How to Successfully Manage Multiple Goals at Once

How to Successfully Manage Multiple Goals at Once

January is the month for goal setting and this post on how to manage multiple goals at once is dedicated to a specific set of the population. If any of the following rings true for you, keep reading because I’ve got the answers you never knew you needed!

Are you someone who dabbles in a little bit of everything? Do you have such varied interests that people raise their eyebrows a bit when you describe them all?

Maybe you switch careers and hobbies like you switch your socks because you become bored so easily. Or maybe you have given up hope of ever making significant progress in any one area.

You long to just find that “one thing” you were meant to be and do but somehow it always evades you. Each new thing you try promises to be that “one thing” but it never really pans out that way.

And the thought of sticking with one career for an entire lifetime terrifies you.

If any of this sounds familiar, first know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. There’s actually immense value in having wide-ranging interests in today’s world. Your perspective is unique and worthy of celebration!

And understanding how to manage multiple goals simultaneously requires an understanding of just how valuable you are.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

Why Having Multiple Interests is a Strength

Have you ever heard the term “multipotentialite?” The term describes someone who has multiple interests across a wide range of topics. Up until several weeks ago when I stumbled across this life-changing book, I had no idea this was even a thing.

I thought there was something wrong with me because I could never stick with one thing for very long. My first undergraduate degree (yes, I have two) was a long and winding road which has essentially nothing to do with my current career.

And my hobbies which range from dressage to piano to quilting also offer unprecedented diversity. If you’re interested in hearing more about my story, make sure to check out last week’s post!

But after reading this book, I have come to realize that having multiple interests offers huge advantages. The first is that having multiple interests means you’ve mastered the art of being a beginner. Because you’ve started so many different things, you’re completely unafraid to try new things. This also means that you’re open to new experiences and most importantly, ways of thinking.

The second advantage of having multiple interests is that you’re able to draw on diverse background knowledge to solve problems. Your perspective is entirely unique which means you’re not stuck in the rut of thinking which traps many specialists. And by “specialist” I mean someone who sticks to one career or hobby and hones it deeply instead of the “generalist” who tries everything.

The third advantage is that having multiple interests is the mark of intelligence. It’s a sign that you’re curious and interested in the world around you. You desperately want to learn new things and grow as a person.

But with the strengths also come challenges. One of the biggest being how to manage multiple goals simultaneously.

Why It’s Difficult to Manage Multiple Goals

At first glance, it may seem as if the ability to manage multiple goals at once is easy if you also have multiple interests. And for some multipotentialites, goal attainment may be fairly simple and straightforward.

But for others, learning how to manage multiple goals at one time is a learned skill. Without this skill, you could easily resign yourself to the fact that there’s too much on your plate and you should just quit everything.

You may also feel that because you are doing so much, excelling in any one area is completely unattainable and therefore not worth your time.

Or maybe you feel overwhelmed by the amount of time required to make progress in any of your areas of interest.

Maybe you’ve abandoned interests in the past for these or any number of other perfectly legitimate reasons. Achieving goals is tough, even for people who set their sights on only one thing over an entire lifetime. It’s especially tough for those of us who have seemingly conflicting aspirations.

But time, overwhelm, perfectionism, and a range of other reasons don’t have to hold you back any longer. Remember that multiple interest advantage about being open to new ways of thinking? You’ve already mastered it and are well-equipped to change your mind set about your ability to manage multiple goals! Let’s get started!

Pace Yourself

I think sometimes we have a tendency to think that because we have all these interests, we MUST do each of them daily. I’m here to tell you that if you’re anything like me, doing everything every single day would be IMPOSSIBLE.

Give up the pipe dream that you can do ALL THE THINGS on all the days. It’s not only a lie but it’s a fast track to burnout. And if you’re burned out, being your awesome self is impossible. You (and the world!) deserve more.

Learn to flip the narrative around by looking at your time from a larger perspective. Instead of pursuing your interests on a daily basis, consider mapping out a week or a month at a time. Sit down and carve out chunks of time for all those interests in advance.

