Karen | Events
25 Jan 2016

How much should I practice?

This is a guaranteed question from every first-time student.

The actual amount of time will vary with the age of the student, but there’s one thing for certain.

If you DO practice a lot, I cannot guarantee you’ll play really well.

But if you DON’T practice a lot, I can guarantee you won’t play well at all.

Be prepared to spend time learning something that will bring you great joy throughout your lifetime.

The following is from a Violin Maestro who is a master teacher, a well-known concert violinist, and conductor, Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus.

How Much Should I Practice? 

If you play for fun:

Age five: 30 minutes
Age eight: 45 – 60 minutes
Age ten: 60 – 75 minutes
Age twelve to adult: 90 – 120 minutes 

If you want to be a professional: 

Age five: 30 – 45 minutes
Age eight: 90 – 120 minutes
Age ten: 2 hours
Age twelve: 3 hours
Age fourteen to eighteen: 3 – 4 hours
Violin major in college: 5 hours 

These are minimums – The actual time depends on you. 

This is NET (NO EXCUSES TOLERATED) practice time. Getting a drink, answering the phone, etc. does not count.


In this day and age time is a precious commodity.  But well-spent time, invested wisely, brings great rewards.

The above amounts of time seem like a lot.  And they are.  Many children (and adults) are scheduled for so many activities that they are left with little or no time to perfect any of them.

If you want your child (or yourself) to succeed you must set up:

1)  a regular daily time devoted to nothing but practice,

2) a quiet place free from distractions, and

3) support for the student’s practice (meaning that every person in the household is respectful of the student’s need to practice).

This may sound like an impossible task, but it can be done.  Begin gradually with:

1) a family meeting to outline what needs to be done and what is expected from each person including the student,

2) write down a schedule for daily practice (for some – first thing in the morning is best, for others – right after school or work, and still others – right after supper)

3) create a “practice space”  – a room that does not have a TV (or computer) turned on, or that does not have other people moving around creating distractions.  This could be a bedroom, a den, a basement, the kitchen, or any place where the student can be left alone (or with a single parent quietly supervising the practice time).

4) use a timer to keep track of the amount of time spent actually practicing.  Wandering around the house or answering the phone, or texting someone does not count as practice time.

5) the practice time is best divided into small 3-5 minute segments.  Use each segment to practice a basic skill (eg: a scale, a chord, one measure of a challenging piece, sight-reading, etc.)

6) keep a written practice log outlining what you intend to practice and write down the amount of time you actually spent on that segment.  Your teacher can help you develop the outline for this log.  Show this to your teacher at each lesson.

If you follow these basic steps you will set yourself (or your child) up for success.  Even students who don’t have a “natural” talent for music will make significant progress.  And following these steps is essential for those who want to pursue music as a career.

I hope I haven’t totally discouraged you.  Rather, my hope is that you are inspired to reach high in the pursuit of learning one of the greatest art forms in life – music!

If you are really serious about learning to play an instrument or learning to sing, then call us today.  We are dedicated to helping you reach your musical potential!



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