practice a little bit every day.
3. Reduce distractions and pick a comfortable environment to practice in. Be sure that your practice space allows you to use proper posture when playing.
4. Get a music stand! Without a music stand it can be borderline impossible to practice with good posture. Not using a music stand often results in a sore neck and or back.
5. Don't over-think practice, just get to it.
6. Practice incentives. For younger students it may be necessary to implement a practice incentive program. Here at SoFlo Music School we pay our students in fake "Music Money" for practice time. We offer prizes that they can purchase with the music money. Be sure set clear and realistic practice time goals. Sometimes just five minutes a day is enough.