Have you ever thought to yourself, “I don’t practice enough”? What about “I should practice way more than I do”? Many music tips and tricks say you should practice more, but that’s not always the best option.
You have a lot to consider when deciding if you should really practice more, or if you need to FOCUS your practice sessions more. Because more doesn’t always equal better.
Keep reading to learn more about why you already practice enough.
We all have different bodies that can handle more or less physical stress. If you feel tense after playing for a short period, you should stop. You don’t want to force your body to do more than it can.
That’s how people get repetitive stress injuries (RSIs).
I’ve been able to avoid chronic pain and serious RSIs while practicing, and yes, I’ve gone through both a bachelor’s and master’s in flute performance. One of the things I did and continue to do is monitor my body.
If something starts to hurt or feel tense, I take a break from practicing. Some of my favorite music tips are listen to recordings of my repertoire, study the score, or just do something else for a while.
If your goal is to become a private teacher or a band director, you don’t need to practice as much as someone dreaming of an orchestral job. As much as I love performing, that has never been my main goal as a professional musician.
It makes more sense for me to spend time creating content for clients, this blog, and my Instagram. That way, I can make money AND reach my goals as a musician.
Consider if your musical goals really necessitate hours upon hours of practice per day. If not, you may want to reevaluate your practice schedule.
Then, you can make sure you’re spending ALL of your time well, not just that time in the practice room.
Need more music tips for setting goals? Check out The Busy Musician’s Planner for a place to set and track your goals.
You should also think about what you’ve already accomplished, probably with your same practice schedule. For example, I became the co-principal flute/principal piccolo player my senior year of undergrad.
I didn’t practice more than a couple of hours a day. (Shocker, I know.)
All I did was focus on the audition music and made consistent improvements on it up until I had to audition. I was able to walk into the audition feeling confident and ready to play my best.
Whenever I feel like I don’t practice enough, I remember how I had that accomplishment, and I’d only played flute for 5 years at the time. Now, I have even more skills and accomplishments without an insane practice schedule.
You also need to consider your schedule. Unless you have someone who can financially support you, you probably have to work at least a bit. And if you’re still in school, you have classes, lessons, and rehearsals.
All of that takes up time, so you may not always have “enough” time to practice. You have to be able to work with the time you do have.
If you have a commute, use it to listen to the repertoire you’re working on. As you get ready for bed, give yourself a few minutes to craft a practice plan for the next day.
That way, you won’t waste your practice time debating what to work on. If you need help deciding what to practice, you can download The Busy Musician’s Practice Guide for examples and practice worksheets.
Whether you practice 15 minutes a day or 5 hours a day, you practice enough. You have a lot more to do than just play your instrument. So don’t feel bad about not practicing enough.
Do you need more music tips or help setting a practice plan? Contact me to schedule a consultation!