Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What do you want most, and why aren't you getting it?

Even though I'm going to talk about music students and music concepts, I firmly believe that the idea of knowing what we want applies to all aspects of our lives - and to what we end up getting. I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but it still applies.

In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go. When he asks her where she wants to get to, she answers that she doesn't care. "Then," he replies, "it doesn't matter which way you go."

Whenever I have a new student (and often thereafter), I ask what they hope to gain out of lessons. The answer has become predictable - so much so that I have to force myself to actually wait for the answer.

"I want to get better."

"Ok. What does that mean?"

"I wanna get really good."

"Great! What does it mean to be really good?"


If we do not (or cannot) define what 'good' and 'better' mean, in specific detail, how will we know how to pursue them? How will we know if we're making any progress or if we've achieved these lofty ideals?

In short, if we don't know what we want, we'll never get it and wouldn't know it if we did.


  1. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

    Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Timely.

    1. I feel it is also important to talk with the parents about what goals their child might have and how they can help them achieve it. A child might be more willing to practice and have goals when they have a support system at home.

    2. Nice call, Chelsea. I know I need to do a much better job of involving the parents of my private students. Parent involvement is one of the top indicators of success, not only in music, but in school and every aspect of childhood and teenager-hood (if that's a word!). Thanks for your wisdom!

    3. Christopher PopykJuly 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Total Independence for a Drummer is a great goal.Play any part with any limb.....I think this and syncronicity..Is The most important foundation to make a great drummer/performer...This and the ability to take critic's comment's...Use those lesded practice stix on a good practise pad...An try to emulate the great's in drumming and fuse all the style's into your own unique masterstroke.


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