V.com weekend vote: What is your best time of day for practicing violin?

March 1, 2019, 12:55 PM · The key to playing the violin (or any instrument) well is practice, but cultivating that discipline can be a big challenge.

Having a consistent practice time can help a great deal, but you have to choose a time that is do-able for you.

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(btw can you see the hidden scroll here? :)

Obviously, a person who works a 9 to 5 probably will not be able to practice at 10 a.m. and will have to find a time that fits their lifestyle, whether it is a break in the middle of the day or an evening time.

When it comes to children, sometimes my young students are able to practice in the morning before school, and it works wonderfully. But sometimes that is simply impossible, with working parents and the need to get ready for school. But they usually need some kind of consistency: practicing right before or after dinner, etc.

A free-lancer with a wildly varying schedule might have to simply grab those practice times when they come. And a touring soloist...this is perhaps the wildest schedule of all! For example, witness Hilary Hahn, practicing on an airplane:


What do you find to be the most ideal time of day (or night) to practice? Do you practice at a consistent time most days, or does it vary a great deal? Has your best practice time changed or evolved? Please pick the answer that best describes your practicing, and then describe the details in the comments!

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Replies

March 1, 2019 at 07:30 PM · I voted "Evening" -- although, ideally, I like to split the time between mid-afternoon and early evening. This way, I have a few hours' break between sessions. I can fit in up to 3 hours of practice/play time in a typical day.

I'm now finishing my 23rd year of being an entrepreneur, so I get to set my own work hours. It's a Monday-Saturday work week. I get the bulk of my work done between 7 AM and noon. This clears the way for me to work out early afternoons and then play music later. I start to fade after 8:30 PM, so I prefer to wrap up music practice by 7:30 PM.

March 1, 2019 at 07:45 PM · Thanks, I like the afternoon above all, because I have finished cleaning, and caring for my cats. Now, whilst my daughter is at work, I can play and practice without interruption...except for an occasional meow song to help me!.

March 1, 2019 at 08:23 PM · Unfortunately, my best time has always been between midnight and 3am, and I live in an apartment. So I typically practice right up to my apartment's quiet hours, or whatever later time my neighbors are willing to agree to. I rarely start practicing before 9pm. No matter what time I go to bed or wake up, I basically rely on caffeine to function before 8pm, and concentrate best late at night.

March 1, 2019 at 09:04 PM · The hour I choose to practice has not been a neighborhood issue for the past 60 years. The only consideration is when my mind and body are most up to it. When I was young I always found it easier to play in the evenings - after work or after school. Since I hit around 75, I seem sharpest in the mornings, diminishing in durability as each day's hours advance. Fortunately, now the ensembles I play with meet during morning hours - mostly with other sex-, sept- and octogenarians who have the same problem.

March 1, 2019 at 09:39 PM · I voted "wildly varies" because I can practice any time out day as long as I'm not tired.

March 2, 2019 at 12:59 AM · Less important is when I practive; more important is that I practice.

That said, I don't practice for more than perhaps 45 minutes at a time, and that only if I can do different sorts of things.

March 2, 2019 at 02:01 AM · Jim Hastings said exactly what I was going to say, therefore I'll just do a copypasta: " I voted "Evening" -- although, ideally, I like to split the time between mid-afternoon and early evening. This way, I have a few hours' break between sessions. I can fit in up to 3 hours of practice/play time in a typical day."

I will add that often I get drowsy in the mid/late afternoon and that is the part I'm most likely to skip practice. Hence the vote for Evening.

March 2, 2019 at 02:19 AM · I voted afternoon because that is when I feel my best practicing, but as a 9-5er I am unable to practice at my ideal time, and am forced to practice in the evening. My ideal time is starting around 3pm and ending by 6-7pm (with breaks, of course).

March 2, 2019 at 02:58 AM · I practice in the afternoon. I'm retired so I have them free. It's a simple decision. I fit it in between lunch and dinner. I'm usually sleeping in the morning and after dinner I dont really have the energy.

