Setting goals

In order to achieve goals in life we benefit more by planning, analyzing and executing our plans than we would otherwise. Here are a few areas you can plan that will help you to become the violinist, musician or person that you would like to be. Copy the list below, answer the questions, print your goals, put them up somewhere that you see everyday, and read them on a regular basis. Make a schedule based around your busy life and try to follow it. Reevaluate your plan regularly. With time you will notice change. A good investment is a digital recorder to compare your month to month progress and see the potential in your work.

If you like, send me your goals and I will send them back to you by schedule in one year. I will also help you achieve your goals via our forum.

Set goals

Begin with your long term goals.  Which kind of music do you want to be able to play? Which level? What kind or group do you want to play with?

When you have long term goals you can set short goals, smaller targets, that will enable you to reach your long term ones.

  • What do you want to be able to play in one year?
  • What do you want to be able to play in one month?
  • Which repertoire do you want to cover this week?
  • How much time do you want to spend on scales and etudes and how much on performing parts?
  • Which orchestra would you like to play with? Community or professional
  • Which person or what group do you want to play with and by when?

How will I reach my goal?


How are you preparing for this?

  • Lessons
  • Etudes
  • Online teachers
  • Ensembles


Make a schedule to find time in your busy life. It is better to divide practice sessions into several shorter sessions rather than one long exhausting one.

  • How much do you practice everyday?
  • Record and analyze yourself and your progress.
  • Watch and listen to other artists and musicians.
  • What time of the day do you practice the best? Do you play before going to bed? This is probably the best time to practice memory exercises.

Teach yourself

  • Decide to play with one or more people. Build or join a group, sharing music with others is more fun.
  • Don’t limit yourself to the regular ensemble combinations. If you have a good friend or a musician that you enjoy spending time with, and the instrument is not one that generally plays with your instrument, consider being creative. No combination is impossible. Have fun with your violin.


    • Do you believe in yourself?
    • Is there anything that leads you to believe that you can’t be great? If so, set goals to improve that problem and put you in the right frame of mind. Shoot for the moon and you may reach the stars.

Downloadable goal planning PDF

4 Responses to Setting goals

  1. Al Justice says:

    I really like this–it will most likely find it’s way to my practice wall.

  2. Pingback: Setting goals to be a better violinist or fiddler | Fiddlerman | FIDDLESTYLES

  3. Fiddlerman says:

    Art, Thanks for writing.
    First of all I would like for you to follow my goal setting advice
    Next I would like for you to communicate your progress and experiences along the way.
    As far as gigging is concerned. Build a website or MySpace page to use as a marketing tool. Use all available free advertising pages such as Craigslist and Thumbtack and repost often.
    Find something you are especially good at for example: Cuban music, and make a demo. Post the demo on your site and all the ads you can think of. If you are good enough you will get work, if not you can improve and do it over again in the future. Make getting gigs part of your goal.
    Good luck,


  4. Arturo Oliva says:

    I would like to be a better violinist and gigster. Do you have any advice for me in this realm?

    I grew up in Hialeah, Fl. – son of a prominent Cuban family with Christian values. Also, I take very well to positive criticism.


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