We’ve just reached the end of the year, and it’s time to look to the next one with positivity and determination. As music students, it’s important we all strive to improve. That’s a great New Year resolution to choose for this January. But it’s still a little vague. If you’re still searching for inspiration for your New Year Resolution, TheMusicTeach has a few suggestions for you to choose from. Here are my Top 5 New Year Resolutions For Music Students:
It’s not always necessary to practice more. And let’s face it, many of us just don’t have the time these days. But you can always work to practice better. Good quality practice is better than long practice sessions that go nowhere. Strive to listen more to the sounds you are producing. It’s not all about being able to get your fingers around the notes. The pressure applied, the attack and decay of the note, and the dynamic direction of the phrase are all important too.
Technique is one of those words students dread the most. This is because it often means lots of scales practice and boring exercises. Don’t switch your brain off to the exercises. Instead, focus your attention to how the fingers are working. If you play a wind instrument, focus on the tongue or the subtle changes in embouchure. What is the breath doing? Is it controlled and steady? Scales repetition helps your fingers remember where the notes are, so don’t avoid them.
There are dozens of musical styles and genres you probably haven’t approached as a musician yet. This narrows your repertoire and your musicianship. Make this year about listening to styles of music you haven’t heard before. Why not find some recordings of instruments you haven’t heard of before? They may have their very own style of music you could become more familiar with. A broader experience of music in general is a good goal for the New Year.
One of the most difficult parts of being a musician can be to overcome performance nerves. It’s not easy to do, but the experience of performing can help. Ask your teacher to enter you for a local music competition. Or how about asking your friends to come over for a short recital? The more you do it, the more you will come to understand how you perform under pressure. Then, when it comes to exam time, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable.
Work WITH Your Teacher
Sometimes music lessons can become boring and dull. Even teachers can lack enthusiasm sometimes. Private instrumental lessons are different to lessons at school. You attend and pay for the lessons because you WANT them, not because you HAVE TO. So why not direct your lessons a little more? Bring new pieces to the lesson. Ask more questions about your instrument, famous musicians you’re discovering, and recordings you’ve heard. Work with your teacher to tailor your learning to your interests. Don’t forget to read the comments in your practice book, though!
Finding some of the best New Year resolutions for music students can help you create your own New Year resolution for this year. Maybe you’re ready to try a second instrument, or perhaps you want to push yourself to pass that elusive grade exam. Whatever you pick, talk to your teacher about it, and together you can achieve whatever you want. Happy New Year!