Celebrate Milestones

Are you a list maker? I’m kind of OCD and I like to work from a goal list. Sometimes I do something that wasn’t on the list, and I feel compelled to go back and add it to the list – just so I can have the satisfaction of scratching it off the list. I like to recognize my own accomplishments and milestones.

And the same is true when I’m playing my instruments. Each day we can find the time to play is a treasured gift. However, certain days mark significant moments in our musical journey. I want to encourage you to take the time to celebrate each milestone, one by one, as you practice and work towards becoming fluid on your instrument.

  • As musicians, we are driven to grow and improve. And every milestone is a big deal.  It deserves notice. It is an affirmation of your most recent accomplishment.

  • Growth is nourished by encouragement. Even if you are the only person encouraging yourself, do it. Celebrate even the small steps because that is how we grow as a musician – one new chord, one new tune, one memorized tune, one new technique at a time.  But also find opportunities to single out others for something they were able to play accurately – or close to it. Receiving encouragement from others is a great form of motivation and empowerment.

  • Acknowledging milestones gives us the opportunity to reflect … on where we started, where we are now, and what we want to learn on the next step in our journey.

When you celebrate milestones reached on your dulcimer, you’ll find that the memory of the celebration and the accomplishment stays in the forefront of your mind and your heart for a long time. You will probably find yourself working even harder so you can experience that feeling again.

And if you ever think about quitting, or consider putting your dulcimer in its bag and hiding it in the closet or under the bed, think about why you started. Recount all the milestones you have already reached. Then, perhaps after a short break, you will be more than ready to start up again and work toward the next milestone.



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