jkircoff wrote:I tend to practice for about 20 minutes at a time, then I take a 5 minute break. I find this relaxes the muscles and the mind, and helps keep practice from becoming monotonous.
I myself love this routine too as it keeps me 'in the game'. During my little breaks I like to do stretches. I think stretching cannot be emphasized enough!
Additionally, having specific goals in mind for a total practice day are important too. It's much easier to divide your day into several sessions.
Personally, I am working on an hour and fifteen minute concert. This makes my practice quite structured since I know what pieces I have to play.
Depending on where I am at in my preparation for concert (sightreading, running learned pieces, memorizing, drilling specific technical difficulties, etc),
I prefer to break every 20 to 30 min for a few minutes of stretching, relaxing and so forth. After an hour or so of practice total, I like to take a bigger break. Go get something to eat, read some, kill time, whatever. An ideal practice day to me would be three separate hour sessions. That can usually get me through my concert material, my specific goal. I do not waste time reviewing pieces that I am not using for the concert. Not only does this routine seem to help keep my fatigue at bay, but it has built strength in my playing, much more stamina. Feels good to fall into a routine that works!