2022 Music, and Life, Goals.

The last few years I have been psting my goals for the coming year in order to look back at periodically and hold myself accountable. Here is this years list of goals in their respective catagories.

Composing

FINISH the projects from last year that were started.

  1. ) Enter Spirit- Flex band score. I am currently working with a band director to have it read and finish the graphic score element. This should be ready for the public by May if all goes according to plan.

2) Painless Parker- Band Score. I need a few volunteers to read the piece and give feedback for the final score. I aim to have it available for purchase asap.

3) Continue my editing of past works. – I got a litle more than halfway through, and then I lost my productivity streak. By the end of the year I aim to be finished with all prior pieces. It will help that I’ve gotten better at engraving for anythihg that I write this year, so lots of time will be saved!

4) Documentary Score- Almost finished. It was postponed due to covid and a big life transition for the director. I just need to touch base with the director a few more times to get this done.

5) Vocal and Instrumental piece with a Librettist- I started this one with them as a new type of collaboration for me. Most of the Ideas are in the germ phase, but this will get done by the end of this year at the latest.

Sell at least 1 score a month

I will be ramping up advertising on Facebook as well as taking the initiative to contact more musicians and directors directly. I’ll also be adding lots more pieces and arrangements to My website store and on Sheet Music Plus.

Start Making some Money from Composing

Eventually, I’d like this to make up the bulk of my livelihood along with performing and teaching. Luckily it’s looking like at least one paid commission is shaping up with a fantastic Trombonist.

I can’t wait to share more of these details with you in the coming months.

My one Resolution- normally I don’t do these but I’ll make an exception in this case- is to Share more of what I am working on. Please follow me on Instagram or TikTok @shogan_composer to see more of my process this year.

Lesson Studio Goals

Build studio up to 30 students.

Have at least 2 big recitals this year ( With at least one being in person, Covid Pending), and generally find more performance opportunities for my students.

Host A Quarterly Studio GET-TOGETHER via Zoom with Games and playing opportunities for peers only.

Have more students participate in MMTA contests and festivals.

Increase educational content on the studio YOUTUBE channel. (sorry, as of now this is for MY STUDENTs only, although I may make some of the videos public eventually). Every other Friday, I plan on recording a short video and UPLOADINg it.

Continue to become a better teacher for my students.

Musicianship Goals

Play an EtudE Every Practice session

I’m starting with the good Ol’ Rochut book 1 and will work my way through the book one etude at a time. When I’m done, I’ll look for a new book to progress to. It is my hope that I will become a better player by making this commitment to my practice routine. It should also help me……

Improve my sightreading on both Piano and Trombone

Establish a functional practice routine and schedule a time to practice every weekday.

Life and Relationship Building

Continue to improve my health and stregnth.

I started this last year in 2021 and began strength training with Barbells as of June.If I can keep with the schedule of 3-4 days of stregnth training and eat well, I’ll be well on my personal goal to be able to squat my body weight by June as well as do 1 unassisted pullup by then. Maybe I’ll even surpass it! Although My goals here are not asthetic, I am looking forward to see how things change here as the year progresses. The reason for this is that it helps my mental health quite a bit and I’d like to remain as healthy as I can to do thie things that I love- Mainly Make Music! Also, as I am now in the dirty 30’s, I’d like to not be complaining about back problems like so many of my peers are already.

Continue to Volunteer at leAst 4 times a year

I am excited to see what opportunities 2022 brings, especially with MMTA. Assuming things keep opening back up, I’d also love to have a recital or perform at a nursing home.

Plan monthly phone calls and emails, Aim for 1 New person per month to start with in this list.

This may be a lofty goal, since being extraverted in this capacity takes quite a bit of uncomfortable effort on my end, but I’m going to try by listing a set day on my planner calendar to do this. It wil be at the end of the month too so I have that long to come up with someone.

Support fellow artists through Album/ music PURCHASES and RECOMMENDATIONS, and email them with compliments.

Attend at least 3 newtorking events or festivals.

Next Month, I’ll be attending Brass Chix as I have every year, and in March, the MMTA convention is in Minneapolis, so I’ll be attending at least 1 day of this as well.

2021 Goals- How did I do?

It’s that time of year- The end of the year where I give you my report card and evaluate the goals that I set at the end of the previous year.

Here is what happened:

BIG GOAL: Make More Money/ Be able to solely do MUSIC to survive.

Update: Success! I am surviving. As of June, I was able to just teach and complete an engraving project to make the minimum that I neded to bring in to justify being my own boss. Next year I will set my goals toward Thriving… and then some.

