The Positive Impact of Reflection


Some of you meet with a dulcimer teacher face to face every week or perhaps monthly. Others of you have a subscription to an online dulcimer video-teaching program, like the one we offer at Dulcimer Crossing. Many of us gather at jam sessions, travel to workshops, and attend virtual festivals online. And you may think that’s enough. You have what you need to progress.

Well, it’s true you have the advantage over people who don’t participate in any of the activities above. But I think there’s one more step all of us need to take … whether we’re getting input from teachers and other dulcimer players, or not. We need to take time to reflect on our progress. Here is why.

  • Reflection allows you to identify and appreciate how far you’ve come.
  • Reflection also encourages us to pursue new knowledge … tunes, techniques, and genres.
  • Reflection helps you identify areas in which you could or should improve.
  • Reflection can help you to deal with feelings of pressure or nervousness if there’s an upcoming opportunity to play with or for others.
  • Reflection can help you think creatively about new ways to approach mastering a difficult technique or tune.

Reflection requires constant questioning and self-appraisal. I think when we take time to quietly reflect on our musical progress, we take the rote repetition out of our practice time. Instead of just playing the same tunes over and over that we already know, we are more likely to set new goals and add to our repertoire.  So slow down and take time to reflect.

Happy dulcimering,



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