As professional music teachers, ‘ How often should I practice music? ’ is a question we hear an awful lot. Like anything else in life the more you practice the better you will become. We know you want to get the most out of practice and we know traditionally it might have been a pain, so we’ve compiled some Music Rooms techniques and tips to make it as enjoyable and effective as possible. You may be glad to know that we don’t recommend endless hours upon hours of gruelling slog.
You need to have a focus
A good music teacher (like the awesome ones at The Music Rooms) will only ever give you three to four things to focus on in any given week. If you don’t have a clear idea or focus on what you are trying to improve on with your practice sessions then the whole idea of practice could seem overwhelming. So if your are picking out things to go over yourself, only choose a few such as two scales and a certain difficult chord and set a time frame of say a week to focus on these items and get really good at them. Clear focus within a definite time period is the key here.
Frequency is crucial
You may be surprised to hear that practising three to five minutes everyday is much better than doing a whole hour but only doing it once a week. This is because the benefit of practice lies in the familiarity. This daily repetition allows us to memorise our notes, chords and rhythms.
Remember, the aim is not to chalk up hours spent to get a tick from your teacher, it is to improve on your instrument and this comes from building on each skill your learn. Your brain and muscles will learn from repetition even if this is only five minutes everyday.
Some people find practising for 15 minutes every other day works best for them. That’s fine too, but never have a two day gap between practice sessions.
Are you up for the challenge?
Always ask your teacher for something that will challenge you. This will give you the motivation to practice more. If the items you are practising are not challenging, you will begin to see practice as a bore and not a challenge. You will also benefit from a sense of achievement when you crack it if the items you have focussed on have pushed you to succeed.
Practice makes perfect
If you follow the three simple concepts above when it comes to your music practice you should see a vast improvement. You need to practice not for lengthy periods of time but often, you need to be challenged and you need to have around three to four items which you can focus on over a set period of say a week so that your practice sessions have a defined purpose.
Musical practice should be enjoyable and a means to develop and progress your musical skills and journey. As we said above you only need to do five minutes per day on something that is challenging for you, which is more than doable for anyone and is certainly not as terrifying as a dreaded hour of practice. If you can get into the mind-frame of wanting to do it because it makes you better rather than having to do it and seeing it as a chore you will reap the rewards.