Do you want to practice piccolo the right amount? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer that applies to every player.
Be sure to consider your playing level, goals, and other obligations. Then, you’ll know how much practice time you need as a piccolo player.
Consider the following tips to help schedule your piccolo practice.
Start With Your Schedule
First, you need to think about how much time you have to practice piccolo and other instruments. Look at the amount of free time you have now.
Of course, you can dedicate all of that time to practicing. However, I recommend keeping some free time. That way, you still have time to yourself each day or week.
If you’re a professional performer, you may need to dedicate more time to your practice schedule. On the other hand, a music teacher, composer, or an amateur player can get away with less practice time.
Learn Your Limits
Of course, you also have to think about how much time your body can withstand practicing. As a beginner, you may only be able to practice piccolo for a few minutes at a time.
Once you’ve played for a while, you can start to practice for longer. So consider your current playing level and endurance. Take a couple of days to test different practice schedules.
After that, you should have an idea of what works for you. Take note of that as you schedule out your piccolo practice sessions. Then, you can reduce the risk of developing an injury.
Understand Your Goals
It helps to take a look at your piccolo practice goals. If you’re currently playing for yourself, you might not need to practice piccolo much. But if you’re in a few ensembles, you should practice more.
Maybe you want to audition for a community group. You can work backwards from the audition date. Think about how much time you need to practice to learn the music.
Or if you have an upcoming lessons, you might decide you need to practice more for that. Either way, knowing your practice load can help you create the right schedule for you.
Think About Your Practice Load
Consider how much music you have to practice on the piccolo. Think about when you need to be able to play each piece well. Combine those elements to develop a good practice schedule.
And as your schedule changes, you can change how much you practice the piccolo each day. Then, you can learn the music you need to but take breaks as well.
If you have a lot to practice but not much time, that’s okay. You can rotate through your music every few days. This will give you time to dig into each piece, so you can practice everything efficiently.
Balance All of Your Instruments
If you play the piccolo, you probably also play the flute. You’ll need to balance both of those instruments to maintain your skills. Sure, there may be times when you need to prioritize one or the other.
But overall, you shouldn’t give up on practicing either. If you also play other instruments, such as the saxophone or piano, you also have to account for those.
During music school, you may need to practice the piano. And if you want to learn other flutes, like the alto flute, you need time for that. Take a loot at all of your instruments and create a good practice rotation to meet your needs.
Consider What You Can Sacrifice
If you don’t have any time to practice piccolo, you may need to sacrifice something else. Maybe you watch TV for two hours, so you cut that down to an hour and a half to use the remaining half hour for practice.
Or perhaps you get up half an hour earlier and practice first thing. You can sacrifice a lot of different things to make time for practicing. However, you need to be careful.
Try not to sacrifice eating meals or making money just to practice piccolo. While you may be able to shorten your sleep a bit, don’t overdo it just to play more music.
You can make time to practice piccolo in a couple of ways. First, you might practice for an hour once a week. Or you might practice for 10 minutes a day every day.
While one longer practice session is nice, you want to focus more on consistency. If you go almost a week without playing, you might forget what you learned.
It’s better to practice for a shorter period more often. You’ll remember more of what you learned. And you can maintain your chops for the next time you need to play.
How Much Should You Practice Piccolo?
The amount of time you should practice piccolo depends on your situation. Consider the following types of players and how much you may want to practice depending on your current level.
As a Beginner
If you recently starting playing the piccolo, you can get away with practicing for about 10 to 20 minutes a day. This is enough time to help you practice the basics.
However, it’s short enough that you shouldn’t wear yourself out or get too lightheaded. You may be able to practice more or less based on your specific schedule and situation.
Start with 10 or 20 minutes. If you can’t practice that long, you can break up the practice into a few sessions. Then, you can practice more without wearing yourself out.
As an Amateur
Once you’ve played the piccolo for a while, you can practice as much as you want or need to. If you have a job that doesn’t involve performing, you have complete control over how much you should practice.
In this situation, consider how much time you have and how many pieces you need to learn. Then, you can figure out a schedule that allows you to improve.
But you can cut back when you have a stressful project to work on for your job. Or you can take time off if you get sick or simply need a break from playing the piccolo.
As a College Student
If you’re in college as a flute major, you may need to practice piccolo quite a bit. When I was in school, I practice the instrument for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the day.
Think about when and how you play the piccolo. Consider how much time you spend on the flute or other instruments. Then, you can give yourself enough time to practice piccolo.
You can also practice more during the weekends or school breaks. If you don’t have classes to worry about, you can spend that time working on all of your instruments.
As a Professional
After you graduate, consider your music career. If you perform professionally, you may need to practice piccolo more. But you have to look at all of your upcoming gigs.
There may be times when you need to play the piccolo more. If you’re playing piccolo in the next month, you should give more time to it. But if you don’t have any gigs on it for a while, you might choose to focus on the flute for now.
The schedule of a professional can vary. Since I’m primarily a writer, I don’t need to practice piccolo as much as a symphony player. But I still like to do so to keep up with my chops.
How Much Do You Practice Piccolo?
Whether you’re a beginner or professional, you may wonder how much you should practice piccolo. The answer varies based on a lot of factors, so consider your specific life.
Then, you can look at upcoming performances and your overall schedule. Figure out when you have time to practice and what you have to work on to make sure you practice the right amount.