V.com weekend vote: What is your primary musical resolution or goal for 2022?

January 1, 2022, 12:14 PM · Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season, full of friends, family, good food and good times. As the holiday season ends, a new year begins, creating the perfect opportunity to talk about resolutions and goals for 2022!

Specifically, I'd like to talk about everyone's musical resolutions. Of course, you might have more than one goal in your musical life, but at this point in time, what is the nature of your primary goal for this year? Where would you like to see the most improvement, attention, and resolve? I've put together a list of general goals, and I'd love for you to pick the one that speaks most to you, and then describe your goals in more detail, in the comments.

Here's a little overview, some ideas to help you get the ball rolling:

Practice. There's always the obvious goal: Practice! Maybe you'd like to do a better job of carving out practice time and really making it happen. Maybe you'd like to up your hours. Or, maybe it's simply a matter of getting to it on a more consistent basis, even for just a little bit of time.

New Repertoire. Another idea is to explore new repertoire. This could mean exploring standard repertoire that you've never learned, or it could mean looking at new music, or lesser-known music by women or BIPOC composers. Or, you may want to explore a different genre than the one you usually play.

Technical Progress. Technical goals can also provide a lot of motivation: fixing your position, getting a good spiccato, mastering up-bow staccato, really getting the mechanics of the bow arm to work, etc. Are you inspired by the idea conquering a technical goal?

Updgrade Equipment.Upgrading equipment is also a worthy gaol. It takes some real effort and willpower to procure a violin that sounds good, or to find the bow that works for you. It requires research; contacting shops, luthiers or bowmakers; trying out the equipment; and then ultimately finding the means to acquire buy it. It can take some real planning!

Find Performing/Playing Opportunities. You also may simply want to find more playing or performing opportunities: to start playing in a group, to form a quartet or ensemble, to join a band, etc.

Listen More. Another thing that can happen when we play a lot is that get so busy with "output" that we forget to give ourselves "input." In other words, we stop listening to recordings, stop going to performances, stop enjoying the performances of other musicians. We neglect to observe, without playing. Do you feel like you need to put your instrument down and listen to more recordings? Go to more performances?

Please pick the answer that best describes the nature of your foremost goals for this year, and then describe your specific goals in the comments.

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January 1, 2022 at 07:54 PM · My goal, or really my dream, was to find/form an amateur chamber group with similar enough players to make it fun. And then it happened! feel incredibly lucky, as an older adult returner and new to the area, to have found this group, via our community orchestra, a few months ago. Continuing on and working on quartet music and related practicing is my goal and pleasure for now.

January 1, 2022 at 09:29 PM · Finding back into a regular practice habit. (Wasn't possible during the last 3 years due to an exploitative employment situation.) If this sh work out, then eventually looking for a teacher again. And being dependable enough to play chamber music with friends.

January 1, 2022 at 09:57 PM · I've been dealing with osteoarthritis for some time and, on 16 October, I slammed into the trunk of a parked car while riding my single bicycle. I broke my neck (reverse separation of C2 & C3) which resulted in the open posterior fusion of C1 & C2. I've been in a rigid cervical collar since the surgery and will probably continue for at least another month.

The surgeon has told me that I will probably be able to resume the violin but no lateral twisting or my neck or excess stress. (Also no more outdoor bicycle riding - it will be our tandem in the fixed indoor trainer from now on.)

So, my "goal" for 2022 is to get out of the cervical collar, adjust my position (maybe different shoulder and chin rests) and re-learn how to play without pointing my face at the scroll and towards the music.

I may not accomplish that. I am now living on what I call "Bonus Time" as the accident I had has either killed or paralyzed many bicyclists. I'm luck to be up-and-around without any loss of function or feeling, playing my violin in "Mandolin Position" hoping that I can transition back to the shoulder with a bow.

January 1, 2022 at 10:34 PM · @Karen Egee, I have a suggestion for you as you explore your resolution to play chamber music - ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players)! They are a worldwide group of chamber music lovers from beginners through professional and their directory helps you find like-minded and equal-level players in your area or when traveling. You can form a group to meet regularly or just a one-off. There are coaches, too! I can't recommed joining highly enough.

