Perhaps there are some things you’d like to do better this year as a musician. Maybe you’d like to sight-read better, or find those odd-ball chords more quickly, or perhaps you want to tackle more challenging works.
Regardless of what you want to improve this year, all roads lead through more practice and smarter practice. Practice is a matter of discipline and dedication, yet it need not be drudgery. There’s no way to avoid the fact that some things improve simply with more repetition. But those “reps” can be smart reps. If you’re having trouble with a particular section of music, as obvious as this sounds, just practice that section. Don’t spend time on the lead-in and follow-on sections. Just work on what you need to. Vary your practice routine – don’t do the same things every day, or even in the same order.
Good results will follow. They always do if you’re diligent with your practice. Nothing may seem to change or get better for weeks, and then suddenly – wham – you notice the improvement.
The new year is on the move, and it will march forward regardless of what we do. As performers we will either get better this year or worse – we will not stay the same. Let’s dedicate ourselves to smart and consistent practice this year so that next year finds us both better performers and better musicians.