GOAL!

A discussion about goals and setting them.

5 Minute Read

During the first month of our new school year a common theme of goals emerged among many of my students and parents. I was prepared for practice with the introduction of the 100 Day Practice Challenge. A challenge that presents a daily goal of practicing every day, and a long-term goal of 100 days.

However, I wanted to continue on this theme with clearly laying out the goals I set for every one of my students to accomplish in their lessons with me.

  1. Comfortable and correct set up
  2. Confidence
  3. Independence
  4. Creativity and Imagination
  5. A beautiful tone (sound production)
  6. Knowledge of techniques needed for each piece
  7. Understanding of printed notation (music)
  8. Ability to perform pieces on their own

Some of my goals may be ones that you expected, and others may have surprised you. I teach to help navigate an instrument but also to shape character, because to me studying a musical instrument is much more than just the next piece.  Studying music teaches perseverance, expression, honesty, social skills, critical thinking and more. One day your child will no longer be a student of mine, and may not even continue to play an instrument, but they can continue to carry many lessons learned from our time together to help them navigate the ups and downs of the rest of their life.

When at times it feels like “forever” to work through a piece it is because I am using the goals above to make sure we are prepared for what is coming next. I do not like moving on to the new when the current is not in a secure place because if you do not build a strong foundation, then there is nothing else to build on.

Now, take a moment to think of goals you have for your child, and how taking music lessons aids those goals.  

Then take another moment to ask your child to see if they have goals of their own. Perhaps there is a piece that they have wanted to play since before the summer, or they want to finish book 1. Maybe on Saturday you went to a concert and saw a professional do an amazing performance with fancy techniques, or they know their friend can play a certain piece and they want to be able to play it with them too.  Children are always watching, learning, and finding inspiration from the world around them.

If you would like a worksheet to write down your goal discoveries I have several you can pick from at your next lesson, or you can create your own!

Then as a bonus, take the 100 Day Practice Challenge, and see if you can set a goal of what piece your child would like to be on after 100 days of practice. See if you can set any others at milestones such as 25, 50, and 75 days to really establish a flow of where you would like to go.

Don’t forget to bring your goals to lessons and share with me too! Our lessons are always a team effort.

Nicole Kootz

A Boston based violist and violinist, running around the city each week teaching music and studying Alexander Technique!

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