New Year’s Musical Resolutions
Why wait until New Year’s Eve to make your resolutions? Now’s the time to begin crafting fun, reasonable, and easy-to-uphold resolutions (or intentions) that inspire you to be the best string musician YOU can be.
Notice the emphasis on “you?” While other great (or famous) musicians should undoubtedly serve as inspirations, never copy, imitate, or aspire to be someone you’re not.
An excellent segue to the first of our musical resolutions examples.
1. Continue to cultivate your personal musical gifts
The world doesn’t need another Lindsey Stirling (violin), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), or Charnett Moffett (bass). The world needs YOU and your unique expression and playing style. Cultivating your onstage persona benefits you later when you’re ready to branch out into the public arena — or to pursue a professional music career.
2. Cultivate a “want to” not “have to” practice schedule
If the thought of practicing makes you groan, it’s time to shake things up a bit. If your daily practice time is a dreaded event, you’re less likely to remain inspired — and more likely to skim over the essentials.
Visit our post, How Can I Make Practice Fun… While the article is geared towards parents, you can take the ideas and make them your own. Some ideas include:
- Making more time for improvisation
- Learning how to make scales more enjoyable
- Practicing in mini-sessions, rather than extended sessions
- Using practice time to work on a favorite, challenging piece one measure at a time, so you witness the fruits of your labor day-by-day.
3. Tackle a piece that’s a stretch for you
Speaking of a challenging piece, make a resolution to learn a musical composition that’s challenging or considered “above your current playing level.” Work with your string teacher to find a score that fits the bill. Tackling a piece measure-by-measure, as Yo-Yo Ma did when he started learning the first of Bach’s Cello Suites at age 4, places even the most complicated pieces closer within your grasp.
Speaking of Yo-Yo Ma, you can hear a fantastic interview with him, including his measure-by-measure approach to Bach’s Cello Suites, by Here.
4. Write an original composition
Make this the year you take your interest in music to the next level by composing a piece of your own. Whether you opt to write a music-only score or set an original poem to music, there are plenty of tools to help, including:
- Our online guide to composition for beginners
- App-based music composition tools
- GarageBand and other recording/editing apps
5. Invest in a cool new accessory
As long as you’re resolving to conquer your fears by putting some original music out there, why not invest in the accessories that can make it happen? The combination of your developing musical skills, combined with original compositions, make you a top contender to join a band. For that, you’ll want amplifying accessories – such as a pick-up (transducer) and an amplifier – to make sure you can be heard in large crowds and venues.
6. Attend a music camp this summer
Music camp is not for little kids. A summer camp is the best way to meet with like-talented and equally dedicated string musicians and to learn from master instructors from around the nation – or world. Summer camps dedicated to string musicians can be pricey, so resolving to attend one now gives you time to request financial support from relatives and friends via an upcoming birthday, holiday, or graduation present.
7. Give busking a try
Busking is a fun way to get together with friends, play your favorite music, and “perform” without the same level of jitters associated with more formal concert venues. Plus, busking brings cheer to passersby, and can be a great way to fund that summer camp, much-needed instrument accessories, or to start saving up for a future dream music program.
Ultimately, it’s best to make New Year’s musical resolutions that you are likely to keep, ensuring your continuing musical success.