Due to covid-19, we do not have access to our phone system to take your calls. We apologize for the inconvenience.
We are back in person and able to take your calls. In-person lessons are available with select teachers. At this time, in-person flute lessons are not available due to high covid-19 transfer risk associated with flute playing. Virtual lessons are available for all instruments and with all teachers.
How is that New Year so far? It’s all right if it’s a lot like last year- not quite what we were hoping for but still a lot left to figure out. Many of our resolutions “fail” within the first six weeks of the year, but often our resolutions are set up to be vague and difficult.
I loved learning about SMART goals and what they could do for me. I’m trying to put those into practice for my new year, and the thing is it takes some work to look at the goal and also see how the progress goes. Except- I will tell you I love seeing that progress increase. It’s well worth it for me. Personally, one of my goals was to resurrect my notebook habit: I always have a notebook and a writing utensil near me. I started this again in about mid-December, and it has been helpful for writing lists, not forgetting my tasks, and reminding myself what I wanted and needed to accomplish this day or this week.
What’s a SMART goal? I’m so glad you asked. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound. Pretend it’s a worldwide pandemic, and I’ve been sitting on a couch for most of a year. It’s not achievable to say I’m going to run a marathon in February for most of us. It’s not time-bound to say I’m eventually going to play the guitar as well as Michelle Tuesday (that might not be achievable, either, considering how often I’m practicing).
Here’s an example of something that fits well. I want to play guitar, and I’m going to practice ten minutes a day, five days a week, for a month and re-evaluate my progress. I picked out a specific song I want to play, and I can measure my progress on this song or about chords and scales or progress in a book with a teacher. At the end of that month, I can decide if maybe I can make it work for more than five days a week, or if that’s too many. I can decide maybe it works to practice thirty minutes twice a week and ten the other three days to make my goal. And once I reach that – I can set another one.
Maybe my six-month journey on guitar was all right, but I’m now really dying to learn the violin instead? It’s the same process. On one hand, it’s hard to mark that, yes, I practiced Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and missed three days this week. This system is also about giving yourself the grace to say, well, Friday I made up an extra twenty minutes because I knew I had missed a couple days and I wouldn’t practice on Saturday since I would be out of town.
We are what we practice. When we practice making SMART goals and checking in with them, we will be ready to create more music – or whatever other goals are important to you to accomplish. Don’t get overwhelmed with goals- make them fit you and your schedule.
I’m excited to say Happy New Year every chance I get. A new year may not always be a fresh start, but as we measure time it is a great chance to try new things and let go of the things that are not good to hold on to anymore.
One great thing to start your new year in the right direction? Music, of course! Whether you’re thinking about an instrument or singing, we’re here to guide and challenge you to new achievements. Whether you’re new to our school or you’ve been with us from the beginning, I’d like you to look at your music for a few minutes and just consider where you are. What do you want to learn? What is your ultimate goal? Does it make you happy? Is something frustrating you and you need to come at it from a different angle?
These questions might not be on your mind all the time, but it is good to check in once in a while to know you’re on the right track. Don’t be afraid to talk to your teacher about what you want to achieve in your lessons. Also feel like it is all right to ask what a particular lesson might be teaching you, and discuss whether or not you’re getting it. We love music, and we want you to love it, too. See you soon!
New year is a time of resolutions and change. As you make time for music, let us help you with that instrument you’ve always wanted to pick up. Join us for classes in person and online, and let the music fill your home with joy. Thank you for being with us through all the musical journeys.
At MTMS, one of the lab stations allows music students to compose their own selections. Sometimes this results in some hilarious song titles, and definitely original scores. Listed are several that reached above and beyond the “random” or “untitled” to stand out from the rest. We appreciate every composition, and thank you for making us giggle. Two songs are linked to listen to, and one score is in PDF because you just have to read it. Please, share our joy in these songs.