A Quick Guide

1. Don’t practice too long (or feel guilty you don’t have the time).

Do you know the feeling that you procrastinate your practising for days and that you feel you need to practice an hour, but you don’t have time, so you don’t practice? The good news is that it’s more efficient to practice 10-20 minutes a day than one hour just one time. If you want to practice one hour, feel of course free to do it.

7 Points for practicing music more efficiently
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2. Plan your practice time.

Now that you know 10-20 minutes is enough, plan your practice time, like you would plan a sports training. Think beforehand in which hour you have time to practice 10-20 minutes.

3. Set short- and long-term goals

Think of what you would like to reach with your music in half a year or a year. You can discuss with your teacher if this is goal is doable. Then make smaller steps to get there, they will give you a direction of what to practice.

short and long-term goals
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4. Decide beforehand what you want to practice.

If you have only 10 minutes of practice time, it’s better to know already what you want to practice, so you can use your full focus on practising. Decide the song or piece, decide if you want to work on it for example musically or technically or work on the interpretation. Do you want to work on the whole piece, a part or do exercises?

vary practice

5. Vary the ways you practice.

Give yourself some clear assignments and vary them. Like: play the music slower, sing this part in chest voice and then head voice, change the rhythm of the song, play it with different fingerings, etc. You can always ask your teacher for input. The longer you have lessons, the more ways to practice you have.

Focus on things that don't go well

6. Focus on the parts that don’t go smoothly.

It’s a waste of time to play through all the piece every time you practice if there are parts that are still difficult for you. Isolate them and practice them separately.

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7. Don’t blame yourself for your mistakes

Making mistakes is part of the learning process. The more you focus on how bad it is you make the mistake, the less likely you will solve your problem with the passage. Use point 5 and 6 to try to improve yourself. If you can’t solve it, ask your teachers for other ways to practice.