SMART Goals for Musicians
No matter the level of musician (whether a new student, experienced student, instructor, or performer), every musician has somewhere they want to be as a musician. Maybe you want to be able to learn to play a specific style, or you may simply want to be able to sit down and play an instrument. Or maybe you are trying to master a specific technique. Without realizing it, we make goals for ourselves all the time in our lessons, practice time, and performances. In order to ensure that we are able to achieve our goals, we must ensure we are making SMART goals. The acronym SMART helps provide a process for creating the best goals. While there is some variance in what each letter in SMART stands for, here are the ones we felt were most applicable to musicians:
"S" stands for Specific, which means to ensure that your goal is specific enough to truly be able to improve it. A general goal like "I want to become a better musician" is difficult to attain. However, "I want to master all of the major and minor scales" is a realistic and specific goal that will help one become a better musician.
"M" stands for Measurable. Going back to the goal of becoming a better musician: this goal is extremely difficult to measure because one will always be able to be a better musician. Becoming better is objective and will be ever shifting and changing. However, being able to play all of the major and minor scales is a goal that has a specific moment in which it is accomplished. To reach this goal, one must learn each major and minor scale!
"A" stands for Achievable. Becoming a better musician is not achievable because it is an abstract concept. Are you simply trying to get better than you currently are? Are you trying to be the best musician ever? One must narrow the goal and know it is measurable. However, some goals may not yet be attainable. A beginner can make a goal to be the best musician ever, but that goal would require several smaller, achievable goals if there is any hope to make that larger goal a reality.
"R" stands for Relevant, which means that the goals must be applicable to the instrument you are trying to play. It does not do you any good to learn to hold a violin bow if you are learning to play the piano. Rather, a piano player could make a goal to play with rounded hands so they can develop better technique.
"T" stands for Time-Bound. You should have an idea of how long your goals will realistically take to achieve. Some goals may be long term, while others are short term; however, this knowing which are which will help you be able to eventually achieve all your goals.
Using SMART allows musicians to determine that the goals they are making are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound; and musicians are better enabled to reach their goals.
Don't know where to start or what goals to make? Contact us today about starting lessons with one of our incredible instructors!