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.



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.



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!