Knowing where you want to go with your piano playing is important to achieving your goals, but knowing how you're going to get there is actually more important, because this step is what makes your goals a reality.
Have you ever heard the saying, "my eyes are bigger than my tummy?" I used to hear this a lot as a child. And I was reminded of it when I was planning out a new exercise routine; not on the piano but actually physical exercise, and specifically walking.
I wanted to return to a favorite spot that I used to power walk almost every day. It's amazing how good for the soul and the body exercise is on a regular basis. (Sound like anything else you know?) :)
Yet, my body is not ready to do what I used to do...I have to break it down and start with something smaller in order to build up to my former routine. That was a bit discouraging...I don't want to wait! (Sound familiar?)
Thankfully my work and practice as a musician has trained me how to handle something just like this! I know where I want to be...now I have to figure out how to get there.
So while I keep my eyes on the main goal which is power walking my old route with lots of hills:
While my ultimate goal will be to walk 6 days a week,
I really want to be able to go the entire 4 miles, but the first week,
With each of these steps I'm taking the time to clearly state, remember and visualize my ultimate goal while I start working the smaller steps that will enable me to get there. Keeping my "eyes on the prize" keeps me motivated and focused on working these early steps because I believe that I will get to the destination by doing this.
It's just the same with the piano!
If your goal is to play the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, you need to set up specific steps to get you there; since you know that you can't just sit down and play it perfectly when you try to play it the first time.
So what are some of the smaller steps you can plan out and take to accomplish this goal?
Put your main goal in front of your eyes in any way that you can - mental pictures, physical pictures, written notes of encouragement, anything that helps you stay focused and excited about why you are doing these smaller steps. You know where you are going and where want to be. Planning out a path that tackles the challenges presented by the main goal will get you there much faster.
Speaking of smaller steps - time to put on my walking shoes.
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