Can you believe it’s already March? Being a little over two months into the new year is a great time to make some observations and take an account of your musical progress. I suggest answering these three simple questions to get started.
What areas are you definitely successful in?
This is the area to give yourself some credit and right down everything that you feel has been a success this year. This could be something like you haven’t missed any lessons, you’ve played music at least three times a week or you’ve learned something completely new every week. I had a teacher that would tell me, “If I’ve taught you one new thing today, then we have both succeeded.” If you’ve continued lessons this spring, then that in itself is an accomplishment. Give yourself all the pats on the back that you can think of.
How much quality time have you spent with music?
This is probably my favorite area to chart growth because it shows what type of relationship you currently have with music. In any relationship, it typically thrives with time and attention and music is no different. Observe how much time have you had to connect: one day a week, three days a week? If you spend five minutes once a week at the piano and then walk away, then you haven’t given yourself a chance to really interact in a way that will inspire you. Make a promise to yourself to simply spend more time with your instrument and music. That includes practicing, going to hear a live concert or just listening to your favorite album from beginning to end without interruption.
What are some areas that you would like to spend more time practicing and learning in your one-on-one lessons?
Look at your general list of things that you are currently covering and pick out your favorites. Do you want to work on playing your scales with more speed, precision and agility? Maybe you want to learn to play more songs from reading chord charts. Be sure to communicate this to your instructor so they can make sure to help you the most in those specific areas.
Remember it’s a process and we’re all in different seasons so don’t get impatient with yourself. We just want to be intentional because then we will be able to look back and see all that we have learned.