It’s the start of a new school year on my side of the world, which means that it’s time to reflect on my goals and plans for teaching in the coming year. The first thing I do when making new goals and resolutions is to first look backwards at the year just finished. In order to create realistic goals for 2012, I need to assess what worked and what didn’t in my teaching in 2011.  [···]

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With only a few days of 2010 remaining, it is time to consider your goals for yourself in the New Year. I am very goal orientated when it comes to my students (preparing for a graded exam, polishing a piece for a recital or competition, mastering a particular technique), but I often forget to think through my own teaching goals. So what are your goals for this year?


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Welcome to 2009! I’m going to go a bit off-topic this month, and share with you something I’ve learned recently, that’s helped me be more productive. You could apply this to your studio, but it really applies to all areas of life.

Many of us create new years’ resolutions at this time of year. Unfortunately, they often only last a few days or weeks. How do you get a habit to stick in your life permanently?

I don’t claim to know all the answers, but one thing that’s helped me establish the habit of daily exercise, for example (I’ve been doing it consistently for three months now), is the understanding that forming habits is like a rocket ship blasting off into space.

We’re told that it generally takes about 30 days to become acclamated to a new habit. The first 10 days is like the initial lift off of the rocket – it takes a LOT of effort and energy to get off the ground. The next 10 days, you’ll still have to resist to get past the “gravity” of past habits (like the earth’s atmosphere). It might be easier than the first 10 days, but it still won’t feel natural, and there will be resistance. But if you can persist through the last 10 days, it will start to feel more natural for you, and it will become an automatic part of your life and your daily routine.

It’s amazing to me how simply expecting this 30-day resistance, can help overcome it. I’ve also found it helpful to only focus on trying to form one habit at a time. Now that daily exercise is a habit with me, I’m working on integrating service and volunteer work on a regular basis in my life.

Whatever your goals, I wish you a fantastic 2009 – and hope that you can make it your best year ever, in your teaching, and in all areas of your life. 

Brandon Pearce, President
Music Teacher’s Helper

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