Lara, when I think of the words "practicing efficiently" I think in terms of making sure that you cover the basics, and not spending a lot of time working the music so much, unless of course you have some trouble spots to work out. In a nutshell, it's covering the bases that need to be covered. Back when I was playing my best, my practice routines were very simple. I worked the basics with very simple exercises, albeit in a focused, structured way, and only worked the parts of the music that were giving me actual problems, such as a passage that had some tricky fingering. For instance, I used to break my practice days down into specific aspects of technique, working only one technique per day, rather than try to pile a little bit of everything into every practice session. One day would be a day to work articulation and I would do fairly basic exercises that really worked articulation. One exercise was just single tounging lots of 16ths per note, all from G on top of the staff down (mostly in the staff) but the point was to really get the articulation to focus and pop on every note, spending more time with the notes that didn't naturally articulate quite as well for me. I would also work various other aspects of articulation such as working everything from legato tonguing to staccato tonguing - just to know that whatever was called for musically, I would be able to execute it without fail, without having to think about it. Another exercise was single tonguing up and down scales, starting almost excruciatingly slow to insure syncronicity between the articulation and the action of the valves, and then gradually speeding up and slowing down, focusing on keeping that syncronicity. Yet another exercise was to work multiple tonguing, working to get the 'K' part of the articulation as crisp as the 'T' part of the articulation - once I would get that in focus, I would work to double tongue up and down scales, and triple tongue up and down chromatic scales. Then I had my tone and control days, where I would work long tones, focusing on keeping the tone pure and steady, and one exercise I would do would be to play a note, starting it as softly as I could cleanly attack, pushing it through a crescendo to as loud as I could play it with good sound and control and focusing on intonation as well, and then decrescendo down to nothing, all in one breath. My goal here was to make it sound like someone was merely turning a volume knob up and down. When I did work music into my practice, it was to work consistency and phrasing - playing musically, but playing it virtually the same every time. This to me is practicing efficiently - working the basics in a systematic, focused way. I already "knew" the music and thus, that bulk of work on bare fundamentals made playing music the easy part because I had worked the basics to the point that they easily tranlated themselves into my regular playing. Back then, playing trumpet was everything to me and I have never been at that level of technical proficiency before or since, although I did get close one other time.