Mini Goal: Sell 10 scores of my own music. My goal is a minimum of 25 total including arrangements.

Update: I sold 12 total. Yeehaw. It looks like I’ll have to evaluate and revise my strategy.

Mini Goal: 15 students by June

Update: I have since surpassed that goal and am up to 20 students!

BIG GOAL: Get to know more people

Update: I didn’t meet as many new people in person as I was hoping to ( thanks Covid) but did meet some. I talked to Alex Gardner and Matthew Driscol via the magic of zoom and meet a few local musicians and composers through a Monthly Composer Meet up and throught the Z festival, both of which met online. I’d really like to actually get to know more people this next year beyond briefly meeting them.

If you count it though, I did get to meet some awesome new students and their wonderful families ๐Ÿ™‚

Mini Goal: Contact 2 new people in music/ month minimum

Update: This fell by the wayside but I did manage to average 1-2 every other month. Next year I will schedule monthly phone calls and emails in my planner.

Big Goal: Write 3 hours minimum of music

Update: If you count all of the unrecorded improvising I did, I ….probably?… reached this goal. However, my composing focus was nonexistant most of this year and getting things written down just did not happen.

Mini Goal:Create more creative opportunities

Update: I did it- but via a different avenue that I set out to follow. I am now part of a trombone trio called The Trifore Trombone Trio and got to exercise my creativity by making marketing content for the Twin Cities Brass Band. I also participated in Z-Fest this summer which provided some interesting ppportunities as well.

Big Goal: Be even more giving and spread more JOY

Mini Goal: Send more notes in the form of cards and emails

Update: Success. I’ll keep this goal active for next year too.

Mini goal: volunteer my time in a musical capacity at least 4 times

Update: This happened exactly 4 times. I volunteered at an MMTA event this Fall, helped out with a large music sorting project, and helped a few friends with their musical projects a few times this year. Next year, I hope to help out at more events because helping is fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

My 2021 Music Goals

If 2020 was a year of dismantling and destruction, 2021 will be a rebuilding year. This coming years resolutions have a lot to do with this, and I aim to rebuild my existence into the individual I’ve been aiming to be since starting this musical journey over a decade ago.

BIG GOAL: Make More Money/ Be able to solely do MUSIC to survive.

I’m sure that this seems like a lofty goal, but the years preceding this one were the steps on the ladder to that loft. Thankfully, I am used to being frugal and making a little go a long way when needed, and am LUCKY to have my SO around to help these days. Don’t worry. I still aim to do my share financially. We aren’t the Rockefeller family after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

One of my reasons also has to do with my desire to work for myself and control my schedule. I am much happier when I don’t have to ask permission from someone else and can control my own schedule. Yes I know that to make a music career, it requires more hours than the typical 9-5, but I’ve tried that several times, and found through trial and error that I am much happier immersed in music. That, and I’m wise enough to know that I need to keep variety within the spectrum of music activities to avoid burnout and know the signs much better now.

Mini Goal: Sell 10 scores of my own music. My goal is a minimum of 25 total including arrangements.

For me, joining SMP was a good move in 2020. This has allowed me to start selling some of the arrangements I’ve had sitting on my hard drive for the last decade and allowed me to offer digital downloads. This was something I had been trying to figure out how to do, but the start up cost far outweighed what I can afford, especially given I’m not quite at the point where I can confidently say that my sales would recoup the cost. Originally, I joined because 2 distributers I had contacted in January of last year decided I wasn’t for them but ironically recommended each other for me to contact. I guess I’m ……unique?

So far, I’ve sold far more than expected, but because most of my sales have been arrangements, I’ve made just enough to afford 4 cups of Starbucks coffee in commissions. It’s definitely a start though!

In 2021, I’ll be updating my FB page weekly as new arrangements and pieces come out. If you have a request for an arrangement and it’s on the SMP list, please contact me and let me know.

I’ll be curious to see how this pans out as I add more.

Mini Goal: 15 students by June

While I don’t like putting a number on people, this is the realistic number I’ve calculated to be able to pull my weight financially and still be safe on average. This is of course after calculating taxes and rent.

As of now, thanks to a Festivus miracle, (actually some amazing people providing referrals) I am only 5 away from this goal.

Ultimately, I hope to grow this number a bit beyond 15. This is my benchmark for the moment.

