The Power of Setting Intentions in Your Lessons

by Cassie Winterhalter on January 1, 2015

Photo credit: Leland Francisco

Photo credit: Leland Francisco

Happy New Year!!! I can’t believe it’s 2015. Hooray! I am so excited about what’s to come this year, and I hope you are too. 🙂

This year I’ve decided to set intentions for myself rather than goals or resolutions. I’m going to be doing this both personally and professionally. This practice has tremendous value, and I suggest that every student and teacher set at least one intention for the year to come.

Let me start by talking about:

What is setting an intention and how is it different than setting goals or resolutions?

I like to think of an intention as an object of my heart’s desire. This is something that I aspire to look, feel, or act like. It can be something totally crazy and outlandish, but something that would be so incredible if it came true.

Goals focus on a fixed outcome that you reach in the future. This often includes outlining all the little steps you take to get there. While I recognize the importance of goal setting, when reaching towards a goal, if something comes up and we have to deviate from our plan, it’s very easy to start feeling badly about ourselves as if we’ve failed. That’s why many people do not stick to their goals and give up if just the slightest thing goes awry.

With an intention, you don’t come up with a specific plan on how to reach the outcome. Instead, you simply state your intention and live life as if the intention has come true.

Why this works

There’s something about releasing a statement as if it was a given that causes it to come into fruition. It sounds hokey and crazy, but I’ve seen it work so many times for me to be able to refute it. Even if you don’t feel like you are consciously working towards your intention, by setting the intention and reminding yourself of it regularly, your subconscious mind will help bring you closer to that intention with each day.

How to set an intention in your lessons

I suggest deciding what you most want out of your lessons for the year.

Here are some examples:

  • I intend to put the proper emotion in all of my playing and play everything musically.
  • I intend to learn and master blank piece of music that I’ve always wanted to learn.
  • I intend to perform in the spring recital.
  • I intend to practice regularly each week so I am consistently prepared for my lessons and make regular progress.
  • I intend to have fun in my lessons and while practicing.

After you’ve come up with one or more statements, I suggest that you write them down. Even better if you hang them up somewhere where you’ll see them often. Extra brownie points if you tell at least one person about your intention. While simply making the statement to ourselves works great, putting the statement somewhere where we can be reminded of it often, works even better. Even better than that is filling someone in on your intention.

In that case, I’m going to share with all of you right here my teaching intentions for the year. They are:

  • I intend to teach each lesson that I give with joy and compassion.
  • I intend for every student I work with to not only have an excellent knowledge of how to play their instrument, but also to gain a love for music that carries them throughout their life.
  • I intend to recruit and hire amazing teachers who not only truly love music and want to share it with their students, but are also patient, kind, and understanding with students.
  • I intend to attract more wonderful families that will benefit from taking lessons with our teaching philosophy.
  • I intend to provide more value through excellent lessons, wonderful customer service, and great recital opportunities for our students.

Thanks so much for reading, and Happy New Year again! Now I want to hear from you. What are your intentions for your lessons for the upcoming year? Leave a comment below to inspire others to share with one another. If you haven’t, please subscribe to the newsletter list and “like us” on Facebook.

Here’s to the start of another great year!



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