Musical Resolutions for 2019

At the beginning of a new year many people make resolutions.  We might as well add some musical ones to our list!

  1. Make more music for yourself and for sharing with others.

Just before Christmas break a small group of students, myself, and another teacher took some Christmas songs we had worked on to perform them for the residents at 10 Wilmington Place. It was a bit impromptu (short prep time), but the residents really enjoyed the program, its variety of songs and performers, and we had a good time performing for them.  This simple event had a big impact on both parties.  I received a call after the performance reiterating how much they appreciated and enjoyed our coming, and we were invited to come back anytime.  This got me thinking…why don’t we do things like this more often?  So, in 2019, I will strive to provide a few more opportunities than our 2 student recitals for students to share their music.  Also, this is a call for you to seize opportunities that may come your way to share your music with others and brighten someone’s day by making music!

2. Leave inhibitions at the door and don’t worry about perfection.

I recently read an article about how music was good for the brain and helped to reduce stress, etc. All things we’ve probably heard before.  But, this particular source warned that music making that was too intense or too focused on being perfect could have a negative effect or at least reverse the calming effects of music.  So, does that mean we shouldn’t practice to become a better musician and better at our instrument(s)?  No.  It means find a good balance.  As with everything else in life, we have to find the right mix of practicing to improve and playing/singing for the enjoyment and benefits of music making.  The more you play/sing the more improved your skills will become.  So, as we seek to have fun, we will improve as a side-effect.  Finally, something that has good side-effects!

3. Try new music and be open-minded to new genres.

Be open-minded this year to trying new music (both making it and listening to it). When we try new music we discover things we like (even love) that we might have missed had we stayed in our comfort zone.  I always have an educational reason for the songs I assign students, and I hope students will be open-minded to the things I throw their way or even bring things to lessons they are intrigued by.

4. Have a disciplined practice routine.

As we turn our calendars to 2019 and begin filling in all of our obligations and resolutions, please be sure to include practice as part of your routine. Just like working out and getting in shape, we are more likely to do it if it’s part of our schedule and written on our calendar.  Also, I challenge us to keep our promises to ourselves this year.  We wouldn’t cancel repeatedly on a good friend, so don’t cancel on yourself.  If you have practice time in your schedule, do it.  That’s “you” time!  That’s an opportunity to unplug from life, de-stress, and improve your instrument.  So resolve to keep your promise to yourself and keep your practice appointment.

May 2019 be filled with enjoyable music making, new sounds, and musical improvements!