QUOTE(claireh @ Feb 28 2008, 12:36 PM)
She is talented (Grade 4 Oboe, 4 flute, 3 piano and 3 singing) but the teachers expect all 4 to be practised every day.
What teachers expect and what actually happens are often two very different things and most teachers are well aware of that. ;-)
In general it's better to do a little bit of practice every day than the same amount (or more) crammed into just one or two days each week.
You can actually get some useful work done in 10 minutes, as long as you're focussed and knuckle down to working on the things that need attention and don't spend the time just playing through things you know well already.
It's not always the case, but if you listen to someone during their practice time and you just hear one piece after another, played straight through, chances are that not much real practice is happenning. It's fun just to play through things sometimes, but a lot of practice time is spent picking out the difficult sections and getting them sorted out. If I rattle through a whole load of scales on my flute, with them almost all perfect, it means I'm cheating and doing all the easy ones instead of trying to master the ones I don't like.
10 minutes is long enough to do some serious work on an awkward couple of bars of a piece, or to improve a difficult scale, or to do some boring but useful exercises on tone quality.
Also, if you set out to do 10 minutes, you often find yourself doing a lot more once you get into it.
How about setting aside 10-15 minutes before tea for woodwind (do flute on Mon/Wed/Fri and oboe on Tue/Thur/Sat) and 10-15 mins as a break in the middle of homework for the others (again, alternating days)?
Then another 10-15 mins on each of the four on Sundays.
That would get a certain minimum amount done on everything, with at least 4 sessions a week for each subject and none going more than 2 days between practices.
If she does half an hour a day and an hour on Sundays, it shouldn't seem like a huge amount of work, especially with it divided into smaller chunks. And when things don't seem like an insurmountable chore, they're more likely to be enjoyable, so there's less to fight about and hopefully she'll end up doing extra practice just for fun as well once practice doesn't seem like something to stress out about.