Do you feel like you’re not quite “getting anywhere” with your private music lessons? As a voice instructor, I try to give you the tools you need to be a musician who is always improving and developing your art. If you’re feeling a slump, here are some things to try.
Set long term goals
Do you want to sing a solo in church? Major in music at a great university? Audition for a role with your community theater? Maybe you just want to sound awesome in your car. Whatever it is, decide, and share it with your teacher. It’s also important to share any relevant (or seemingly irrelevant) details like deadlines, rules, genres of music involved, the acoustics of your car (ha!) etc.
Set goals for each lesson
From your practice sessions you’ve had since your last lesson (you’d better be practicing!) you should know your weak spots in your music as well as your technical work. Write them down and bring that to your lesson. (It is very gratifying to tackle those together in lessons!) This brings us to one of the most important and underutilized practices in lessons:
Keep a notebook
It can be a simple binder with loose leaf and hole punched staff paper printed from the Internet. It can be a modge podged masterpiece filled with dates and inspirational quotes on each page. A spiral bound staff paper notebook is my favorite for my own lessons and practice sessions. The important thing is that you have a dedicated place to write down exercises, assignments, notes, ideas, suggestions, goals, and the like. Keep your eyes peeled for another blog with more details about notebooks for musicians. I love notebooks.
I hope these suggestions help you to kick it up a notch in your musical journey. A little soul searching and organization goes a long way!