Vision Board Power! (Part I)

Vision Boards and Music

Have you ever heard of a vision board? Most people don’t realize it’s not just a nice decoration or a collage of wanted items. When used correctly, a vision board is a tool that helps individuals generate their own solutions. But what does this have to do with music?

You well know that learning instruments requires hard work and dedication and mastery most certainly does not come overnight. A vision board can help students break down steps toward mastery, whichincreases recognition of progress and decreases discouragement. It also helps students become problem solvers–and not just at the piano!

Vision boards are “AWE”-some! A-Ask, W-Write, E-Experiment!

Imagine Susie is assigned the items she needs to practice at home. She can draw or print a picture of the hardest task and put it on her vision board.  Each day before practice, she looks at her board and asks, “What can I try differently today that will help me play this just a little bit better?” She then writes down any ideas that come to mind. Throughout the week, she experiments by testing her ideas until she finds the ones that work best for her.

For example, let’s say she is learning single octave scales and is struggling to remember where the black keys are. The picture on her vision board could look like this:

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Before practice, she looks at this picture and brainstorms ideas of ways to remember where the black keys are in her assigned scale. Perhaps she makes a song out of the scale indicating the placement of the black keys. Perhaps she discovers a pattern or makes up a catchy chant. She might even think of someone who has learned that same scale that might be able to share some tips with her.

All of this can take place in less than 30 seconds! No need to stand there for minutes at a time. She’ll be back tomorrow to search for new ideas.

After writing down her ideas, Susie takes them to the piano and gives one a few energetic attempts. If the idea proves unsuccessful after at least 3-5 honest tries, she picks a different idea from her brainstorm list and gives it a go. With this kind of work ethic and attitude, Susie not only learns the scaleshe learns how to problem solve, builds confidence in her ability to learn hard things, and inadvertently develops teaching skills.