Whether you’re just beginning your musical journey or you’ve been a musician all your life, we all have dreams about where we see our musical skills down the road. No matter what your dream entails, we have great news for you: you can get there! All you need to do is map out your strategy.

1. Picture where you want to end up.

Before you determine how you will reach your goal, you must first decide what your goal is. To start, close your eyes and dream. Don’t allow yourself to be restricted by the time constraints of your goal or even how realistic it is for now. Just begin by picturing yourself having reached it. What do you see?

Are you playing an improvised solo in a local jazz club? Are you singing in a local community performance or playing with an orchestra? You might even simply see yourself picking up your instrument and playing along to the song on the radio. Your dream can be anything you want, so have fun exploring every possibility.

2. Create a realistic goal that you can definitively reach.

Now it’s time to turn that dream into reality by creating a realistic goal that you can definitively reach. This means turning that abstract goal from step one into a goal with concrete characteristics. Set up a goal that will allow you to know for sure whether or not you have reached it and exactly how much further you have to go in order to attain it.

For example, if your goal is to “be an accomplished musician,” that may very well be a good description of what you saw in your daydream in the first step. But how will you know when you’ve reached it? Perhaps a better goal is to be able to play a song recognizably in your own style after hearing it just one or two times.

Your choice of goal can make or break your chances of success. We use a specific framework, called the M.A.G.I.C. framework, which allows anyone to choose the perfect goal for them. Create your custom goal today by joining Musical U!

3. Decide your timeframe.

Now that you’ve decided exactly what your goal is, it’s time to determine your timeframe. This is sometimes a tricky process. If you choose a timeframe that is unrealistic and too short, you will become frustrated when you don’t reach your goal in that period of time. But if you choose one that’s too long, you might not be challenging yourself enough and you could lose interest before you even reach your goal. The objective is to find a happy medium.

For more information on setting effective goals and creating the plan to reach them, check out our planning module.

4. Set milestones.

When you were in grade school, you weren’t expected to go from kindergarten to grade 12 in just one step that lasted 13 years. The material you are meant to learn in school is divided into grade levels that act as milestones, letting you know your progress as you go. Even those milestones had milestones, or various smaller requirements, within each grade level.

In the same way, attempting to reach your goal without milestones will leave you ill equipped to make your dream a reality. That’s why it is so important to set milestones for yourself in your musical training. This could mean learning one section of a song at a time. Your milestone could also be mastering one chord progression a week until you’ve learned all the chord progressions in a given song or album. It could even be learning to hear various scale types or chord types by studying them one at a time.

5. Get to work and be kind to yourself along the way.

Now it’s finally time to execute your plan. Get to work, but don’t forget to have fun and be kind to yourself along the way. Be patient with yourself if it takes you longer to meet your milestones than you originally expected. Be flexible and willing to change the plan if necessary. But whatever you do, don’t give up.


Reaching your musical goal has never been easier! Join Musical U today to gain instant access to training modules and built-in progress tracking to ensure success.