One of the questions I frequently get asked is, "how much time you practice each week? ". Most people are surprised when I tell them less than two hours a day.
I never have believed in long practices for a variety of reasons, because the practice time I do have each day I
maximize using some simple tips. Here are my top three best practice habits:
1. Use a timer
I set a timer every time I practice for 25 minutes- I practice as hard as I possibly can for that 25 minutes, and then I stretch for five minutes, equaling one half hour. This allows what you learn to sink in as much as possible, and it also keeps you fresh and focused so you get the most out of your practice time.
2. Drink water
It sounds simple, but I always drink large amounts of water while I practice. The hydration keeps you alert, and clears your mind. I've read many case studies on water and it's tremendous positive effects on your body and mind, but suffice it to say I find it to be personally very helpful for concentration. Also, it gives you a physical reminder of when it's time to take a break ; )
3. Always warm up
I always take time every practice to thoroughly warm my hands up. Always do scales, or other vigorous repetitious pieces to get your fingers properly stretched before you tackle the more strenuous pieces. As a bonus, you'll have a greater knowledge of scales and more dexterity during your performances.