BIG GOAL: Get to know more people

Mini Goal: Contact 2 new people in music/ month minimum

As an introvert, this is not easy to convince myself to do. I often think about it and even draft emails in my head but never get to it for whatever reason. 2 people a month is manageable. I might even surpass it if I can safety attend some music gatherings in 2021 ( and convince myself to do so of course :P). I’ll be keeping a checklist in my journal to remind myself.

Big Goal: Write 3 hours minimum of music

In my journal I will have a thermometer and every time I finish a piece ( even if it’s something that might not see the light of day), I will color it in. If I remember, I’ll even update you on my progress at every check in post.

Mini Goal:Create more creative opportunities

Talking with more people will hopefully help with this!

Big Goal: Be even more giving and spread more JOY

Mini Goal: Send more notes in the form of cards and emails

A few months ago I started picking a composer on my social media friends lists every few days and listening to their music. In 2021, I will continue this as I’ve gotten to hear so many wonderful creations and gotten to know my colleague’s music better. I will be letting composers know I listened to their work and send more encouragement in the form of DM’s and emails.

Mini goal: volunteer my time in a musical capacity at least 4 times

Time will tell how this shapes up. Maybe I’ll perform for a charity event or just for my community. Or, maybe I’ll be able to help out a fellow musician some random way. Who knows.

One of my goals for my teaching studio is to have at least 3 recitals this year and am hoping to stream at least one to a retirement community. Fingers crossed this works out (and that I have some willing fellow volunteers).

So, what are your 2021 Music Goals? Please let me know in the comments and may 2021 be a WINNING year!

Happy Musicing!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My 2020 Music Goals

As is now the tradition for me, I have written down my music related goals for this coming year.

The reason that I do this is because it gives me something tangible to periodically look back on and remind me of the things that I set out to accomplish. As a person who is very focused yet paradoxically gets distracted easily, this is very helpful to have when it comes to staying on track.

BIG GOAL: Pay off the last of my student debt

As of December of 2019, after years of sacrificing 90% of of my “fun money” (the little bit left over after bills and minimum payments are made) , I am down to my last 5K. Though there is far more debt to tackle (mainly the mess that is my SO’s student loan and the last bit for the used car that we purchased after their’s died), this will be a huge load off my back. The bit of anxiety I’ve felt since starting college because of this will finally be gone! Additionally, though much of my “fun” money will still go to start helping with my SO’s loans, I can start saving for things like buying scores, taking colleagues out for coffee more often, and grad school applications (if that is the road I go down for sure. This year will be a big indicator if/ when I can or should do that).

Mini Goal: Actually get better at marketing

I am going to start by aiming to get something out at least once a week. This may be a piece, a blog post, or (ghasp) a youtube video. Stay tuned for more on this one.

I will also make more of an effort to be more interactive on social media by either posting or commenting at least once a day.

Mini Goal: Finish setting up the store and sell some gosh danged scores (at least 5)

This is self explanatory. 2020’s the year it’s going to happen.

Part of my plan is to contact some music distribution companies to help get my music electronically accessible as well. (As of now, I can only offer physical (but personally autographed) copies as I lack the funds to pay for the technology that would help me prevent electronic file theft at a level that I’m comfortable with.

Mini Goal: Increase teaching studio numbers

My goal number for 2020 is 10 students. I am trying to keep it to no more than 3 evenings to avoid burnout as I already work 40 hours a week at my day job. This makes it more difficult, but, I am determined. Also, this will certainly help me build up the wealth I gave up by committing to paying these loans. The ultimate goal though is financial freedom.

Marketing with social media posts, hanging posters for my teaching business, and handing out cards for those who can help me with the word of mouth factor should help.

BIG GOAL: Be more giving/ pay things forward more

Though there is a long way to go to get where I want to go, I am thankful for where I am in life and acknowledge that a big part was because of the help and kindness I’ve received from strangers, mentors, and friends.

As soon as my 5K is done, I am going to begin donating a portion of what I used to have to pay on a regular basis. I am going to pick a couple of the helpful podcasts I’ve taken advice from or gotten enjoyment out of in an otherwise bleak existence over past years, and join their patreon pages. I won’t name which ones I’m going to pick. But, I have an idea for a future post where I outline my current favorites and you can speculate from there if you’d like.

I also aim to help out with a charity at least once (preferably more) this year by giving back some time.

My last part of this goal is to treat at least one person to lunch and/ or coffee per month.

BIG GOAL: Participate in at least 3 speaking, conducting or solo performance opportunities

As someone who wants to do this for a living, I need to get out of the Toastmaster’s training grounds and start putting these skills to use in the outside world. This is the bare minimum and I will do my bet to list them in next year’s follow up post.

