SMART Musical Goals

20156039_1521185921273195_2423256951492025543_ncropWhat is the number one most commonly discussed subject this time of year? Goal setting! People are making goals to eat less, read more, increase their organization and decrease their debt. Hopefully, all of our students are thinking about what they want to accomplish in their piano studies this year. Goal setting is important for youth because it gives them something to work for as well as a sense of confidence when they reach what they set out to do!i We want 2018 to be a year of focus and progress for everyone!

However, goal-setting and goal-keeping can be kind of tricky, particularly for children. It takes strategic planning and hard work to get the results we want. In the 1981 issue of the Management Review magazine, George T. Duran shared some ideas on how to make a good goal by using the acronym SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This acronym especially applies to the goals your children can make to improve their playing this year, so take a look at the descriptions of each qualification below!



S: Specific. When goals are vague, it’s hard to know what to do to accomplish them! It’s like giving someone directions to your favorite restaurant by only telling them the name of the store and leaving out how to get there. For example, “Be better at the piano” is a pretty vague goal, so you could change it to “Practice for 10 minutes every day to be better at the piano”, or “Learn 3 new songs this year”.

M: Measurable. Similarly to having a specific goal, you should have something to do every day to work toward your goal so you can measure your progress. A great measurable goal is “Memorize two lines per day” because you havcomputer-lab-shot-300x204e a specific task to accomplish every day.

A: Attainable. Sounds like a no-brainer, but your goal should be something you can actually reach! You don’t want to work for something that will be too hard in the time you have, or that you don’t even have the time or energy to accomplish. Musically speaking, you wouldn’t want to set a goal to learn all of Beethoven’s Sonatas in 2018 if you could only learn one per month (there are 32!)!

R: Relevant. The goal needs to mean something to you and needs to be related to what you’re interested in or currently working on. Otherwise, it will be too hard to find the time and motivation to accomplish it. Musical goals are extremely relevant to your children because they go to piano lessons every week and are trying to be better!

T: Time-bound. All goals need a deadline or a finish date! It’s really easy to let time go by and never see the end of your hard work, and eventually, the goal just disappears from your to-do list. One effective time frame is by the end of 2018, or by the end of the month.

Use whatever works best for you, of course, but be sure to keep this idea in mind. Be creative in adapting these goal qualifications for your children and helping them set goals that they can attain and be proud of! Share your goal with us on Facebook or Instagram or email it to [email protected]–we’d love to hear from you!