Happy new year! I hope you all had a great holiday season and a great start to 2017. 2016 sure was a blur for me! A good kind of blur, but a blur nonetheless. Watching my son grow into his own little self has definitely been a highlight. I also started teaching private lessons again a couple months ago, which has been a great change of pace.
We were also able to come home to Colorado for Christmas, thanks to my in laws. It was Oscar’s first trip off the island, and he got to experience snow! In fact it was quite a winter wonderland when we landed three weeks ago. Quite a change from the 80 degree weather we left in Hawaii! It ended up being a well deserved break from the craziness of my job the last couple months.
I’m not one for new years resolutions, but I always seem to pause for some reflection at this time of year. I am painfully aware that I haven’t even started my “challenge 2.0” that I set out to do a month and a half ago. Ouch. Life got in the way, big time! So because of this, I have made the official decision to not go to the Navy Band audition in February. It makes me sad, but there’s just no way I’d be ready for it. Six weeks is not enough time to prepare! And I want to be 100% ready, especially since I have to travel so far (an pay for it). Its not something that I want to half-ass!
I’ve been thinking about what some realistic goals for me could be for 2017. Maybe this year isn’t my year for auditioning, but it might a good year to work on fundamentals and audition skills, to get ready for that audition that I can take, whenever that will be. I also want to make sure that I don’t lose sight of my actual job that I have right now. Although audition preparation does have a positive collateral effect on my overall musicianship, I want to shift the focus back to being the best musician and leader I can be at my band right now. That was not my focus in 2016. I was caught up in auditions and the transition to being a working/nursing mom. This year will be different. Even though my little one is still breastfeeding (and will be for awhile, the little rascal!), I am able to wean off the breast-pump to just once a day now since he’s over one year old (off from 3-4 times a day). Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it opens up a lot of time during the workday for me!
With all that said, I’ve decided to set some specific goals for 2017.
- Make time for reed working, separate from practice time. Set aside an hour or two each week to only work on reeds.
- Set specific practice goals each week, and record a video (like in the audition challenge).
- Make practice (at least the fundamentals on busy days) a priority. Shoot for 4-5 days per week.
- Practice visualization for 10 minutes 4-5 times a week
I’m trying stay away from setting goals for specific repertoire. I do have pieces and excerpts I want to work on, but things change all the time and I don’t want to nail myself down to specific things like that. It’s too restrictive in my eyes, and doesn’t help me get to where I want to be in the long run.
And looking at the list of goals, I’m wondering if I really have the discipline to do this the entire year. But I need to get my butt in gear if I want to end up in D.C. one day. I’ll take it one week at a time for now! Its all about establishing a routine, right? Perhaps after a month of doing it consistently it will be easy!
What are your goals for 2017?