Gordon Shumway said
I'm trying to get in 3 hours' practice per day, and it's frightening how little you can achieve in that time!
Do you mean how little you can achieve in your practice?
I have been practicing on average 1 to 2 hours a day. I can get through all of my material plus play some songs just for enjoyment in that time.
3 hours of practice can be a lot for some, and not enough for others. Professional musicians can spend at least that much and more time practicing. But these are pros that often play in professional orchestras which demand the highest quality performance.
For myself, I have been playing almost 2 years and still feel I am beginning. My practice time is often limited because I also have a job. I cannot always find 2 hours to practice. I do want to practice more, but honestly, I get quite sore in an hour and a half. When I can, I break it into 2 sessions a day. This helps, and there is research that suggests that is a better way to practice.
I am curious why you feel you are not accomplishing what you want in your practice?
- Pete -
Are you currently playing in an orchestra? Is your skill level not where you want it to be?
That schedule sounds quite demanding to me. Although I have known people who have been at orchestra rehearsals that can go at least 3 or 4 hours.
I do need to put more into my practice, if for nothing else, to increase my stamina. That alone is an accomplishment.
- Pete -
How deliberate are you in your practice? 3 hours is a lot of time to be practicing daily. Usually when some people practice and don't feel like they are making progress is because they're not gazelle focused. Playing through the exercises and pieces but don't look at the nitty gritty details. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but it's something that's worth looking into.
'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.
That's my thought too. I've found that I always accomplish more in 15 minutes of focused practice than in 3-4 hours of going through the motions.
One other thought: in the first few years, you might lose productivity after the first hour or so in a day because of physical fatigue, especially as a late starter. This goes even if you take breaks. Playing the violin uses muscles that people don't really use for anything else (except playing the viola!) so those muscles need recovery time. It takes a while to work up to being able to play 3 hours in a day on a regular basis.
Gordon, I admire your conviction.
Perhaps if you record yourself and then again after 6 months, you'll notice a big difference.
Possible. I just bought a Zoom H1, but am a bit disappointed with it, so I've lost the desire to spend any more on a camera for a while (especially a Zoom). But my teacher is unavailable until 31st October, and I've promised her that's enough time for me to practise and wow her. Anything is possible!