Learn How to Practice Violin Effectively in Less Time

by Michael Sanchez April 05, 2016 1 Comment

Learn How to Practice Violin Effectively in Less Time

The Common Problem We All Face – TIME!

Have you ever heard yourself say, “I don’t have enough time to practice”?

You may feel that a lack of time keeps you from progressing, and practicing can become like a chore. Do you feel that you can’t get as good a sound on the violin as one of those prodigy students who probably practices three hours a day?

Here is an eye-opening reality: some of my most successful students practice only 60 minutes per week.

I can picture them right now. Their success wasn’t due to how much they practiced–it was a result of how they practiced. They learned how to practice properly!

The Amount of Time Spent Practicing is Often Overrated

Check out this video of a student of mine, age five, that at the time had one year of experience. Her practice goal was 20 minutes per week at the time. Why does a five-year-old student sound this good after one year? Because she is practicing properly (her parents are a major help with this at home, which is crucial).

Talent is overrated, folks!

It may surprise you that your ticket to becoming a great violinist is not in freeing up more time–it’s actually in the way you spend your practice time.

Here’s another example. About a year ago, I had a student come in for a one-time lesson who had been self-taught for about five years. She claimed to have practiced about one hour per day consistently before taking her first lesson with me.

You would probably think someone who practiced that long would sound really good. Not necessarily.

Spending a lot of time practicing improperly will actually stagnate your progress or even set you back.

Take Shelly, one of my adult students over 50. After a few years, she wouldn’t be this happy about her progress if she hadn’t practiced effectively. A big help for her is that I gave her the proper mindset and showed her how to practice right.

Is Progressing on the Violin Only Based on Practice Time?

Let’s take this example of a student who has been practicing 60 minutes per week for the last three years. She has very good fundamental technique and sounds better than some students who have been playing for ten years or more.

By practicing the violin correctly, student A can sound better than student B even with 1/20 of the time spent on the instrument. Hopefully this is an eye-opening reality for you—it’s more important to practice smart than hard.

So pay less attention to the time you spend practicing, and more on HOW you practice.




Michael Sanchez
Michael Sanchez

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1 Response

Jean
Jean

February 07, 2017

This is so true. I studied piano while growing up and was taught how to practice. Generally, practice started with scales and arpeggios at different tempos and varying accents. Then focus on a 4- bar section or a particular run, practiced in varying accents and speeds…the metronome kept me focused on neither slowing down nor speeding up. Then the diminuendos and other expressions. My teacher used to remind me NOT to play a piece from start to finish more than a couple of times per week, but to focus on memorizing sections, perfecting those most challenging parts and finally puttint it all together.

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