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Back to Practicing!

Posted by Kimberly Hankins on
Back to Practicing!

As many of us have taken time off from practicing during quarantine, and now want to get back into a routine for gigs, auditions, or back to school, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you my own plan for when I take time off from practicing!

The following practice plan takes you from zero to 4hrs a day over 30 days. Treat this as a guide, and if you need longer periods of time on one level, feel free to stay there. You'll notice that some days I've cut the practice time in half in order to provide some 'recovery days,' but you can also take days off. If 15mins is too much to start, take time to build up to that.

The reason for this gradual build up in practice time is to give your body ample time to adjust, and reduce your risk for injury with a sudden increase in practice time. This is also an opportunity to improve your relationship with your instrument! If you notice negative or intrusive thoughts start to creep in -give yourself an extra break and come back to it once you're in a better headspace.

Before each practicing session, give yourself time to warmup your body for at least 15mins! Every 15-20mins of practicing, I take a short 2-5min stretch break and drink lots of water. [If you need ideas for what to do during your warmup or stretch break, or want a way to stay accountable, check out:]

I like my larger practice times to be in the evening as I'm building up to playing more, but feel free to switch these if it fits better into your schedule!


Back to Practicing Plan

1) 15mins

2) 10mins AM, 15mins PM

3) 15mins AM, 15mins PM

4) 15mins AM, 20mins PM

5) 20mins AM, 20mins PM

6) 20mins AM, 25mins PM

7) 30mins

8) 20mins AM, 30mins PM

9) 25mins AM, 30mins PM

10) 30mins AM, 30mins PM

11) 30mins AM, 35mins PM

12) 35mins AM, 35mins PM

13) 35mins AM, 40mins PM

14) 45mins

15) 40mins AM, 45mins PM

16) 40mins AM, 50mins PM

17) 45mins AM, 1hr PM

18) 50mins AM, 1hr PM

19) 50mins AM, 1hr PM

20) 1hr 15mins PM

21) 1hr AM, 1hr 15mins PM

22) 1hr AM, 1hr 20mins PM

23) 1hr 15mins AM, 1hr 30mins PM

24) 1hr 30mins AM, 1hr 30mins PM

25) 1hr 30mins AM, 1hr 45mins PM

26) 1hr 45mins AM, 1hr 45mins PM

27) 2hrs

28) 1hr 45mins AM, 2hrs PM

29) 1hr 45mins AM, 2hrs PM

30) 2hrs AM, 2hrs PM


Here are two downloadable PDF versions!

[Created by Cameryn Baum]

Back to Practicing Schedule

Back to Practicing Schedule - Blank


 Did you work up to a consistent practice schedule, and want to become more efficient and organized in your routine? Check out my digital handbook: Planning for Effective and Efficient Practice

Let me know what you think! Do you have a routine to get back to practicing after taking an extended break?

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1 comment

  • Cameryn on

    This is incredibly helpful! I just graduated with my bachelor’s degree in cello performance, and I have taken most of the summer “off” from practicing. I needed this to help me get back into playing my cello regularly. I can’t wait to implement this guide!

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