Mini Goal: Participate in at least 1 Collaboration

Assuming that participation in Film Score Fest works out, this goal should be no problem.

Mini Goal: Finish all Current Works in progress and don’t add any new ones if you are over 3.

As of now, I’m finishing up the last Painless Parker’s Giant Bucket of Teeth (for Concert band), the electronic piece that my Composition Mentor has me learning with, and this year’s Minneapolis Trombone Choir Concert Piece.

Once one of these is finished, I’ll begin work on a Project that I cannot talk about….yet, and brass band piece.

BONUS: As this is a special year being the beginning of a decade, I thought I’d list a few things I want to accomplish in this upcoming decade that are music related. These may have to change, but for now I can dream and begin aiming. At the very least, I have this list to refer back to when making future goal posts.

  1. Go to Grad school- FOR MUSIC-and not go into debt to do so
  2. Pay off All Debt
  3. Attend some composer retreats and workshops
  4. Teach at a high profile event or music camp
  5. Be able to travel a few times a year for my Ideal music “job”
  6. Write my first symphony and compose at least one Big piece a year (with premiers and commissions of course)
  7. Be able to make my living composing, teaching, and performing/ occasionally conducting by the end of this decade

Thanks for reading!!!

2019 Goals- How did I do?

Big Goal: Continue to increase income

Mini Goal: Set up the rest of my online store:

Did I succeed: Ha Ha. Nope. This is still a work in progress. But, I did manage to find a friend who is helping me set this part up-FINALLY!

Mini Goal: Sell more music

Did I accomplish it: Yes- I sold one score and even got my first concert music commission (Thanks Bill!). That’s one more than last year. Woo hoo!!

2020 is going to be the year where I aim to sell at least 5 scores- but hopefully more. Actually setting up my online store will probably help this goal come to fruition ๐Ÿ˜›

Mini Goal: Increase my teaching studio size

Did I succeed: Yes! I am now teaching at Maestoso Music studio and have a total of 2 trombone students and 3 piano students. I am also, teaching a couple of ukulele students as well. That’s up from just 2 last year!

Big Goal: Get out there even  more than in 2018

Mini Goal: Jam More

Did I succeed: Yes!…sort of. I managed to get together and play 4 times this year with friends.

Mini Goal: Go to more music gatherings and concerts- that are not my own.

Did I succeed: Yes, but barely. This summer kicked my butt when the swing band went a little uh, gig happy, a relative passed away, and life once again happened. Summer was when I had hoped to go to something every weekend as summer tends to be more relaxed schedule wise yet filled with a plethora of free concerts to listen to. This did not happen as planned, but I averaged about 1.5 every other month, which is way better than it could have been.

Mini Goal: Get better at this Marketing thing.

Did I succeed: I’m going to have to say no. Other life things took priority this year. Next year though, this is going to move more toward the top of the priority list. I do like to eat food ya know! (also, getting paid to perform and write is nice too.)

BIG Goal: Get healthier

Did I succeed: Yes- but mostly during the spring and summer. I sort of fell off the wagon once it started getting colder as far as exercise is concerned. Excuses- excuses, I know. But, I do eat a lot more veggies than I did last year. Now to see if I can drop the sweets a little. My miserly tradition toward buying new jeans before they have irreparable holes in them depends on it! (also, cavities are expensive and painful as I’ve come to find out.)

Big Goal: Write More:

Did I succeed: Yes- please see my final thoughts.

Also, as the urge to write seems to happen most often at night when I *should* be sleeping, I am no longer going to fight this- even if I do have to get up an hour earlier now with this self-imposed schedule. Bring on the Insomnia!

Final Thoughts:

I did manage to accomplish a few things this year that were not goals. For starters, this has been the most productive year composing since graduating from YSU in December 2014. This was not only in terms of volume but in variety as well. New pieces were written for a church brass gig, trombone choir, the VGM challenge and a brand new film score. I was able to put on a successful concert of newly composed and arranged works with my friends from Coffoa Brass in October. Also, thanks to my wonderful mentor, I am now beginning to explore the world of electronic composition. All it took was someone patient enough to show this technology illiterate, broke, and frustrated person how to steer the ship.Overall, 2019 was a step in the right direction.

~Tomorrows post will consist of 2020’s goals, but please feel free to comment with your accomplishments this past year. I would love to hear about them!~

Thanks for reading!!!!