Just playing through your repertoire mindlessly? It can be quite common, but it is not helpful for improvement. Instrumental students may make the mistake of thinking that they are practicing when in fact they are just merely engaging in the act of playing. Engagement in instrumental practice is usually motivated by enjoyment and external rewards, but it lacks the specific ingredients for improvement such as goals, feedback and opportunities to improve through repetition.
With the specific instructions, procedures on how to practice and what to practice, and goals set by a teacher, a more efficient practice and overall improvement in practical ability will result.
Deliberate Practice ©iteachpiano 20111