Goals for 2012

December 19, 2011 at 04:27 AM · Has anyone established any musical goals for next year? Here are a few of mine:

Improve sight reading

Better musicianship

Fluency in higher positions

Vibrato ~ this may never happen if I cannot relax

Post more here

Replies (23)

December 19, 2011 at 07:34 AM · Ooh, good one. Here's a few New Year's Resolutions I actually stand a chance of bothering to try keeping.

1) Practice more, but also more efficiently- my new job (yay! Hurrah!) will free up a lot of time and I am determined to make the most of it

2) Play as confidently in lessons as I do at home

3) Work just as hard at the pieces I like less

4) Sort my posture out before my neck actually starts growing into my shoulders

As I've only had seven lessons I'm not good enough to pick anything specific to work on- I need to do it ALL! But hopefully I'll make progress if I stand by the above.

December 19, 2011 at 08:26 AM · To learn more folk tunes and develop my improvisational abilities whilst pursuing some of the finer points of classical technique. Also to spend much more time out there playing whatever instrument in front of people... such a buzz.

December 19, 2011 at 12:24 PM · 1) Stop smoking

2) Learn vibrato and good intonation.

3) Finding a good position with my violin

4) Being succefull at 1, 2, 3 and the unwritten number.

December 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM · me?

making Vivaldi A minor sounds recognizeable,

mastering the 2nd, 4th, 5th position:

finishing book 5 suzuki: (a bit long shot though);)

but who knows?:

December 19, 2011 at 01:04 PM · Work on my bow weight and tone. Work on my vibrato.

--Ann Marie

December 19, 2011 at 07:25 PM · Stop playing with a student mentality.

Perform a concerto.

December 20, 2011 at 05:02 PM · Get that big tone.

Study an XDP. (eXtremely Difficult Piece)

Let go of goals and resolutions.

Enjoy the company of the folks I'm making music with.

December 20, 2011 at 05:11 PM · This year I'm setting reachable goals, vs. a general goal of 'get better' or 'improve'...that's new for me, so we'll see where it gets me...

December 21, 2011 at 12:08 AM · I'm going to set a goal to play at least one Paganini Caprice, more Flesch Scales, better bow control.

December 21, 2011 at 03:39 AM · I plan to learn scales and do them right. I plan to get me a real violin then use the vso as a wall hanging. I hope to learn to play well enough that the family doesn't leave the room when I unzip the case.


December 21, 2011 at 08:44 AM · that is a topic for my annual review/preview blog. To give a hint - it has something to do about breaking down technique to its component parts and developing phrasings...

December 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM ·

December 21, 2011 at 05:02 PM · Annual goals lead to annual disappointment. Just take it a day at a time and do your best to make good decisions each day. We only have the present day, and really aren't guaranteed the next heart beat.

December 21, 2011 at 10:18 PM · No offense, but I disagree, Evelyn. :) I think it can be very helpful to sit down and think, where am I going broadly speaking and what can I do to get there? Certain people benefit from this approach more than others, though...

December 22, 2011 at 04:34 AM · I agree Emily. This is the first year of my life, and I'm 56 that I have had the confidence to consider what I want to do in the new year. Last year I only wanted to live I had a 12 week stay in the hospital. I had just bought my vso and hadn't even began to play it. Now I'm playing in the band at church and loving it. I have more confidence than I ever have. I think that is a good thing.


December 22, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Another vote for Emily.

I'm a late adult beginner, with vast oceans of unmastered technique before me. So how to prioritise? Without goals I'll be directionless. So for me this thread is an opportunity to think things through and make a commitment to next steps...

Initially I've been focusing on developing relaxation and flow while establishing the basics on relatively simple pieces. My thinking has been that without a foundation of relaxation, working on more challenging technique would likely be counter-productive and lead to bad habits.

Now I'm more comfortable with the instrument I guess it's time to focus on developing repertoire.

1) Performance. Until now I've mainly been twiddling at the back of sessions, apart from leading a couple of easy airs and waltzes. So to get used to stretching myself in performance I'll learn a new set of fast-tempo English dance tunes a month and lead them at sessions. (English tunes are generally relatively simple).

2) Scottish. By the end of the year, develop a couple of the big slow Strathspeys to performance level. This will require working on off-the-string attacks, double-stops, driven up-bows (a kind of staccato with an emphasis on the end) and sliding into meaty, slightly flat unisons. And getting comfortable with injecting basic ornamentation at will.

3) Klezmer. By the end of the year, develop a couple of sets to performance level. This will require speeding up my shifts, accurate slides, snappy trills and glottal, sobbing Krekhts.

4) Ear. Working towards improv, start developing an ear for the most useful modes and blues scales. And start developing a fingering system for playing them by ear in all positions.

That should keep me busy! There's something about committing myself to this in public which makes it more likely I'll actually do it. So thank you, lovely v.commers, for indulging my ramble, and have a great New Year!

December 22, 2011 at 03:29 PM · The trick is to set smaller, more easily attainable goals.

Most people make those broad and lofty goals that aren't concrete enough (ex. "I will play my violin in a concert next year" vs. "I will play Piece A at my teacher's spring recital in May)...

December 22, 2011 at 04:56 PM · I think you can do - need to do - both kinds of goals. (When you say "lofty", hopefully you mean "more of a stretch, but still attainable with hard work." A beginner saying they're going to play Brahms concerto by the end of the year will obviously be disappointed.) Last year I said I'd learn to play first movement of Bruch within the year. I did. It was a goal that stretched me. But I also every day split the piece up into a collection of sections to work on. I had tiny goals to get to that big goal.

Buri was actually the one I learned that practice method from (integrating small goals into large goals)... *salute*

December 22, 2011 at 05:21 PM · I was using 'lofty' to mean 'overly grand'...perhaps too ambitious (and therefore unattainable) for one's current ability...

...that doesn't preclude it from being a future goal however...

December 22, 2011 at 05:48 PM · My wise teacher tells me that really I shouldn't be focused on building repertoire. Rather I should be learning to play the violin properly. And I agree. Since I just bought what appears to be my first good violin (Topa), and seeing what some of the possibilities are now, I want to focus on tone generation. I'm not sure how to set a goal for that except that I'd like to see noticeable improvements in tone and perhaps also in vibrato which is not unrelated to tone.

As for pieces, I will take those as they come. Here's the current agenda:

1. Balakirev E Major Impromptu (will perform)

2. Franck Sonata First Movement (will perform)

3. Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro (might perform if I can make it sound okay at a decent tempo)

4. Corrente and Sarabande of the JSB D-Minor Partita to go with the Allemande and Gigue which I've already learned.

5. Bach A Minor

December 23, 2011 at 03:59 AM · Able to reserve a seat on the ark with my violin!!!

March 26, 2012 at 07:44 AM · I wrote:

Stop playing with a student mentality.

Perform a concerto.

Well, I just did the second one! Still working on the first though.... :)

March 30, 2012 at 03:25 AM · Finish Nel Cor Piu and Last Rose. I've been putting it off and playing around with concertos. I need to get those female dogs done.

Dust out Tchaik, due to possibility of performing it with my orchestra. That thing needs serious dusting and fixing. Right now it sounds like a 300 year old violin that no one has even touched for the past 200.

Outmanoeuvre my coach so that we can do Bruch's quartet 1 and Death and the Maiden. The violist is threatening to leave.

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