Violin Learning Goals
Setting and measuring goals
Setting appropriate goals is an important part of attaining a skill or meeting a challenge. And learning to play the violin or viola is no different. But sometimes, like New Year’s resolutions, those goals can quickly fall by the wayside or get swamped in the busy chaos of our everyday lives.
Successfully achieving our violin learning goals provides inspirational fuel for the continued journey. So it’s important to set goals that are realistic. Fortunately, there is a method for setting realistic goals.
Many experts talk about setting S.M.A.R.T goals. S.M.A.R.T online violin learning goals are Specific, Measurable, Relevant, and Timely.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”—Zig Ziglar
We are much more likely to achieve our goals when they are specific. If our goals lack a clear target then we can easily get side tracked or miss critical steps.
An example of a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely goal might be to get a particular passage, study or piece up to a certain metronome mark, say ♩=120 for an allegro section within the next 3 weeks.
Narrowing our focus down to specific goals ensures we can achieve them. Aiming to perform the entire Carl Flesch scale system from memory is not a specific enough goal for most violin students; it’s too broad to be easily achievable. It’s also neither timely nor is it even necessarily relevant to a specific challenge you’re facing in your online violin study.
Are your goals achievable and relevant?
“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ Michelangelo.
Setting your goals either too low or too high can lead to frustration. And an important part of making sure your goals are appropriate is about making them relevant to your current learning stage. If you’re working on spiccato bowing then a relevant goal might be to learn to do spiccato while crossing strings or in a passage that involves position changing.
“A goal without a timeline is just a dream.”– Robert Herjavec
Setting goals without a fixed timeline is also counterproductive. Having a set deadline provides impetus and motivation for achieving your goals. But there is another side to timeliness especially when it comes to playing the violin.
Your goals might be relevant to your overarching goal of learning to play the violin but if you put the steps in the wrong order it can be counter-productive. For example, if you set the goal of learning to do spiccato bowing before you have mastered the ability to bow smooth, straight legato bowings you might develop some bad habits such as gripping the bow too tightly.
On the other hand, there will be times when changing the usual order of learning things may be a benefit. This is where the expert advice of an online violin tutor can be so important. An online violin teacher sees each student as an individual and will tailor the goals and steps to suit your learning style.
The Pro-am Strings’ High Impact Violin Accelerator Course with your own personal online violin tutor is the truly smart way to achieve your violin learning goals.
This post was written by Styluswriter, a former professional violinist/ violist who has taken his gift for phrasing and tone into the world of words. You can learn more about his work at https://styluswriter.com/