Practicing an instrument that you are in the process of learning is an integral part of learning that instrument. Whether you want to master it completely, or just learn one piece, “practice makes perfect”!
All of the students, no matter what age, seems to hear that phrase. However, they don’t always understand exactly how to practice. One student had spent a large part of his holidays practicing his pieces. However, he had been holding his posture and wrist in the wrong position the entire time. Now, he has to retrain his hand to position itself correctly – a position that has now become uncomfortable for him! This kind of defeats the purpose of him spending that much time practicing now! Back when I used to play the violin, I had a similar situation. I had ‘accidentally’ erased a sharp that my teacher had drawn onto a manuscript. For an entire week I had practiced that small passage of music without the sharp, causing the way that I was playing it to become ingrained in my head as correct. After the teacher noticed and re-added the sharp, it took me even more practice and effort to play that passage correctly.
It is very important that you practice correctly and remain focused. Practicing the wrong method, or music, could lead to even more practice and effort needed!