If you didn’t read the last post of this series, make sure to check that out and subscribe to get future blog posts. As we saw from the last post on this topic we need to know how to answer the question of how to know we are making progress as singers or as humans learning any skill, for that matter.
The future is unknown, and so far has remained that way! Not only is it not known, but you can’t do anything tomorrow, right now. You can’t jump over to tomorrow and do a task and then come back to the present moment. The past however, is a known, or can be known better with measurements, and the present, is the one place we can do something about what we’ve learned from our past.
So to know that you’re making progress as a singer, or any new skill/habit for that matter, you need to measure your current skill level, try a skill building exercise, and keep measuring. You can compare your present skill level to your past skill level. This gives you instant and concrete feedback to know if you are on your way to a particular goal. Goals like to gobble up a lot of attention from us, but they really shouldn’t, because they take your attention away from the present moment, which is the only place we can actually do something. Because you will always have room for improvement, comparing your future potential self to your current self can make you feel like a loser. You’re always not quite there, not good enough. When you compare your current skill level to your past skill level, you can see what you’ve learned, and then decide on the next action. Although everyone plateaus, if you keep at it, you improve, and you’ll feel encouraged. This is great for learning how to sing.
So set up your goal, and then ignore it. Just track what you’re doing, and look back regularly to see if you’re on track, by measuring where you were to where you are now. If you are getting better, you are succeeding! If you are making progress, then that is a place of power and happiness. It’s not your job to reach a goal, it’s just your job to decide what to do for this moment before this moment is gone that will move you just a tiny bit closer to your goal.