How long should a musician practice

14 Feb Learn to play a musical instrument! Practice - How Long and How Often Is Right?

A question that both parents, students and teachers are concerned with when learning an instrument: How long and how often should one practice? What is the correct frequency and what do I have to consider?

There are of course many different opinions and approaches. However, we can determine a few things from our own experience and give them as tips.

At the start…

Learning an instrument is like doing sports. To begin with, the muscles need to be warmed up and built up. These are of course only built up if you train as often as possible. Training is practicing at home in music. Since the muscles are not that strong at the beginning, daily training is recommended. Even if it is only short training units, regularity brings quick success here. With daily repetitions you not only strengthen your core - i.e. the muscles around the mouth area, but you also deepen what you have learned. In addition to playing the instrument, you will also learn to read sheet music. And as with learning to read, it is best to repeat this every day. If you take too long breaks, you forget a lot of what you have already learned. This leads to the fact that one does not make progress in the classroom and so there is no success and ultimately also the fun of learning.

A golden rule to keep in mind in your daily study is not to exhaust yourself. Practicing a musical instrument requires a lot of concentration and sometimes physical exertion. If you exert yourself too much it happens that your concentration and the tension in your approach wear off. This in turn means that the learning success does not really want to start and in the worst case you lose the desire to make music.

At the beginning, 10-15 minutes are sufficient as a daily exercise unit. If you still feel like playing after that, you should definitely do so. Then just try it with loose tone sequences and pieces that you already master. The more practice - the better the success!

Training process

With a short exercise period, the structure and course of your training is particularly important. When you exercise while exercising, it goes without saying that you warm up before you really start. You should also follow this concept when training musical instruments at home.

So first of all you play yourself and your instrument warm. To do this, you can use the basic tone sequences such as scales and triads. Practice in different volumes (dynamics) and articulations - sometimes tied, sometimes pushed. On the one hand you can deepen the practiced scales and triads and on the other hand your muscles (mouth area), fingers and your instrument get warm. Then you can then - well warmed up - dare to play your current piece of music.

Set goals!

As you move from the warm-up phase to your pieces, it's a good idea to set specific goals. In addition to practicing the things you enjoy and enjoy, you should also practice places and passages that you have not yet mastered very well. This is how you achieve optimal learning success. When it comes to the tricky spots, it's important that you don't set the bar and expectations of yourself too high. Here, too, it's like in sports: no master has fallen from heaven!

You should not and cannot expect that everything can be played and implemented perfectly and in a controlled manner right away. Some tasks just take time and a little patience. In order not to get frustrated during the training but to celebrate a learning success anyway, just take smaller steps. In football, for example, you would try to hit the goal from close range and without a goalkeeper before shooting past three defenders straight away from the game. The longer you train, the better it will work out and you can slowly increase the level of difficulty. It is the same for pieces of music with difficult passages. You don't need to work out a work at the original speed right from the start. It is enough if you start slowly and increase from time to time. It is best not to always start from the beginning, but play the difficult passages slowly until they are perfectly internalized. This can be nerve-racking at times, but after a while you will notice progress and celebrate successes.

Most important: fun!

The most important thing when making music is having fun. You should feel like picking up an instrument. It has to be fun figuring out how much you can actually do with your instrument.

In the end, of course, the following always applies: the more you deal with the musical instrument of your choice, the better you will get. A strong approach, focused concentration, practiced finger play, excellent physical condition, a good memory for notes and a good understanding of music will help you advance and the more trained these elements are, the more fun you will be playing on the instrument of your choice.

Good to know:

It is also allowed to play an instrument in a rented apartment. However, you should adhere to the statutory rest periods or those specified by the house rules. In general, however, it must not be forbidden to play an instrument in the house. How long you can play depends on the instrument, the structure and the environment. According to articles on BGH judgments, the range is 1-3 hours a day.

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