Beginner musicians can take specific steps to speed up their musical progress.  There are many online tools available to help you: online music lessons, YouTube videos, online metronomes, and recordings of just about any piece of music ever recorded.  Real-world strategies can help also: taking lessons with a really good music teacher, recording yourself so you can listen back to see how you actually sound, and playing with other musicians who can help your progress.

There is one step, though, that is absolutely crucial.  And, it’s something that many beginning musicians don’t even think about.  Here it is:

Set a musical goal for yourself!

When you first start playing a musical instrument, it’s important to set a very specific goal.  When you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll be motivated and excited to play music.  Plus, you can tell everyone you know what this goal is.  There are often people who are willing to help you reach this goal–but they need to know what it is you want to do.

Tell your private lesson teacher what this goal is.  Even better, use this goal as a way to screen potential teachers as you search for one.  Tell each teacher what you want to accomplish and make sure they can help get you there quickly.

For many beginning musicians, there is a single song that got them to pick up an instrument in the first place.  Often, the goal will be to play this song.  That gives a good milestone, a way to say, “I’ve arrived.  I’m a real musician now!”

Other musicians, as well as your lesson teacher, can guide you toward this goal and let you know how long they think it will take you to get there.  Plus, they can give you shorter-term goals that will move you closer to your destination.

Set a goal for yourself today.  Put it in writing.  Tell your friends and family about it.  You may be surprised at how much more fun it is to play music when you have a target you’re trying to reach!

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