does taking a break during practice sessions help?
in a lot of practice sessions I've noticed that people take regular breaks throughout their practice time. I tend to practice in two 90 minute chunks (mainly because I lose motivation when I take a break). I don't feel physical pain after practicing and I feel like I'm able to focus for 90 minutes, but I want to know other people's experiences.
which do you think is more beneficial? do you think it's necessary to take consistent breaks?
edit: also wanted to add: what do you think are helpful things to do during a break?
Yes. Someone said "musicians are the athletes of the small muscles", and we could learn a few things from the sports medicine professionals. The physiology and metabolism are the same for large and small muscles. It takes time for the fuel and oxygen to replenish after exertion. And; ideally, we should alternate heavy and light practice days.
Taking a break certainly will help! 90 minutes of practice without a break is too long for best efficiency. You may not realise it at the time but your concentration and focus will likely start to waver after about 45 minutes (incidentally, a common length for school lessons). I suggest replacing the 90 minutes with two 35 minute sessions with a 15-20 minute break between. Think also about having the 90 minute chunks in more widely spaced parts of the day, with each 90 minute chunk being split into two as I've just said.
Breaks allow the body and mind to rest and also allow consolidation to occur.
During breaks neuronal connections are reinforced between the motor and sensory strips of the cerebral cortex. When this happens, ganglia within the cerebellum emit signaling proteins that engage the X45Y receptors within the parietal lobe. Simultaneous arrival of a critical concentration of these signaling molecules is what results in Eureka moments.
I did clinical and cognitive psychology, I know what happens under X condition, but not always the mechanics of why it happens.
(scheduled) Rests and breaks
I find breaks to be very beneficial when I feel like I've lost focus or my brain gets tired. I take breaks whenever I feel like it. Personally, I'm not the type that loses motivation from practice breaks.
The practice will feel different after the break.
Something I heard is that tasks involving memory, learning a language for example, that you remember the most from the beginning and the end of a session before a break. If you can break it down into smaller sessions then there are more beginnings and endings where the learning is at its strongest.
I take a fifteen minute break after practicing an hour.
I usually practice 1 hour 30 min, but I practice 45 min, take 15, practice the other 45 min later.
I'm like Violin Kudu except that I spread the 15 minutes out ., so for example I do a Schradiek like exercise a few times over with increasing speed. Once I sense that a small few minutes break would be good, I take it then restart and it'll feel easier.
Bravo to Joel Quivey, for his very simply stated explanation of Why taking practising breaks is a vitally healthy idea! Having little to add to JQ's very profoundly well stated reasoning, I'll add bits of advice from my legendary private violin mentor, Nathan Milstein, with whom I studied for over 3 & 1/2 years at his Chester Square in London home ~ Mr. Milstein was possessed w/exceptionally strong physical endurance & was always w/his Strad 'fiddle' & bow, almost safe to say, non-stop! Whilst imparting so much of his great knowledge and wisdom regarding violin playing + innumerable aspects of such, he would often times express his Mantra of not practising too much & particularly w/ bad habits which only increased their badness, as it were! To the contrary, he stressed 'making something' from clear thought of the mind and although he never used the word, 'visual', I'm sure this was part of his own subconscious strength in willing magical hands to implement 'ideas' off his vivid master 'computer', aka, the Milstein extraordinarily developed mind & imagination, out of which came the idolized 'Milstein sound' & wizardry for just starter's ~