Dividing your interests up also offers the benefit of rotation and thereby decreases the risk that you will easily become bored. It’s a win-win all around!

Prioritize

In line with pacing yourself is the vital concept of prioritization. There will be times when one particular interest is more important or relevant than at others.

Learn to become flexible and follow your intuition.

Both pacing and prioritization continue to be personally challenging for me but I have learned to accept the fact that I simply can’t do everything. But as long as I fit one of my interests into each day, I consider it a win.

One thing which has helped me with both pacing myself and prioritizing my interests is having a planner. This incredibly useful planner facilitates daily, monthly, and longer term planning involving multiple projects at the same time. And when you’re trying to manage multiple goals, this is the planner for you!

Don’t Fall for the Myth of Immediate Gratification

We live in a world of immediate gratification. The answers to any question you can possibly think of are at your fingertips whether it’s 1 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning.

If you suddenly have the urge to talk to someone you haven’t talked to in years, all you have to do is hit them up on social media.

And if you’re wondering what your favorite celebrity is up to right now, simply consult Instagram.

All this immediate gratification sometimes fools us into thinking that EVERYTHING can and should be immediate. It has us believing that if something takes longer than 5 minutes, it’s not worth our time.

But the truth is that true accomplishment, the kind you feel down to your very core, takes time. And for those of us interested in everything, this is a tough lesson because there may be times we’re tempted to move on rather than put forth more effort.

Sometimes moving on is exactly what you need to do. But there will be other times when sticking with it for the long haul is your calling. Getting clear on your why is usually key in determining whether to keep pressing on or abandon ship.

And when your venture is to manage multiple goals, getting crystal clear on your why is crucial.

Become Indistractable

When you have multiple interests, the obvious answer to pursuing all of them simultaneously may involve multitasking. After all, doesn’t doing more than one thing at the same time improve efficiency?

As I learned in this book, it actually does not.

Humans are incapable of multitasking. Need proof? Try to keep reading this post while multiplying 362 x 586 in your head. Notice how you really can only focus on one of those tasks at a time?

We actually become more efficient when we focus on only one thing at a time. And the fewer interruptions while we complete the task, the better the outcome and the more efficient we become.

Each distraction shifts your focus away from the task at hand and it takes more time and energy to re-focus than staying honed in on the task in the first place would have taken.

Find ways to protect your time and you will be amazed at how your ability to manage multiple goals at the same time also improves.

Time Batching

Along with becoming indistractable is the idea of batching your time to improve efficiency and thereby your ability to manage multiple goals simultaneously.

Time batching involves doing all similar tasks at the same time and then moving to the next set of similar tasks. A simple example of this would be blocking off an hour of your day to address all email-related tasks instead of responding to each one as they filter in throughout the day.

It may seem counterintuitive but responding to messages as they come in shifts your attention from whatever you were doing before. This means you not only didn’t finish that other task but you require additional time and energy to re-focus after responding to the message.

It also increases the chances that your attention will be drawn even further down a nonproductive rabbit hole. As an example, let’s pretend the email is advertising a sale at your favorite store. The temptation will be to immediately check out just how cheap those jeans you love are.

Pretty soon you’re checking out tops, shoes, and jewelry. Then dresses and skirts. And then you realize it’s been an hour and you’ve made zero progress on whatever you were doing before that email hit your inbox.

Been there, done that. Which is why I now batch my time and have seen gigantic improvements in my efficiency and ability to manage multiple goals at the same time.

Other Thoughts on How to Manage Multiple Goals

I simply can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of embracing all that comes with having multiple interests. There’s a freedom which comes with knowing it’s completely normal to have wide-ranging interests. Not only is it normal but there are incredible benefits to being a generalist rather than a specialist.

Give yourself the gift of flexibility. Know that your interests will shift more rapidly than those of specialists and that’s ok. You may find that there are certain interests which stay relatively stable over time while others change quickly.

