Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Your New Year’s Resolutions

 

The new year brings with it a clean slate, a fresh starting point that sees a spike in optimism and goal setting.  True, it is a somewhat arbitrary division of our life, but I am happy to take any little boost of optimism and forward planning that I can get.

The new year resolution has become almost  a little bit of a joke for many of us, something we know will fall by the wayside with little or no repercussions.

Let’s make this year a little different and let’s set something we can realistically achieve.

 

Performances

Now, I know what you are thinking… “Simon you said realistic!”

Fear not, it is more realistic than you think.

Setting a performance date is perhaps the most powerful action you can take towards improving your playing. It pushes you to focus, it holds you accountable, and it gives you a sense of achievement when it is all over with.

We are not talking a full recital here, not even a recital at all! It could be a recording you make for youtube, a rendition of three pieces of repertoire for your spouse, or a fun activity with friends where you can share talents over an evening. It doesn’t have to be grand but if you lock it in and invite some people you will benefit from a new sense of motivation that is hard to find elsewhere.

If you wanted to go a bit further and put on a house concert I can’t recommend it enough. It could be one of the highlights of your year.

Just keep the repertoire simple, concise, and manageable.

 

New Repertoire

I often advocate staying with a piece of music for longer than seems necessary (because we often leave a piece before becoming fully familiar with it), however, this New Year might be a good time to pick a new piece, that provides fresh inspiration.

My request is that this new piece be “easy”. By this, I mean make it a piece that is within your reach. Perhaps you can even get it running within a week? A month? Imagine that, a new year’s resolution that is checked complete before January is up.

Awesome.

 

Go play with others

If you are feeling inspired and motivated, chances are there are others who feel the same way as you. You could resolve to attend one concert per month, join a music society, or start an ensemble.

The great thing about partaking in music with others is that it helps you stay dedicated and you will learn much more from your new community than anywhere else, If you are open to it…

 

What’s is your resolution?

These are just three ideas that I think are particularly exciting and useful but I would love to hear what you have decided to do this year.

Please share it below and perhaps you will inspire someone else!

 

 

2016-10-24T00:19:49+00:00 6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Linda Shepherd January 8, 2016 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Excellent suggestions Simon. I have already noted the recording goal. This is something I do as part of my regular work as it gives me valuable, if sometimes depressing feed-back! I also have my own Youtube chanel. so I can check on progress made.
    Open-mic nights begin again in March, so performance work is also in place.
    My best New Year gift is having found a teacher locally. To have regular, personal help is giving me that extra encouragement I need.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Linda in France.

  2. Bruce January 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Good ideas!
    I’ve noticed in my own practicing that everything changes if I have a little piece that I need to present. On the one hand, the increased “pressure” is annoying, but it does help to focus. In the past I tried to play pieces that were too difficult for me to present when I am nervous in front of people. Recently I have tried to present an easier etude or an “old reliable” that I have played for years. I also try to remember that the audience hears it differently (and usually less critically) than I do. Unless I play for other classical guitarists — which I seldom do (yet! still a goal in the distance) — the audience is usually a group who does not know the repertoire. They are happy to hear the guitar and don’t think about things like “weakness of the left or right hand technique, etc.” Most don’t even know I am playing “classical guitar music” and they ask for a sing along afterwards. Have to work on that I guess. :)

  3. Mike Goodreau January 10, 2016 at 1:10 am - Reply

    All great ideas. For myself, I am trying to overcome my inability to play in front of others. I tense up so badly that my hands shake and I can barely play at all.
    I think the CT Guitar Society has a “jam night” where you can play in a group, which would be a great start. Small steps…
    I think setting goals is the key, as you suggested!

  4. Profile photo of Linda Tsardakas
    Linda Tsardakas January 13, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hello Linda Shepherd!
    Nice to meet another “Linda” on the site : )
    Best regards,
    Linda in Germany

  5. Profile photo of James Huckson
    James Huckson January 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    All great ideas for 2016! Perhaps the main one for me is to sit the 7th grade AMEB exam late this year…..also, play more easier pieces to emphasize the ‘joy’ aspect I heard in the recent podcast on older learners. I would like to play more duet or ensemble stuff, and to add a few more performances to what I did in 2015. Plus , I am looking forward to the 2016 Adelaide Guitar Festival………..and I reckon I will sign up for Guitoberfest again.

  6. Profile photo of Steve
    Steve February 8, 2016 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    My goal in 2016 is to complete all of Level 1 of CGC.

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