30DSR Day 17: Pick One Musical Goal for Each of your Students

Huh? Just one musical goal? Yup, that’s right. Don’t worry though, we’re not going to forget about everything else along the way.

30 DSR Day 17 Setting student goals

Pick out a musical goal for each student to really hone in on their progress

I do this in my own studio every few months. Picking one musical goal for each student not only helps to clarify your focus for them, it can also help to declutter your own mind.

And teachers’ minds do tend to need decluttering.

So let’s revisit those student notes we made on day 14 (missed out on that? find day 14 here). With a cup of coffee, or perhaps even a glass of wine in hand – pick one focus for each student in your studio. If you do group classes the goals could be for each class instead.

Musical Goal Setting

The key to picking these objectives is to think:

“What would I be thrilled to see this student achieve/learn/improve by the end of the year?”

This could be anything at all. From technique, to reading, to confidence; nothing is off limits. If nothing jumps out right away try running through this list.

  • Technique such as
    • Hand shape
    • Floppy fingertips
    • Arm weight
    • Rotation
  • Reading such as
    • Fluent sight-reading
    • Landmark notes
    • Steps and skips
    • Notes up to three ledger lines
  •  Artistry & performance such as
    • Perform from memory for the first time
    • Feel confident for the next recital
    • Expression
    • Greater dynamic range

Those are just a few ideas. You could also target practice habits or theory or playing with a metronome. Anything goes.


One you have your student goals set, revisit the rest of your notes on the student. What are they working on with you that supports this focus? Is there a resource or activity that could better help them reach this target?

Remember this is just the primary goal. No need to ditch everything else you’re working on. Just think about your plans through this lens for today.

It might give you a new perspective.

Vibrant Music Teaching members, you can access this resource inside the VMT library. Not a member yet? Find out more about becoming a member here.

Action Steps

  • Pick one musical goal for each student or group of students.
  • Think about how their repertoire and technical work could better feed into this goal.
  • Take note of any resources or activities you might like to add in to help you achieve your goals for each student.

What kind of objectives or goals do you have?

Did this exercise help you see something in a new light? Did you struggle with choosing the one primary goal from your long list for each student?

Let us know how you get on in the in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook or in the comments below.

Did you miss any of the posts in the 30 Day Studio Refresh? Check them out by clicking here.

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