And that’s ok too.

Keep exploring, learning, and growing. Avoid rigid time frames for your goals because this only contributes to frustration and stalled progress when deadlines are not met, especially when you have multiple goals and interests.

Never underestimate the value of being able to apply what you’ve learned in one area to another. You never know how what you’re doing now will benefit you or others in the future.

Your contribution is unique, amazing, and worthy of sharing with others!

It’s Your Turn

I truly hope you found this post inspirational and are more motivated than ever to manage multiple goals simultaneously! Remember that there are so many other people out there who are also torn by having multiple interests and that it’s not only completely normal but a desirable quality to have.

Learning how to maximize this quality in yourself takes time but is well worth the effort. This book was pivotal for me and completely revolutionized my outlook on having multiple interests. If you’ve never read it but this post struck something inside, I highly recommend you read it!

And for a high quality planner which supports the unique needs of someone who has multiple interests, check out this one:

Lastly, you can improve your ability to manage multiple goals by reading this book:

And as always, I’d love to hear your perspective on this post and whether you have tips for how to manage multiple goals at the same time. Until next time, stay safe, healthy, and motivated to be the best version of yourself!

Why Having Multiple Interests is Your Greatest Strength

Why Having Multiple Interests is Your Greatest Strength

Have you spent your life frantically searching for that “one thing” you’re “supposed” to be doing? Do you have a hard time honing in on one path in life because you have multiple interests? Are you easily bored?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re not alone!

Until recently, I felt that there was something tragically wrong with me for having multiple interests. I was constantly down on myself for switching interests, majors, careers, and even hobbies! The result was a constant sense of guilt for being unable to just hone in and focus on one thing. And I felt as if I was somehow “behind” in life for the many twists and turns I’ve made, both personally and professionally.

Let me catch you up to speed on a few of those twists and turns.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. And as a member of the Amazon Affiliates program, I may earn a small commission from purchases. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

My Story

In my younger years, all I ever wanted to be was a veterinarian. I grew up on a farm and loved all types of animals but specifically wanted to be a large animal veterinarian.

All through high school, I focused on math and science classes. In my junior year, I chose a college with an excellent track record of preparing its students for the study of veterinary medicine. And then, not even a week into my freshman year, I did a complete 180. I suddenly found myself majoring in music, of all things!

At first glance, it may seem like a completely random change. However, I had actually taken piano lessons since the age of 7 and had a sincere passion for the instrument. But I had never considered music as a career until the first week of my freshman year at the university.

Studying piano at the college level was challenging in many ways. Despite the challenges, I found so much value in what I was learning and was incredibly motivated to improve my own playing abilities. It was, at first, all-consuming.

But then, at some point, my tendency to explore kicked in again.

Blazing New Paths

The summer after my freshman year, I worked as a camp counselor at a camp which featured horseback riding. I loved it so much that I spent the entire summer re-evaluating my decision to pursue music. And by the end of the summer, I was again signing up for ALL the math and animal science classes.

During the fall of my sophomore year, I spent time shadowing a large animal veterinarian, a prerequisite for veterinary school. In my head, I had this vision of what being a veterinarian was all about. And although the science fascinated me, the realistic daily life of being a veterinarian was polar opposite from my vision.

I found myself once again switching majors. This time to pre-law.

I honestly have no idea how I landed on this one but I did have some vague understanding that lawyers do a ton of reading. And I LOVE to read so somehow that seemed like the logical next step for my life.

My pre-law phase lasted exactly 1 semester and my transcript was officially starting to resemble some crazy squirrel desperately searching for buried nuts.

Multiple Interests Collide

Since my business law grade certainly didn’t reflect a passion for that field, I again dedicated myself to music. Even despite all the major changing I had done over the past several years, I had continued to study piano. I also had taken a position accompanying a church choir in my college town and even took up studying organ, something I had never in a million years considered doing before.

