The New Year is the time for setting goals and making plans. But without making your goals part of a balanced life plan, you are likely to miss your mark. One of the keys to setting goals you can actually accomplish is to make them part of a larger picture of your life. After all, your life has many facets and music is just one of them.
The motivational speaker and writer Zig Ziglar talked about the “Wheel of Life.” This wheel has seven areas, all of which must be kept in balance for your life to go smoothly. If one area is ignored, your wheel will be more like a flat tire. The seven areas in Zig’s wheel are these:
You may have noticed that “music” is not one of the areas on the wheel. I would challenge you for 2014 to set musical goals in each area of the wheel to keep your musical life in balance. Here are some of my ideas for incorporating music into your Wheel of Life:
Who is your musical family? Other harpists and musician friends and colleagues? Make plans to spend some extra time with them. Nurture these relationships. No one understands you the way another musician does.
Make it a point to attend harp gatherings: meetings, masterclasses, harp circles. Not near anyone? Join an online community. Just stay connected.
You might have a financial goal as part of growing your harp career, or you could simply commit to an expense that will further your musical progress.
Is the harp your career? Then make plans to move your career forward this year. Recruit more students, make new contacts for gigs, play new places.
Working on your playing technique is an obvious choice, but you could begin an exercise to strengthen your whole body, which would certainly benefit your playing. Another idea would be to adopt a stretching routine before and after practice.
You could embrace the daily discipline of practice, which is spiritually strengthening. Or you could decide to put more of yourself, your own personality, in each piece you play.
You can read books about music history or biographies of great composers or performers. You could learn all the works of one composer. But whatever you do, don’t stop learning!