All too often students drop for a while the responsibility to daily practice. (There is some research that indicates vacation apart from a daily activity can promote healing and help develop perspective. Here, a few comments on that, before conclusions.
Our muscles in order to develop, particularly small muscle, must undergo a daily practice for 6-8 weeks before something noticeable occurs. That takes faith and patience. During sleep, our body/brain prunes away what is considered by the body as unnecessary, or inconsistent. In this case adrenaline and cortisol flood the body and as they destroy the connections made when practice did occur, they clear a path towards more unadulterated help. We sleep, forget about, or lose the effective memory of playing. Back to the drawing board;" it's always best to begin at the beginning." (The Wizard of Oz.) The old guard loses its grip on skills.
This is why after a missed day or two of practice, the signs already show. By the time a student has skipped three or four days in one week, the sensation can really show most obviously in the player's playing. The connections in gray matter are destroyed, disabling the player to some degree.
On the other hand, should good practice habits prevail, daily practice, routine development, challenging, and if it is not too strenuous. Gradual improvement takes over six to eight its it best to let this gradual process develop. The need for gradual growth comes from evolution. Imagine if we developed skills right away and these were permanent! We would soon show huge deficits in our ability to organize our thought about the trumpet and conclusions would become impossible. However, our bodies developed a system for safe learning.
There are two kinds of stress: distress, a word we use for the most part to describe an uncomfortable feeling. However, distress is really about destruction. As shown. Then there is eustress. This is the good kind of stress; the kind we need in order to learn. When in this state, the governor inside in the limbic system, having to do with the vagus nerve, determines which successful learning reports to the body then translate to boundaries of too much stress or not enough. Within the window of eustress, good chemistries form, and we experience moments of building constellation like neuronal patterns, which form the basis of networks in the brain. Further application with just enough effort will form the basis for building networks: which tend to last and provide alert comprehension of what is being applied. To remain within the window of eustress, not too much or too little, takes learning itself to a level of discipline, and the potential to express our comprehension. Creative expression is the highest activity we manage. This is possible via the proper, disciplined, determined practice while maintaining our activities within eustress.
This good chemistry can create a high - a natural healthy high. This is why, if you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. Music is easy, the hard part is finding out what's easy, because it takes six to eight weeks for our bodies full of good chemistry to develop as desired: good muscular growth. This perseverance in applied practice employs the same functions as any other over a long period of time. Patience, to some extent methodical application, but after a while, the body zones out to some extent. The high while practicing this way is quite pleasant. As long as over the course of practice, or playing, enough relaxation and discipline is applied, then one can feel this natural high and enjoy it, while relaxed for a while. This state makes any attempt to procure untoward experience difficult. So, staying within the boundaries of eustress promotes a relaxed easy feeling of alertness, we are most reluctant to give up.
Think this over for a while and you will conclude as the saying said, "Music is easy, the hard part is finding out what is easy." "If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong." "Be patient. In music, slow is fast." i..e. the quality of maintaining eustress experience requires us to act in these ways.
The astute will realize this is the required process, therefore why daily practice is necessary. Giving up on it for a while to accommodate an alternate schedule only encourages giving time to the destruction of your efforts. Discontent follows, decisions to give up on the whole thing seem obvious as the best or only route.
This is not true, just sad. Return to the applied routine, encourages the same things once again. However, look even deeper into this situation: booking too much time wasting time on unneeded, unnecessary activities, actually failing to recognize opportunities for practice time, translate into developing a defeatist, rejecting, limiting personality.
There used to be a popular expression, "if you want something done, ask a busy person." To keep up effective applied work, then requires us to find ways to accomplish applied practice with what must be other activities, equally important. This takes organization, sacrifice, planning, and surprisingly, recreation. Without a change of scenery, we become melancholy, even over whelmed with seeming little or no chance to a way out. Again, this seems more like a process that must end in some sort of excise. The alternative is to actually maintain yourself within the margins. This will raise a mood, which in turn frees up bits of time, which promotes the required planning and reallocation of resources, time, to accomplish a steady, fun, disciplined, effective schedule.
It is the same thing repeated within bounds of safe healthy behaviors that ultimately pays off with happiness. In order to do this, one must accept the responsibilities of practice: actually doing it, finding time to complete homework, look what you last left undone. Then time magically appears. Solutions are found; creativity may flourish.
Conclusion: accept responsibly, determine to perform activities towards accomplishment. Do not give up or take extensive breaks. Find the time, get it done. Your chemistry will be happier, and your body promoting health.