As graduation grew closer however, I grew more and more anxious about how I would actually make money after college. My degree was not strictly a teaching one but had more of a broad, liberal arts emphasis. That meant I would have to be creative about making an actual living. Not a great feeling when at your core, you are a type A planner who NEEDS a plan to survive.

I did briefly consider studying piano at the graduate level however at the time had very deep-rooted doubts about my talent and playing ability. Combined with significant performance anxiety, it didn’t seem like the best option at the time.

And so, once again, I did a complete 180. I finished out my music degree and ultimately graduated with a bachelor of science in fine arts but after graduation, set my sights on nursing.

Again, this may seem like a complete deviation from everything thus far except on two counts. One was that my mom was a nurse and I therefore had a somewhat cursory understanding of what the job entailed. The second was that I had a TON of science classes under my belt thus far.

Trouble finding clarity in your life? Check out this post to find yourself again.

What the …???

Over the next several years, I gradually finished up a 2 year nursing program, worked a variety of different nursing positions including as a floor nurse and in management, and finished up a 4 year nursing program. At which point I began asking myself, “Now what?”

Once again I began feeling restless.

Ultimately these feelings culminated in pursuing a graduate nursing degree and eventually, a career as a nurse practitioner. Although I enjoy the flexibility this position offers, I continue to long for new knowledge and experiences in completely unrelated fields.

And I have continued to foster music in my life through various accompanying gigs, an occasional piano student, and a full-time organist position at a local church.

Even beyond nursing and music, I also started a blog and took up the sport of dressage in recent years.

At this point, you’re either nodding your head because you have a similar story or are asking what the f*** is wrong with me.

And I sincerely hope you are the first because maybe you too have felt behind and confused about your multiple interests. Maybe you’ve been frustrated by your lack of significant progress in any one area. Or perhaps you feel annoyed that you just can’t seem to follow one thing to completion.

Your Greatest Strength

This next part is 100% for you. I see you and feel you because I was you until I discovered this book which changed EVERYTHING. And after a bit more research, I discovered that there are actually people out there wired just like me. People with multiple interests in seemingly unrelated fields, called by some “polymaths” and “multipotentialites” by others.

Regardless of the term, I discovered the truth that there’s NOTHING wrong with having multiple interests. And not only is there nothing wrong with multiple interests but it actually could be your greatest strength!

The Myth of Specialization

From an economic standpoint, specialization makes sense. Specialization, or the focus on one specific task or field, results in greater productivity. It also enables the ability to become really good at something because it’s the only thing you focus on.

And specialization is emphasized even from our earliest years. Specialization is expected from the minute you are first asked what you want to be when you grow up. At that moment, the seeds of being “one thing” above all else are planted.

As we grow older, we are expected to fall into some type of category. We either fall into the doctor, the factory worker, or any number of other “one thing” categories. And by doing so, putting everyone into neat and tiny boxes becomes infinitely easier.

But what if you don’t fall into a specific category? What if having multiple interests means you are constantly on the search for that next thing to fully engage and fascinate you? And what if you never felt that “one thing” calling?

Well then, my friend, you are very likely a “polymath” or a “multipotentialite.” You have the unique ability to morph into many different categories and provide the type of insight no one else has. Having multiple interests is your super power and your greatest strength.

And you most certainly are not alone.

Real Life Examples

Throughout history, there are dramatic examples of people who have multiple interests and never specialized in any one thing. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was a painter, inventor, and early engineering genius who made lasting impacts on a wide array of fields.

Nikola Tesla was a mathematician, inventor, and humanitarian who also spoke 8 different languages.

And Helen Keller made profound achievements in activism, as an author, and as a lecturer all over the world despite her significant sensory challenges.

Clearly, there are profound benefits of having multiple interests even if society would have you believing otherwise.

Creative Problem Solving

One of the most significant benefits to having multiple interests is the ability to creatively problem solve. Instead of pulling from a very specific and narrow knowledge base, you are able to integrate ideas from seemingly unrelated topics. This offers a completely different perspective to problem solving.

