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Your Guide to Setting SMART Music Goals

May 12, 2014

You’ve reflected on your accomplishments and mistakes in the past year – now it’s time to think ahead and write down your resolutions and goals for the upcoming year.

Here at TakeLessons, we are strong believers in the power of goal-setting.  Just make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.  Establish some concrete criteria for measuring and you’ll be able to better evaluate if you met that goal.  For example, don’t just say “Practice more.”  How often do you want to practice?  How long should each practice session be?  Break each goal down into attainable chunks, get even more specific with the exact steps you’ll be taking, and write down a realistic timeline for completing each step.

If you’re still stuck, don’t worry.  Here are some great questions to get you thinking about your music goals:

– What do you want to get out of playing your instrument?
– If you could do anything you wanted with your instrument (and had the skills to pull it off), what would you do?
– What kind of places do you want to be performing at in 6 months? 3 years? 5 years?
– Do you want to travel around the world to perform? Or stay in your home town?
– To what specific places do you want to travel when you play?
– Do you want to perform your own original songs or cover songs written by other people?
– Do you want to be paid as a musician, or just do it for the enjoyment of playing?
– If you want to get paid to play, do you want to do this full-time or only part-time while you pursue something else?
– What size audiences do you want to be performing for in 6 months? 3 years? 5 years?
– What specific techniques do you want to be able to perform?
– By what date do you want to be able to perform them?
– What songs do you want to be able to play?
– What honors and awards do you want to receive?
– How do you want to share your skills and knowledge with younger, up-and-coming musicians?

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