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5 Easy Steps to Reach Your Cello Goals

Practicing daily is essential to improve your cello playing. That part's obvious! We might think that practicing multiple hours a day is the only way to get better, but that couldn't be more wrong. The best way to practice is to practice with efficiency in mind- completing your goals for the day in the shortest amount of time, to increase your success rate, eliminate any frustration, and reduce any risk of over-use injuries.

  1. Establish a definite date – Set your goals in reverse. Pick a date of completion and work backward. Ex. Set a goal for the end of the month and then set short-term goals for each day through the end of the month. This way you are setting short and long-term goals and each day as you accomplish your short-term goals you move one step closer to accomplishing your long-term goal. Don’t forget to include a day off!

  2. Keep a calendar – Take the goal you set for the end of the month and write that goal on the last day of the month. Then write down the short-term goals for each day through the end of the month. Ask yourself- what do you need to learn in order to reach that end goal?

  3. One at a time – Don’t try to cram everything into one day. If you try to learn everything and play everything all in one day you’ll burn yourself out and end up frustrated and disappointed. Instead, focus on just a few things every day and then cross them off your list. Mark an ‘X’ on the calendar on the days you complete the scheduled tasks.

  4. Set a time limit – Depending on your goals and your current playing level, aim for one to two hours per day maximum of practicing. If you are just starting out, build yourself up from 20-30 minutes a day. By limiting the time you are spending and focusing on just a few things every day, you’ll build momentum and increase your success rate, while eliminating the risk of any over-use injuries.

  5. Stick with it – Stick with your schedule. Playing the cello takes dedication and hard work, and the reward is oh so sweet- a skill that will stay with you for a lifetime and offer decades of joy, passion, musicality, and fun.

By approaching your practice sessions with a plan, you’ll make accomplishing your goals easier. At the end of the month when you see more ‘X’s than empty squares, you’ll feel more accomplished. By implementing the 5 Easy Steps to Reach Your Cello Goals, you’ll find yourself making progress, building self-confidence, and reaching and accomplishing your long-term goals on the cello.

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