Although I’m not denying the fact that there are times when a specialist perspective is required, multipotentialites are in a much better position to solve truly complex issues. And as the world becomes more and more complex, we need multipotentialites to synthesize information which may never have been connected before.

We need people to reach out across disciplines to advance technology and our understanding of ourselves.

Check out this book for even more fascinating examples of how multipotentialites bring a unique perspective to problems old and new.

Variety

Another significant benefit to being a multipotentialite is the variety which comes from having multiple interests. You’re not afraid to try new things and branch out because you’ve done it 3 million times before.

I would also venture to say that you’re deeply connected to yourself and have a solid understanding of your interests.

You’re likely to be one of those people with 15 different simultaneous (and seemingly unrelated) projects but wouldn’t have it any other way!

Overthinking on overdrive? Check out this post to find out how you can clear your mind.

One Step Closer to Success

In a specialized world, giving up on something before you’ve seen it to fruition very much seems like failure. It seems like a complete waste of time and effort.

But what if I told you that every failure is a step closer to success? What if I said that quitting something early on actually means you are that much closer to true success?

Instead of wasting your time on projects or hobbies you’ve lost interest in, you’re free to move on to the next thing. And yes, there’s something to be said for sticking with something to the bitter end but there’s also something to be said about having the courage to move on.

Even if your progress seems small, we can’t predict the future. There’s no way to know the impact that small progress will have on your or others in the future. No effort when done for a noble pursuit is a waste!

Never be afraid to move on because you never know the success hiding around the next bend in the road!

Check out this book for even more stories of how “giving up” is a good thing.

It’s Your Turn

At the end of the day, having multiple interests is a spectacular quality which opens countless doors for you. It’s true that you’ll probably never find your “one thing” because you’re destined for “greater THINGS.” Your contribution is an outstanding one which we need in this highly complex world we find ourselves in.

I honestly had zero understanding of just how powerful having multiple interests is prior to stumbling upon a book written by David Epstein called ‘Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.’ Prior to reading this book recently, I felt that I was doomed to continue wandering around aimlessly searching for the “one thing” which is my destiny.

His book completely revolutionized my outlook and left me asking, “What next?” Where else can I contribute? What are the other areas where I can make an impact?

If any of this rings true to you, drop what you’re doing and grab ‘Range.’ I guarantee that it will erase all the guilt you’re carrying around and enable you to triumph because of rather than despite your multiple interests.

And as always, I would love to hear what you think about this post. Tell me all about the winding path your life has taken thus far and what you’ve come away with as a result of failing to stick to the beaten path.

And never forget that you are amazing with incredibly unique gifts to share with the world!

How to Find the Right Piano Teacher for You

How to Find the Right Piano Teacher for You

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Albert Einstein

The piano is an incredible instrument with musical versatility unmatched by any other. It can inspire emotions ranging from elation to despair. And when played well, piano music can make you laugh, dance, cry, or simply dream.

And to have the ability to evoke emotions in others through this amazing instrument? It’s a feeling unlike any other.

As someone who has spent the better part of my life mastering the piano, I can say with confidence that learning how to play is freedom. It’s joy, struggle, and personal satisfaction unmatched by few other life pursuits.

Learning to play the piano well is less of a sprint and more the marathon of a lifetime.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

Why You Need a Piano Teacher

Whether you’re just starting out on your piano journey or have been playing for a while, finding a piano teacher is crucial. It’s the difference between the overwhelming frustration which comes by studying on your own or learning and growing through the struggle with someone by your side.

Although there may be times when you can manage learning independently, to truly succeed, you need guidance from someone further along in their journey than you. You need the expertise which comes from the right piano teacher.

Learning to play the piano well is a skill which takes time and considerable practice. There are an incredible number of subtleties you must learn to truly master the instrument. From learning how to voice and shape a phrase to executing stylistically appropriate dynamics, there’s so much to take in!

