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With the new year and a new decade just rolling in, it’s the perfect time for you or your student to set fresh music goals and establish new habits.
Practicing after a long day at school or work can be tough– that’s why it’s important to figure out the little steps it takes to achieve a larger goal.
First, the big goal.
What do you or your child personally want to succeed in? Playing the new Taylor Swift song? Learning to sing and play at the same time? How about playing a song from memory?
With your teacher, use this Goal-Setting Worksheet to write down the big goal, and how you will accomplish it in each practice session. Those “how-tos” may change over time.
Next, achieve the big goal through small goals.
To achieve those small goals pre-set with your teacher, enter “The Practice Zone”.
Before you or your student sits down to practice, set a timer for ten minutes. (Or five minutes, or maybe even two. Regularity is more important than the number of minutes.)
If you’re working with a kid, make sure the timer is clearly visible.
The goal is to practice during those minutes with as much concentration–and focus on the small goal– as possible. This is The Practice Zone.
Slowly, the 10-minute practice session becomes not-so-bad. Maybe it’s even fun, or it helps you unwind.
The progress from this small change is oftentimes a huge motivator. As Lewis Howes mentions in this Forbes article, “You need momentum, and nothing builds up momentum like getting a few wins under your belt.”
Over time, increase the practice length as your student gets older or the skill level progresses. Soon enough, 30 minutes of practice may be a breeze.
“Goals help to keep the student on-track, as well as boost their confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment,” said former Piano Power instructor Jacqueline Arrigo. “Large success stories can be seen in successful recitals, and smaller ones seen when a student is excited to show you what they mastered.”
Happy practicing, and Happy New Year from Piano Power!