Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Taking Stock of Your Accomplishments

There is so much work involved in learning an instrument. When we're working hard and improving steadily, it is often difficult to notice that we are making progress at all. We need some items in the win column.

That is why it is worthwhile to take a look back at the work you've done in the last while, either with your teacher or by yourself. Here are some milestones to measure your progress:
  • Pieces learned to a fluent level. Extra marks for pieces memorized and/or played in public. It is useful to keep a repertoire list for this purpose.
  • Successful recitals, festivals, or competitions (and I mean successful in the level of performance relative to your expectations. Winning outcomes are a bonus but not the true barometer of the performing enterprise).
  • An increase in the time spent at the instrument.
  • An increase in skill level, and being able to do things that seemed difficult or impossible previously.
  • An increase in the satisfaction you feel in playing the instrument. Although not a true indicator of self-esteem, improving your playing should make you feel the pride of setting the bar for yourself and then jumping over it.
What are some of your greatest accomplishments in your playing or singing lately?

Next: Find Your Muse, Find Your Process

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