Although several aspects such as music theory and history can be mastered independently, there are many which simply can’t. Technique, for example, is a crucial aspect which can make or break your playing. Correct technique is the difference between effortless playing and serious injury. And learning correct technique requires outside perspective from a teacher.

Having a piano teacher also adds a level of accountability which can be difficult to achieve on your own. Your teacher can tailor lessons to your individual learning goals and fill in gaps which can happen when trying to piece things together yourself.

Even beyond technique and accountability is the fact that your progress will be so much faster with someone guiding your learning.

If you’re serious about learning to play the piano, finding the right piano teacher for you is a must.

You may also enjoy reading ‘5 Benefits of Learning Piano as an Adult.’

Questions to Ask Yourself

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensures that you do things differently from everyone else.”

Sara Blakely

The right piano teacher is out there for you. But finding this person starts by looking within yourself.

The very first question to ask yourself is why you want to learn to play piano. Is it because you want to impress friends and family with your skills? Are you fascinated by jazz and want to improv over a band someday? Or maybe you’d like to be able to accompany the church choir. Maybe you’d simply like to pass the time doing something both creative and engaging.

Whatever your reason for learning, now is the time to get crystal clear on it. Once you start looking, you’ll quickly realize how many different piano teachers are out there. Seeking clarity on your why now will make your search easier later.

After determining your why, think about the amount of time you’re able to devote both to lessons and to practice. Consistent daily practice, even if it’s only for a few minutes, produces the best results. Now is also the time to figure out whether you’re able to dedicate extra time on a weekly basis for commuting to lessons or whether you’d prefer to conserve your time with online lessons.

Next consider your budget. Just as there are many different types of piano teachers out there, so too are there lessons at all price points. In general, you can expect to pay higher prices for teachers with more educational and performance experiences.

You may also enjoy reading ‘Piano Practice Tips to Improve Your Playing.’

Additional Considerations

Not all piano teachers are exactly the same. Some focus solely on adult beginner and intermediate students. Other teachers prefer working with children. Still others prefer focusing on a specific genre such as classical, jazz, or pop.

Even beyond the individual interests of the teacher is consideration of their background. Did they study music in college? Do they have any advanced degrees in music? And what type of performance experience do they have?

Believe it or not but there are actually groups dedicated to the professional development of music teachers. Having membership in such as group is often an indication that the teacher is serious about what they do and is themselves working towards improvement.

How to Find a Piano Teacher

After you’ve completed self-reflection about your reasons for learning, your time availability, and your budget, it’s time to begin the search for a piano teacher.

One of the best places to start is at your local university. Many college professors also teach lessons on the side and are happy to take on new students. If their studios are full, piano professors are also typically able to give references for other teachers who do have availability.

Interestingly, college students studying music are often themselves great teachers. They are also typically eager to take on new students to gain teaching experience prior to graduation.

Another great place to find a piano teacher is through word of mouth. Try reaching out to others in your community to find the best teachers.

And if you’re looking for an online piano teacher, try posting a question in a relevant Facebook group. There are several aimed towards adult piano learners and they are a convenient way to find teacher candidates and to address general questions about playing.

Yet another great resource is the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), an organization dedicated to supporting music teachers. Teachers can actually become certified to teach through the organization by completing a series of projects which is then reviewed to ensure competency. Not all teachers on the MTNA website have completed certification however the fact that they are members suggests a dedication to the profession of teaching music.

There are also state and local chapters of the national organization and reaching out locally is a great way to find someone in your area.

Evaluating Prospective Teachers

After you’ve located a prospective piano teacher, it’s time to see whether you think they will be a good fit for you and your piano goals. Taking time upfront to determine whether there’s a good fit between you both saves time in the long run. The following are several areas to consider and questions to ask when evaluating piano teachers.

