INTRO TO S.M.A.R.T. GOALS Planning is one of the most critical steps in reaching a goal. If you want to be a race car driver but have never driven a car, there are some obvious steps to complete before you can reach your goal. The same is true for learning music or becoming a musician.
By creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, each student can decide how they are going to reach their personal goals that month. For example, a student may want to be able to play the assigned scale. That's great! But how are they going to do that at to what level of success? So we make a plan starting with a specific goal.
SPECIFIC The assignment is to play the Concert Bb (B flat) Major Scale. For some grades this assignment might have more details such as "play the Concert Bb scale in eighth notes at 90 bpm (beats per minute) with one quarter note per beat, two slurred - two staccato. Now THAT'S really specific and having details will help you plan to reach you goal.
MEASURABLE This means, how will you know that you're getting closer to your goal or that you have achieved your goal. Basically, are you able to do the thing your setting out to do.
ACTION This is your plan - how are you going to reach your goal. For some students, it could be as fundamental as 'set reminder to take instrument home on _____day" but for others it might be to 'practice 10 minutes immediately after I get home' or 'practice at 60 bmp to start and then slowly increase my speed without loosing accuracy.' This is YOUR plan. You need to make is suited for you and likely won't look like anyone else's plan.
REALISTIC This is where you don't set yourself up for disappointment. Be honest with yourself. If you're setting a goal to practice 700 minutes in a month yet never take your instrument home, how about we have that as a long term goal but start with something a little less daunting but still really useful to your learning. 200-300 minutes in a month is only 3-5hrs total. You can get A LOT accomplished in that time. Start by practicing for 5 minutes each week day. That's only 25 minutes in a week times 4 weeks equals 100 minutes. Double that to 10 minutes and you've got your 200 minute goal. This is a great goal for beginners! You'll be surprised how fast the time goes by when you start with something fun, go onto something new, and then end with something fun again!
TIMELY Setting open ended goals can hinder your motivation, however, if you set a BIG GOAL and then break it into little goals, you'll be more likely to be successful! Your Goal Cards will also provide you with a timeline of events we are preparing for or when specific items are due but the easiest thing to remember is that when you set a goal for yourself, you'd like to be able to complete it by the end of the month. This is when students reflect upon their successes and challenges in meeting the goals and share that again with your parent/guardians and with your teacher.
HOW GOAL CARDS WORK 1. Students will be given a goal card and time in class to create their goals for that time period. 2. Students take these goals home and have a parent/guardian initial under the goals that they have read through these with the student. This helps to make the task of reaching the goals more obtainable because the students have shared their goals with someone who will support them. 3. Students will then write down either what they practiced, how long their practiced, or any other details that will inform their practice and reflection, helping to make each practice session valuable and another step closer to achieving their monthly goals. 4. At the end of the time period, students will reflect upon their progress. They will write a short (1-2 sentence) reflection and thoughts for next cycle and indicate how they feel they did by circling for one of the following as related to their goals: NYM (not yet meeting) A (approaching) M (meeting) EX (exceeding) 5. Goal Cards due dates are the next week days following the goal card period. 6. Mrs. Livingstone will then review your Goal Card, write a comment, and return it to the student to keep in their folder.
Goal Card completion (not necessarily achievement of the goals but the process/progress!) is a major component of this class. It is your homework and worth 15% of your grade.