Balancing Your Goals
Dani - 2014-04-24 15:47:50I have a lot of goals in music, and at times it can be overwhelming each day to approach my station and decide how best to use what few hours I have available to me to develop my musical skills.
I primarily identify as a composer and pianist. As pianist, my goals include developing better technique (working through technical piano exercises), becoming a better improviser (practicing jazz transcription and transposition), and also broadening my performance repertoire of both jazz and classical music. At the same time, my goals in composition involve improving as both a composer of instrumental music (solo piano, jazz trio, chamber ensembles, etc.) and of electronic/electro-acoustic music (which requires me to continually develop with software like Logic, Ableton, and Max/MSP). That is a lot of goals, and they can't all be tackled at the same time.
What I try to do is to approach 2 or 3 topics a day, devoting between 1 and 1.5 hours to each. I even have little cards with specific goals written on them, which I shuffle into a small pile and draw from (face down) to see what fate has chosen for me to work on that day. For example, one morning the cards might instruct me to work on electronic music in Max/MSP, and also to work on jazz transcription. Another morning my tasks could include working on classical repertoire, and composing instrumental music. I am able to juggle everything because of this system that divides my goals into manageable workloads. I have found it to be very useful.