This is a question I am often asked by students. Sometimes they are referring to a particular section of music, sometimes they are simply asking a general question and at other times it’s because they are not practising at all and want to know how to get started.
The quick answer to this question is to practise in a way which suits your personality. We are all different. We act, sleep, speak, learn, and, of course, practise differently to others. Some of us are alert at night (night owls) and some early in the day (early birds). So if the night owls are convinced the best time to practise is in the morning, they are not going to be making the best use of their time because that is not the time when they are most alert. Similarly, the early birds are not going to be doing too well late at night.
Some of us like to practise in large chunks, others like to take more bite-size pieces and come back often. Some like to practise the same pieces or techniques until they are satisfied, whereas others like variety.
So what is the best method for you? Pianist, examiner, lecturer and adjudicator, Chris Foley, has written an ebook entitiled, 31 Days to Better Practicing. Chris talks about many aspects of practice, how to develop them and incorporate them into your own routine. He covers things like goal setting, practice methods (i.e. slow practice, silent practice etc), memorisation, getting into the details, organisation of practice time, sight reading and much more.
Sounds awesome, right? Click here and you can read it right now or download it for later!