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  • Writer's pictureLydia Metzger

2019 Musical Goals

I struggled for a while figuring out what my musical goals would be for this year. I made my list of personal goals rather readily, but struggled finding the right words for what I wanted my musical and professional life to look like in 2019. 2018 was my first year out of school, and for many people, that first year is a time of both unrest and growth. After 20+ years of weekly feedback on your playing, you suddenly have to be become your own feedback machine, and when you don't have clear goals in mind, you can become frustrated. Add in a move (international or not), and it can be easy to feel a bit anchor-less.

Pete and I at a going away party my uncle threw in July!

The word that I especially decided to focus on in 2019 is 'fearless'. I've never had a word in mind to define a year before, and it makes me cringe to think of having a 'life motto' even now, but I thought I'd give it a try. I was especially thinking 'fearless' would contribute to my personal life, but there are many ways that kind of attitude can influence my musical life.

One of the other struggles I have in writing down yearly resolutions or goals is that almost any goal oriented person you'd talk to would encourage you to have very specific result-oriented goals in mind, rather than too-large, overarching things you want to achieve. In my list below, I oscillate between those two extremes- making some large, and some more specific. Oh well! It's better to have them written down than floating around in my head, as it is!

1. Listen more conscientiously to classical music.

This can mean sitting down with a score while listening to a string quartet, or making the conscious decision to turn on a Mendelssohn symphony instead of a podcast while I'm making dinner. One of my professors in college suggested to not listen to music that you're working on merely as background music, because that can diminish its magic and uniqueness. So, making an effort to further educate myself about works that I'm not as familiar with, could be helpful! I also recently acquired The Beethoven Companion by Schermann and Biancolli at a library sale, and have been playing around with working my way through that, piece by piece.

2. Aim for more mindful practice.

AIRPLANE MODE. I got out of the habit of using airplane mode on my phone when I'm practicing, but it is so essential! I can't tell you how many times I lose valuable practice time by getting distracted by something on my phone. I'm also aiming to experiment more with setting timers during practice to keep myself on task, and use my time more efficiently.

3. Experiment more with practice journaling.

I already keep a bit of a practice journal, mostly just detailing the bare bones of what I worked on each day, but I'd love to have a more concrete 'goal to result' type format. A couple years ago, I was daily writing down long term, short term and daily goals in a practice journal. Honestly, that got kind of exhausting and didn't last very long, but maybe I could pivot and do something similar. Keeping goals in front of your eyes is never a bad thing.

3. Find a way to get some daily theory practice in.

Music theory hasn't always been my strong suit, but I'd love to do better at practicing and becoming fluent in it again. I've obtained a couple exercise books, but I haven't been terribly faithful with them. Even spending 10 minutes a day on them a would be helpful.

4. Practice piano.

I love playing piano (I actually started on piano before violin!), but I never feel like I have enough time to do it. I love learning new pieces, but I often find myself falling back on old standbys because I don't take the time to learn new things. Maybe I should aim to learn one new piece per month?

My piano in our old home in Wisconsin!

5. Read my way through my music library.

I have a beautiful set of music history, theory, and philosophy books that I've collected from family or library sales- but I haven't taken the time to read through them yet. I'm a voracious reader, and tend to always have a fun novel going, but I want to make more of an effort to have a professional, musical book going at the same time.

I hope you find some enjoyment in hearing what's on my mind as this new year gets going! It'll be important for me to go back and look on these as the year progresses.

Bye from Blue!


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