Yes, quality of practice is undoubtedly more important than quantity, but there is no getting around the fact that in order to play well, one has to devote time to the endeavor. That usually means setting consistent time aside for daily practice.
Finding time to practice might be the most difficult thing about playing an instrument. It's not easy when you are young, and it's not easy when you are older. There is school, exercise, the basic fact that one must eat and also put bread on the table, there is work of all kinds. And there is procrastination, distractions, children, parties, holidays, falling in love...
But some people find the time, and it usually requires sacrifice: saying "no" to certain things, having discipline. You have to create the habit and then keep it alive.
The amount of time that one practices also varies over a lifetime, and depending on the projects one has going.
In a recent Violinist.com article, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim was asked how much a person should practice every day, and he said, "It depends." He pointed out that the amount of daily practice varies over a lifetime, but that he had observed that for a high-level player "there has to be three or four periods in one's life where you practice a LOT and HARD" -- like five hours a day. "But nobody can sustain five hours a day over a whole lifetime - our bodies are not meant for that. But consistency of practice is important." Kim added that at this point, he practices 1-2 hours a day.
How are you doing with your practice? How many hours a day are you devoting, these days? And what helps you keep the habit going?
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