Put a Time Limit to Your Music Goal


in Methods

One of the hardest things I deal with is giving my goals deadlines, or due dates, or even the the novel concept of a payoff.

I’ve discussed a 4 week or a 6 month time frame before depending on the magnitude of the challenge. The beauty of setting these long term goals is that when you start setting intermediate and short term goals you can adjust the timing if it doesn’t make sense. This allows you to make it longer or shorter to become within our first criteria of achievable.

One of the best motivators for time limits was the setting of a concert date where I would need to play a certain piece of music at performance level.

Looking at what had to be accomplished I could set weekly accomplishments, lesson to lesson focus, and practice time needed to achieve those short term goals.

Within this week or lesson period I start breaking down the daily requirements. Often asking what can I get done if I spend 20 minutes each day? Or better yet 40 minutes.

Course accomplishments

When learning music theory or principles the courses and workshops try to structure the information such that you can spend 10 to 15 minutes each day you will accomplish the lesson in two weeks. Sometimes you need less, other times more. There’s always a balance of time and effort.

Sometimes students get so excited about the materials they accomplish everything in one day. So I’ve always advocated having additional practice items like tapping rhythms or practicing spelling chords that you can do over the two week interval (pun intended) to better learn the music elements.

Set a Time Limit to Your Music Goal

Setting time limits can be done in a variety of ways. One I like is “complete x items in y days”.  Or learn a phrase, a new scale, or the 4 basic chord types for F# by Saturday afternoon before the big game.

One can say I will practice phrase 1 4 times different sessions playing it ten times in each sessions by next Friday. Or when I practice today I will practice the C scale, C major block chords, and C arpeggios before American Idol starts tonight.

The basic principle is to put a deadline to when you need to accomplish this goal. You can add a payoff as well. How about a trip over to the Ice Cream Parlor to reward your effort.

In creating a successful progress sheet, boxes can be used where each box represents a 10 repetition block. Then you can say on Wednesday I have extra time and I’m going to check off 4 boxes on my progress before the day is over.

Your Turn

Take some of your current goals and look at a realistic period in which you should be able to accomplish the task.

Start at a high level if you have too, put a time limit to the major section like the verse, such as by Sunday (add exact date) and then add time limits to the individual steps like; Monday for taping rhythm and analyzing chords; Tuesday to do both right and left hand completion and so on.

Putting a time limit to your music goals will also keep you on track to make consistent.





Some reference books for your consideration as well.





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