The Picture

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. - Victor Hugo

Ah! September! The air is filled with optimism and the possibilities appear limitless! Like January 1st, the beginning of the school year opens the door to reinvention. It is the perfect moment to pause, reflect, assess, and plan. A clean slate lays before us and everything is possible.


As any time management expert or success guru will tell you, you need to know where you want to go or you go nowhere. And while you put some effort into thinking about where you are going, it is also a good idea to take in where you are.


At the beginning of each school year, I ask my students to mull over a few points and write a short essay. The exercise (hopefully) allows them to evaluate their current situation and develop a vision for their future.


I am including it here and invite you to ponder on the questions and do your own self-assessment. Feel free to share your essays and thoughts with me in the comments, and I will be happy to offer you feedback and/or discuss with you on the subject.


I encourage you to be as honest and spontaneous as you can be. Allow yourself one short sentence per question and let the answers come to you naturally, sticking with the first thing that comes to your mind. Try to complete the exercise in less than 10 minutes. The time factor and conciseness of the answers will promote a fluidity in your thoughts and provide insight on things which are important to you that you might have not even realized were.


In a short essay, please briefly describe:


Future goals about your career:

-Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten? In twenty? In forty?


Long term goals leading to the completion of your degree:

-General elements/areas you want to improve (knowledge, musicianship, repertoire, genres, etc.)

-Repertoire you would like to cover

-Recitals/competitions/auditions you would like to prepare for

-Elements of your right hand you want to improve

-Elements of your left hand you want to improve


Your short term goals for this semester and for the academic year:

-Elements you would like to improve

-Repertoire you would like to cover


Now that you have a better picture of what you want the future to look like, you can get to digging a little bit more and planning! We know the “what” and “when”. Time to get to the “how.”


Next time: The Plan

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