Practicing Guidelines

Practicing deserves careful consideration! 

Take note: Students who practice consistently and follow the instructions from their teacher advance more rapidly than those who do not!!

What is practice?

  • Practice is where you work on the assignment your teacher has given you.
  • Practice includes learning new pieces, but your work does not stop there!
  • Practice means improving your technique and focusing on small details in your music.
  • It’s important to pay attention to your form and repeat things several times.

How often should you practice?

  • Practice every day if you can. Try to get in at least 4 or 5 practices each week.
  • Taking a lesson does not count as practice—in fact it’s a good idea to practice right after a lesson, while the information is still fresh in your mind.
  • Playing in orchestra or band does not count as practice either!

How long should you practice?

  • Beginning students should practice 15-20 minutes a day. The ideal situation for a very young student would be 5-10 minutes twice a day.
  • By the time a student is finished with entry tunes like Twinkle, the daily practice time should be 20-30 minutes per day.
  • By the time a student is has played for about a year s/he should be practicing at least 30 minutes a day.
  • After that ask your teacher how much you should practice.

Having trouble getting your practice in?

  • Please discuss it with your teacher. Perhaps you can find a solution together!
  • If your schedule is really tight please practice for just 5 minutes! Getting your hands on the instrument—just for one scale or tune—is better than completely skipping a day.

These activities will compliment a good practice routine:

  • Listening to music is a vital component of your musical education! Please take listening assignments seriously. Listen to music as much as you can. A good recording may make you feel inspired to practice!
  • Listen to recordings of the music you are learning.
  • Go to concerts.
  • Turn on the radio or play a CD in the car.

Playing with other musicians is one of the most motivating forces known to musicians. There’s nothing like it to inspire you.

  • Join one of the C4A groups
  • Get together and play music with your friends
  • Play in school groups

Performing music for live audiences is another great way to get psyched up for practicing.

  • If you’re in a C4A group or school group you’ll have some performance opportunities automatically.
  • Perform on one of our recitals. Don’t be afraid—they are designed to support you and they can be really fun!
  • Volunteer to play at a school, church, or social function.

Perform for family and friends–they would love to hear you play!