January 1, 2022 at 10:37 PM · Happy New Year everyone!

Practice more consistently has the highest votes as of now doesn't surprise me. I too feel this is the key to achieving any other goals. With the overwhelming changes of our life since the onset of the pandemic, I'm sure it's no surprise that many of us finding consistency of anything to be a huge challenge, yet, trying to achieve any long term goals without consistency practice is almost unthinkable.

Last year I had good result in practicing with the aid of apps such as Pomodoro, using 15-20 minutes/session a few sessions a day. The problem is the time of the day of my practice is irregular; there were days I was too tired or distracted to have productive practice sessions. So this year the consistency I’m looking for is the time of the day for practice that will not be usurped by any other activities.

January 1, 2022 at 11:01 PM · I checked off the technical challenge box. Maybe if I put this goal out for all to see, I will own my goals even more. Although, I have made a lot of progress with my teacher this year, I would like to continue to get rid of tension in my body and develop more of a sense of what I would call a relaxed focus, instead of a tenser focus in my playing. I've just had a little taste of how losing tension helps my sound, it's a nice feeling. Oh, and yes, I need to play with the @$^%# metronome more.

January 1, 2022 at 11:35 PM · I want to be more focused with my time, it is easy to get sucked into doing lots of things and be spread too thinly. I want to be more considered in how I spend my time and not try to do it all.

January 2, 2022 at 01:39 PM · Happy New Year, everyone!

Mine is a simple resolution: to keep playing. I've recently been diagnosed with a herniated cervical disc, and at the moment not losing courage is all I can do.

January 2, 2022 at 07:29 PM · Thanks so much @Ruth. I edited my confusing entry - I DID recently become part of a group - that had been my goal. I also second your endorsement of ACMP. It had been through them that i had played adult chamber music at all prior to landing in my current quartet.

January 2, 2022 at 07:30 PM · Hats off to those keeping on in spite of such hardships!!

January 3, 2022 at 03:44 AM · To just keep plugging away at it despite obstacles. And to do absolutely everything my teacher says.

January 5, 2022 at 11:42 AM · It was a difficult choice.

My practice has become less regular and taken less time in the last couple of years - because I no longer have a teacher and lockdown has meant I couldn't get out to play folk music with others. So I certainly do need to practise more consistently.

I would like to have more 'performance opportunities' too, though that in my case only means the chance to play with other folk musicians. Whereas I used to go to two pub sessions and two or more summer schools a year, I now only have my U3A folk group.

But in the end I voted for 'achieve specific technical goals' because I'm now seventy years old and there's the danger of deteriorating. But before I do, I'd like to be able to play fast enough for dancing - I've made some improvements in the past couple of years and would like to push that till it's 'mission accomplished'.

January 6, 2022 at 04:12 AM · I am in the minority on this one. 1st priority is to attend more live performances, help support my younger colleagues. Being mostly retired it fits into the planned last stage of my modest music career; the important role of - audience. The one good thing that could come out of the virus episode could be that people will reverse the trend of electronic substitutes for real life.

Unlike some, my practice time during this has been longer and more consistent, with a little bit of improvement, which is very gratifying, since by age I should be on the wrong side of the learning curve.

Technical goal; maybe this year I can finally play double stop thirds in tune, with some velocity

January 8, 2022 at 05:00 PM · "Achieve specific technical goals:” This is something I've set for 1st Quarter 2022. It's winter in the Northern Hemisphere, where I am, and winter is my preferred season to review technical material. Of course, I do some of this year 'round, but winter is when I really like to dig into it. I will always find something to improve.

I've gotten out some old study books to review the building blocks of scales, positions, shifts, and double-stops. Besides Schradieck and the Sevcik shifting drills, I'm also reviewing Book II of Harvey Whistler's Introducing the Positions. My first teacher got me into this book toward the end of my first year with her -- after we'd gone through Book I. In particular, I'm zeroing in on positions II, IV, VI, and VIII+. None of these are new to me; but since I use them less often than I, III, V, VII, I'm giving them special attention.

It won't be "all work and no play” -- I will intersperse the drills with review of old repertoire that I had toward the end of my school years.

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