Goal Setting For Musicians
Goal-setting is the process of taking active steps to achieve your desired outcome.
What are Goals for Musicians?
Have you heard another musician or even yourself saying, “I just want to be famous” or “I want to be a big artist” or “I just want to make it”? If so, we have some work to do.
There is no “next level” for musicians. There are only specific goals, plans to meet them, and actions taken to get there. Without goals, there will be no progress in your music career.
So it is time to stop wanting to “be a big artist or famous,” and start setting specific goals and putting a lot of effort into achieving them,
The good news is that setting musical goals doesn’t need to be a difficult process. Think about it – what do you want to achieve in the next year? What songs or genres have you always wanted to play? What technique or skill makes you think, “Man, I wish I could do that!”
We are different people which makes us unique and at the same time authentic. Therefore goals are different for every artist. You might wonder where to start from, need not to worry, the questions below might nudge you towards that. Remember that goals are different for each artist depending on so many factors.
Questions To Consider
What do I want from my life in music-making?
What would success for my music career look like?
What’s currently missing for me to achieve that success?
What are some possible things I can do in order to achieve success?
What am I good at, and what will I need help with?
What can I contribute to the effort: time, money, contacts, etc?
Do I understand what will be expected of me AFTER I achieve this goal? And at that point, will I be prepared to approach the next goal?
Actions can be measured. Plans can be changed. But it’s going to be hard to get to the next level if you have no idea what the next level is for you and what it means to you.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your goals…
Compose an original song.
Learn a new song every week.
Try learning a new instrument.
Learn a new style or genre, or explore improvisation.
Create a press kit
Every week, commit to doing something that inspires you musically.
Create a practice schedule and stick with it.
Identify the excuses you typically use to avoid practicing and brainstorm ways to combat them.
Try your hand at writing lyrics, even if you struggle at first. It takes practice!
Budget and save up
Stimulate your creativity in other ways: attend concerts, meditate, or get out in nature.
Collaborate with your fellow musicians, community members or friends
Attend a music networking event – and don’t forget your demo, press kit, or at least a business card!
Learn a new warm-up exercise and add it to your practice sessions, to keep things fresh.
Memorize – and learn how to read – the Circle of Fifths.
Identify a music mentor (whether it’s your someone else in the industry) and meet with them monthly.
Read up on the composer, artist, or music era you’re studying to really understand the meaning behind the songs.
Watch a music documentary to get inspired and learn about famous musicians.
Craft an “elevator pitch” for your brand in case a networking opportunity arises, how would you describe your brand’s style and influences in 30 seconds or less?
Create a website to assist with your marketing.
Reach out to local media, with an end-goal of being covered in a print or online publication.
Take care of your health by eating right and exercising. (Yes, this relates to your music – you can’t sing or play as well if you’re under the weather, right?)
Complete exercises every day for ear training – it’s an invaluable skill!
If you haven’t already… finally sign up for those music lessons you’ve been thinking about!