How Much is Too Much?
I had a general question pertaining to pieces. How much do you practice at once? I know it really does depend on the student and on the student's schedule but how many pieces/etudes/scale exercises do you study at once?
"Scales" is such a generic term that can mean everything from going up and down three octaves in a single key to doing an entire Flesch scale study in two or more keys. With scales the most important thing is to think about what you're trying to get out of them and plan your work accordingly.
For me, I'd say I'll do two keys a day, with accompanying arpeggios, double stops, etc, exercises (no etudes, my teacher rarely assigns them), and 2-4 pieces of repertoire at a time.
A "classic" practice schedule is divided into four segments which get equal time: a mixture of scales and exercises as suits the student, two etudes, a virtuosic showpiece or movement(s) of solo Bach, and a concerto.
A typical practice schedule for me looks like this:
For me is
"How much is too much?"
I spend about 20 minutes on scales, Sevcik and Schradieck; 15-20 minutes on etudes (currently Kreutzer - beginning of the book; then the remaining 20+ minutes on rep. I try to end on a few shorter pieces that I play well, to keep them polished, and if a session has been rough for whatever reason is brightens it a bit. Sometimes I don't have an hour-plus, so I will condense the time accordingly. I wish I had more time to practice - I really love working on it all and find it really hard to skip one area of my work when time is crunched.
I basically don't practice. And, I've never reached an amount of practice where I said afterwards "that was too much to be effective."