March 2, 2019 at 03:09 AM · I practice 6 days a week, on days I work that's in the very early evening. On weekends I shoot for twice a day when possible, once in the late morning and then in the late afternoon/early evening.

March 2, 2019 at 09:03 PM · A lifetime of being an early riser (0430) it is next to impossible to sleep in unless I'm very sick. Hence the day starts early and we do have lot of things that we do. That leave the time around 3:30pm the quiet time for me to get out the violin and play. I'd love to say that I am 100% faithful, but about five out of seven days a week find me playing in my studio sometimes with students and this time is perfect as it is their after school time.

March 3, 2019 at 04:30 AM · My work schedule varies, so my practice time does, too. I like mornings and evenings. I like late nights when Ican't sleep (easier in winter, when people's windows are closed). Not fond of mid-day--that's for reading/scholarly stuff. But if that's when I'm free, that's when I play.

March 3, 2019 at 02:28 PM · I voted mid-morning for lack of a "lunchtime" option since that is basically the only time I have to practice :-)

March 3, 2019 at 05:46 PM · I voted afternoon, but only because of necessity. Circumstances dictate my schedule. I know that the best effective time for serious practice is in the morning, and the best time for rehearsals and performance is the evening. I wish I could do Hemingway's work schedule: write in the morning, stopping in the middle of a thought so that you don't have writers' block the next day, then socialize and play, lunch through the evening.

March 4, 2019 at 06:37 AM · I am not a big sleeper, I am sleeping around 5 - 6 hours during working days and around 7 at weekends. But I wake up to go to my job at 5 am to be soon back at home with my family. When I return home (after work and some shopping or managing something) it is around 4 pm. It starts my family time. I am trying to play still "disturbed" by my 2.5 years old daughter :-) So I split my playing into cca 10 minutes blocks. Complete playing time is around 30 - 90 minutes. At 8 pm my daughter is going to sleep after that time is a little bit hard to play at our small flat (even with mute) I do it just sometimes. Now it is our time to relax before sleep until midnight. So I play in the evenings, I do not have the other choice.

March 4, 2019 at 06:39 AM · Sorry I was not logged in even when I see "logout" on the top of the page, so one more time under my profile:

I am not a big sleeper, I am sleeping around 5 - 6 hours during working days and around 7 at weekends. But I wake up to go to my job at 5 am to be soon back at home with my family. When I return home (after work and some shopping or managing something) it is around 4 pm. It starts my family time. I am trying to play still "disturbed" by my 2.5 years old daughter :-) So I split my playing into cca 10 minutes blocks. Complete playing time is around 30 - 90 minutes. At 8 pm my daughter is going to sleep after that time is a little bit hard to play at our small flat (even with mute) I do it just sometimes. Now it is our time to relax before sleep until midnight. So I play in the evenings, I do not have the other choice.

And I am doing this every day 7 days a week (for 4 months now).

March 4, 2019 at 01:26 PM · Hi,

As a person who travels constantly for rehearsals and concerts and has a pretty colorful schedule, I voted "Wildly varying." Traditionally, my 'best' time was in the morning, but I realized in time that any limitations are mostly mental, and after getting rid of that, then all-day every day became perfectly fine; as much as I can fit it in! As with many things with the violin, including practice time, and most other things, it's best using unlimited thinking. Otherwise, I find that it's easy to make excuses.

As for when I am not in the mood (happens to all of us), my answer is to simply start, as practicing or anything else as I discovered really has nothing to do with how I feel. You just have to do it (even if it's hard), so once I start, I am quite surprised how quickly I become in the mood, and how much I can get done.

Cheers!

March 4, 2019 at 05:30 PM · I typical practice along with my wife who's a pianist and as we both work at daytime jobs, early evenings are the best time we have available. But I think I generally have better concentration and stamina earlier in the day; ideally I'd probably try to schedule my practice time for the morning.

March 5, 2019 at 12:29 PM · Laurie, Of WHAT is that image?? Please tell us!

March 5, 2019 at 01:40 PM · Hi,

I am obviously not Laurie, but Dimitri, to answer your question, that is the image of a clock, a twirling clock. It comes from abstract art.

Cheers!

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