Ah, the age old question. How long should I practice?
Questions to be answered first:
1. How old are you?
2. How advanced are you?’
3. What are your goals?
4. What are you preparing for?
A beginner should start with about 10 – 20 minutes. This of course, depends on how old you are. Very young children should begin with less than 5 minutes (twice daily).
After your chops, arms, and attention span have had some time to adjust you can bump your practice time to 30 minutes or so. Although if you are like me or many of my students, you’ll find days when you are so enthused that you take up more than 70 minutes or so. And, on other days, you just feel fine giving it your attention for 25 minutes.
I once had a master class from a great legend in the flute world. His name is Alexander Murray. I remember him telling everyone that he warmed up with long tones for 45 minutes and then worked only 15 minutes on each of his performance pieces. Hmmm.. I guess that would work assuming you understand all about fingering and music theory.
The duration may not be quite as important as the consistency though. I know that serious writers write every day. Even if it is only for 20 minutes or so. They write when they feel like it and they write when they don’t. This is how they become better at it. The same can be said for a practicing musician.
Set your timer for 20 minutes at first and then evaluate if you can give it another 20. This will give you a good idea how much you can accomplish. And, if you have a goal in mind for that day, you can find out how long it takes to get yourself there. Think of it as a game. 🙂