Evaluating Piano Teacher Professionalism

Professionalism is the first area to consider when evaluating a piano teacher. This is a somewhat broad concept which includes how the teacher interacts with students and how they conduct their business. It also includes whether they’ve taken the time to come up with their own teaching philosophy and whether they continue to improve their own playing.

Do they have a studio policy which outlines expectations for their students? Is there a weekly practice requirement? Do they teach from a set curriculum or do they individualize student learning? And do they require students participate in performance opportunities such as recitals or contests?

Do they include policies on billing and what happens if you must miss a lesson? Are there make-up lessons available or do you lose out on the lesson fee if you must cancel?

It’s important to figure out expectations on both sides in the beginning to avoid misunderstanding later on.

Is it possible to watch a lesson with one of their current students? If so, are the interactions between piano teacher and student pleasant? Does there appear to be mutual respect between the two? And how does the teacher handle situations in which the student doesn’t initially understand a concept?

It can be very helpful to interview the student independently as well regarding their experience with the teacher. Do they feel that lessons with the teacher have been valuable? And would they recommend their teacher to others?

A positive review from a student is often a good indicator of solid professionalism on the part of the teacher.

Evaluating Performance Skills

After determining the teacher’s level of professionalism, it’s time to evaluate their performance skills. Learning to play piano is a skill and it will be very difficult to learn from someone who themselves doesn’t play competently. Having the ability to demonstrate during lessons is therefore incredibly important.

Are they actively involved in performing and if so, is it possible to watch a performance? If not, are they willing to demonstrate their pianistic skills? Is their playing inspiring and engaging? Does their playing appear relatively relaxed and expressive? And does their technique seem like the type of technique you would like to have at some point?

It’s worth mentioning that not all fantastic performers are gifted teachers and vice versa. Being able to play and being able to convey the information required to play to someone else are two completely different skillsets. It’s therefore important not to base your decision to study with someone solely on their pianistic skills.

As mentioned above, professionalism also plays a key part in evaluating whether you feel they are a good fit for you and your goals.

Next Steps in Your Piano Journey

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Seneca

Hopefully by taking the time to clarify your piano goals and thoroughly vet potential candidates, you will find a perfectly compatible piano teacher.

Although professionalism and playing ability are important, keep in mind that studying the piano is difficult. Learning any new skill presents a challenge and the piano is no exception.

It’s therefore incredibly important to find a teacher who is also highly encouraging and inspires you to be better. You should leave your lesson feeling motivated and ready to take on new heights in your playing. If you find that you’re constantly feeling defeated and down on yourself after lessons, it may be time to start the search for an alternate teacher.

Never be afraid to look around if it’s simply not working out with a teacher. It’s your piano journey and you want to make sure you have an optimal learning experience. Sometimes personalities clash or expectations are not aligned and that’s ok. You’re always free to move on if you feel it’s just not working out.

Bonus Resource

Although I highly recommend having a piano teacher to guide your learning, it can also be helpful to have supplemental resources. And in my opinion, one of the very best resources out there for pianists interested in learning classical piano is Dr. Josh Wright.

I first learned about Dr. Wright through a podcast for piano teachers and immediately became fascinated with his playing and teaching philosophy. Initially I began following his YouTube channel and found so much value in his free content that I decided to invest in his paid membership course called ProPractice.

This course is hands down one of the very best investments I’ve made in my own improvement as a pianist! It’s an incredibly valuable resource for technical development and the artistic interpretation of many classical piano repertoire pieces ranging from the earliest beginner to advanced. I highly recommend the course to anyone who is serious about advancing their piano skills!

You can check out the course for yourself here. And if you’re interested in hearing Dr. Wright perform, check out this video of Chopin’s Ballade in G minor.

It’s Your Turn

As always, I hope you’ve found value in this post. Learning to play the piano is an incredibly rewarding pursuit and one that I’m so thankful to have started! Let me know where you are on your piano journey below and if you’ve yet to start it, please know that it’s never too late. Today is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and grow in so many unexpected ways! Cheers to a new year and yet another chance for only getting better!