2 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours?

How much is enough? Is there such a thing as practicing too much? Is there an optimal number of hours that you should practice?

You will find that deliberate practice is very draining because it takes a lot of energy to give your full attention to the task at hand. Practicing more than one hour at a time is likely to be unproductive, and in all honesty, probably not even mentally or emotionally possible. Even the most dedicated individuals will find it difficult to practice more than four hours a day. Studies have varied the length of daily practice from 1 hour to 8 hours. The results suggest that there is often little benefit from practicing more than 4 hours per day, and that gains actually begin to decline after the 2-hour mark.  

The key is to figure out how long you can focus. But if you are a beginner – quantity  – the amount of time you spend with your instrument – is definitely important. And remember, playing in an ensemble and/or orchestra is also a great way to speed up your progression on your instrument.