A step-by-step plan to accomplish your pianistic goals

Take a moment and ask yourself what your pianistic goals are. How would you love to be playing?

Now… take out a piece of paper and write your goals down. It’s OK to have several goals, but if you really think about them, there’s probably one larger “umbrella” goal that unites them all. Write this umbrella goal down. (It’s important to physically write your goals down on paper, not electronically. The act of drawing the shapes actually ingrains the goals more.)

Then.. list 10 steps you need to take in order to reach that goal. These 10 steps may be big steps, such as

1. Find a good piano teacher
2. Join a rock band
3. Become a fluent sight reader
4. Learn how to improvise like Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones

Or, they may be smaller, more musically specific steps:

1. Learn all 15 Bach 2-Part Inventions
2. At the same time, practice improvising on Real Book tunes
3. Sight-sing melodies to develop the ear
4. Practice rootless 2-handed jazz chord voicings in all keys with the ii/V/I chord progression

Be sure to write these down as well.

After you have your 10-step list, tape it to your computer or post it somewhere near your piano or keyboard, so you’ll be constantly reminded of these steps.

Most pianists only have a vague idea of their goal, and little idea of how to reach it. By making a step-by-step 10 point list, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals and playing the way you’ve always dreamed.

Yes, it’s possible, and you can do it. And it all starts with a list.

Good luck and remember to enjoy every step of the way!

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