You can’t wait to learn a new instrument, but do you need to practice every single day? That’s one of the most common questions music students ask their teachers. And the correct answer isn’t always straightforward. Keep reading to determine how often you should practice during each phase of your musical journey.

Practice Time Varies Per Student

What are your overall music goals? Perhaps you want to learn how to play piano just for fun. Maybe you aspire to become a professional musician one day. These are different reasons to play an instrument. And both require specific practice commitments. How long do you need to practice exactly?

Younger players, for example, don’t have very long attention spans. Many music teachers recommend kids practice 20-30 minutes at least five days a week. If you are an adult picking up an instrument for fun, you may choose to put in an hour each day. And you may increase your practice time before a studio recital. But if you want to major in music or compete in competitions, you’ll want to up your practice time to about four hours per day.

Consistent Practicing Is Key

Do you pull out your instrument every day, or do you cram practice before lessons? How long you practice isn’t as important as how frequently you practice. It’s better to practice 30 minutes a day (210 minutes per week) instead of four hours (240 minutes) the day before your lesson. But isn’t the latter more practice time? Technically, yes. However, you won’t make as many improvements.

Whether you play piano, guitar, trumpet, or clarinet, consistent practice is better. Sure, you might be able to learn a new piece in a few hours, but can you play it without any mistakes? Learning music requires muscle memory. And muscle memory develops with repetitive training. Practicing a little bit each day will keep your fingers or embouchure in better shape than a marathon practice session once a week.

Set Goals for Yourself

Finding time to practice isn’t always easy. And if you don’t have any goals, you may struggle to find the motivation. It’s wise to write down what you want to accomplish before each practice session. Do you hope to learn a new scale? Are you eager to sight-read a challenging piece? Instead of relying on a clock, practice until you meet your daily goals.

Music students are more likely to practice if they have a reason—which is why so many practice the most right before a lesson. Search for performance opportunities in your area. There may be community bands or orchestras looking for instrumentalists. Or maybe you can play at your local church. Playing with a group will give you the drive to practice regularly.

Reach Your Musical Potential

Want to become a more confident, empowered musician? Rooted Music Coaching offers online and live lessons to help take your playing to the next level. Our coaches will teach you how to play your favorite worship music. Schedule a free trial lesson to find out how much you should practice each day.

How Much Time Should I Practice Each Day | Rooted Music