Consider the following practice rubric:
Maintaining your current proficiency = 1 hour every day
Progressing a small amount = 2 hours every day
Progressing at a moderate rate = 3 hours every day
Progressing at a high rate = 4 hours every day
Preparing for a Recital, Audition, or Competition = 5-6 hours every day
Divide your day into three sections with the idea of working on different aspects in each practice session. Set up a schedule so that it works for you and stick to it!! Always play musically and end each session with a lyrical selection. A metronome should be utilized on a regular basis. Remember that progress is accumulative and takes time – Don't try to accomplish everything at once!
Morning (Duration: 20-30 minutes)
This is primarily a warm-up session that should be completed prior to your first class, if possible. It is a vital part of your daily regimen which, when done properly, will help you improve and avoid serious injury. Buzz! Concentrate on the most basic aspects of producing music. Care should be taken to Breathe Deeply and Relax before beginning to play. Strive for an expanding breath, a resonant tone, a steady air flow, and superb intonation. Use a metronome some of the time and finish with a lyrical selection. Sources for the Warm-up might include the books of Grabowski, Plog, Schlossberg, and/or Stamp.
Morning/Afternoon (Duration: 60 minutes)
The work session! Develop and Practice a Routine! Use this time to practice all of those necessary things, including:
Scales: major, minors, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, whole tone, blues, & chromatic
Arpgeggios: major, minor, augmented, & diminished
Tonguing: single, double, triple, mixed articulations
Technical Studies: Clarke
Etudes and other lesson materials
Range exercises or studies for building strength & endurance
Evening (Duration: 60 – 90 minutes)
Focus!!! Use this time to work on:
Additional lesson/etude material
Solo repertoire (Jury or Recital) – “run” a program
Piano, Secondary, or other instruments
*Remember why you are practicing – what are your goals!?!
*Be Patient! Work methodically (in small sections) and Use a metronome!
*Mark changes into your music so that you remember them. Use a pencil!
*Always play with the best possible singing sound and sense of musicianship!