I am a firm believer in goals. Starting any project without knowing how, why, for how long, how much, etc. usually produces a waste of time and resources. Music lessons are the same thing. Before you start you should sit down and ask yourself a few basic questions. These questions should include:
- Why do I want to learn to play? If you want to play recreationally, you will approach your studies differently than someone who feels they have real talent and has a strong desire to perform professionally.
- What am I willing to commit to? If you can only commit to practicing a few times a week, you need to let your teacher know this. If you are ready to practice daily, set a goal. Learning to set and stick to goals will help you develop your skills much more efficiently.
- What type of an instrument will I be using? The purchase of a quality instrument is necessary for any serious student. Recreational students should still have access to an instrument in working order that they are committed to maintaining.
- What time frame am I looking at? And how will I know when I’m done? Teachers usually do not encourage setting an end date or exit strategy. They make more money that way. A specific goal will make your time in lessons more efficient, more meaningful, and more urgent.
- What teacher best can fit what I am looking for? Or can my current teacher better help me if we work out these goals together?
I have attached a quick start handout that I have begun using with my new students. Even students who have been taking for a while will see a huge improvement in their focus and motivation if they work out answers to the above questions and fill out the quick start page. Set Goals
I will go over the specifics of how to set each of these goals in future posts.