After the busy holiday season comes to a close, and music performances are complete, it is the perfect time to begin making music resolutions or goals for the new year. If you are struggling with beginning the goal-making process, you can start with taking a moment to go over your performance at the winter music recital. If a parent or friend videotaped your performance, take a few minutes to watch it with a kind but somewhat critical eye.
First take notice of what you did really well. Maybe you made a few mistakes but you kept going and did your best. Perhaps you introduced yourself and your piece with a clear, and confident voice. Maybe your expression was spot on! Take note of all of the good things you did, and feel really proud of what you accomplished.
Then comes the harder part: now take note of things that you could have improved on even more. Be careful of being too critical of yourself. This isn’t a time to pick yourself and your performance apart with a super judgmental eye. All you are looking for are little improvements you can work on for the future. These may be things like: better posture, more pronounced dynamics, more expression, etc. No matter how advanced of a musician you are, there are always ways that you can become even better.
Finally, start making a list of goals for lessons and performances that you can strive towards in the new year. Try to be as specific and as realistic as possible. For example, instead of just writing “practice more,” write down a set number of days you would like to try and practice each week. Think about a time of day that is the most realistic for you to get a good practice in and aim for that time each day. If you don’t already have one, make a resolution to purchase a notebook that you can bring to your music lesson each week and write down the goals that your teacher gives you. This is a fantastic way to track your progress and see how you are improving each week and each month. You might find even more motivation by adding a song title that you would like to be able to perform at the next recital on your music resolution list. Share this with your APA music teacher and they can help you plan out how to accomplish this goal.
Once your list is complete, make a point to look at it on a regular basis to help motivate you to stay on track. It can be helpful to print your list off and put it in your school planner or music notebook so it is easily accessible.
With a list of realistic goals, and your APA music teacher to help guide you toward achieving them, you will be on your way to becoming an even more successful musician in 2020!