Most times, getting in your music practise is easy – we love music and we want to play to enjoy ourselves! Other times we may find it to be a chore, but rest assured that the time you put in will help you advance more quickly in your instrument. Read on for some tips and inspiration for practising!
How often should students practise?
Ideally every day of course! The more the better. But realistically 4-5 times a week is a good goal to orient around. Your Stormer Music teacher will set you up with a plan that has clear goals to accomplish, and check-in with you every week to make sure the goals are reasonable.
How long should practise time be?
Depending on age and ability, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, based upon the breadth of the material and goals. Generally speaking, more regular short practise sessions across the week will be more beneficial than a single 1-hour session. Talk to your teacher about what is best for you, and try to stick to it! Set time aside where you won’t be distracted, and try setting a timer to keep yourself accountable.
What content should be covered in practise time?
This varies greatly from student to student. Generally speaking, practise material should be covering all essential skills, such as theory, reading, practical exercises, and pieces. Definitely drive yourself to practise with what makes you the most passionate, and be sure to reward any scale drills or theory study by performing one of your favourite pieces.
Is warming up/cooling down important?
Definitely! Especially where the activity being practised demands it. In many cases – such as vocal practise – it is necessary to avoid injury and keep us playing longer! This is instrument/repertoire specific, but essential across all disciplines.
For younger students – should parents be involved in the practice session? If so, in what capacity?
This can certainly be helpful. Many younger students may not have developed time management skills, so the help of parents to encourage practice and setup times/routines around it will make it much easier. Conversely, having parents that are overbearing and treating practice like school work and a chore, can sometimes push younger students away from music. Finding balance is key! Feel free to talk to your teacher about how you can help!
Should it matter what students are practising, as long as they are practising?
Practise is only practise when it is targeted towards practising a specific skill, attaining a particular standard, or reaching a particular goal. If the student isn’t practising what is being aimed for in the lessons, perhaps the goal of the lessons needs to change to meet what the student is willing to practise.