Each practice session that you have is made up of many little tasks – things you want to improve. Do you open your music and bash your way through it? Yes? You’re not going to improve very quickly!
Instead use the perfect practice plan for each thing that you practice:
1. Know specifically what you need to practice.
Is it a technique? Or perhaps a scale? Maybe there are some notes in a study that are causing you concern? It’s important to be precise, the more precise you are the more effective your practice will be.
2. Which bars or notes?
Rather than always playing from the top of a piece decide from the beginning exactly which bars or notes need work and work on those only.
3. Which practice method?
Please don’t be someone that aimlessly repeats music in the hope that it will get better. Have a specific technique in mind. There are lots to choose from on this site.
4. How will you know when to stop?
Before you start set yourself a goal. This could be to learn 5 new bars or perhaps play to a metronome mark or maybe even play three times through without a mistake. Make sure you have an exit plan otherwise you could practice for hours never knowing when to stop.
5. What could you do better next time?
Unless you are perfect (highly unlikely!!) then there will be things that didn’t go quite as well as you’d hoped. This is great news! You now have the basis for the things you need to work on in your next practice session.
On a final note you’ll notice that nowhere is there any mention of time or minutes. There is no one right way to practice. You need to work it out for yourself and the above framework is the way to do it.