Spring classes are underway, competition rehearsals are in full-gear, and it’s time for a new semester of memories and academic adventures. It’s important to take full advantage of the time that you have this semester, but how can you make sure you’re accomplishing the things that you want to with your performance ensemble? Set goals. It sounds so simple, but setting specific and concrete goals is a great way to start the semester and ensure that you finish without letting opportunities pass by. We suggest making a list of short-term and long-term goals to give yourself “deadlines” and stay on track with what you hope to accomplish.
The first step is determining your end-of-semester goal so that you can list smaller steps that help move you toward that goal. In this step, it’s important to reflect on what you want to improve. Every group has differing strengths and weaknesses, both musical and non-musical. If no larger goal comes to mind immediately, take a few minutes and write down your group’s strengths and weaknesses to give you a clearer picture of what you want to work on. Maybe you want to encourage better teamwork in your group, or perhaps you want to use rehearsal time more efficiently. Maybe you have something musical you want to work on like vocal blend or sharper and cleaner choreography. Whatever that goal is, write it down and put it somewhere that you will see it every day so that you are reminded of the goal you are working towards.
Step two is to focus on the small, short-term goals and move forward from there. Here is a list of questions and suggestions for these short-term goal deadlines:
What can I accomplish TODAY?
- I can plan my vocal warmups ahead of time to bring in elements of our competition set that need improvement.
- I can start rehearsal exactly on time to take full advantage of the limited time I have with my students.
- I can take five minutes of class-time to do a team-building activity.
What can I accomplish this WEEK?
- I can perfect the hardest vocal section of our ballad. (Maybe try a sectional rehearsal!)
- I can make sure my students have a packing list for an upcoming competition.
- I can clean up the transitions between the numbers in our competition set.
What can I accomplish this MONTH?
- I can make a game-plan for more efficient rehearsals with my student leaders (i.e. dance captains and officers if you have them).
- I can delegate more responsibility to willing parent volunteers. (Ask yourself: what are some things that parent volunteers are able to do that would take stress out of my life?)
- I can work on positive attitudes in my group by approaching challenges with positivity and encouragement.
Whatever your goals for the semester are, write them down and keep them somewhere that you will see them every day. Take advantage of the time you have with your performance group because this is the only semester you will work with this exact group of students. Keep up the great work, and best of luck to you this semester!