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Notes from Madame President...

Happy New Year, GPDA! 'Tis the season of "New Year's Resolutions." Have you made some? Personally, I have never been a fan of making resolutions. I do, however, set goals for myself every January.

Goals give me direction for the year, without making me feel like a failure if I don't get things done every single day. Short-term goals are specific, small projects I can take on right away. Long-term goals are my favorite, though. They help me dream of my future and keep me inspired to work hard on those sometimes-tedious short-term goals.

Here are some examples of music goals I have set for myself in past years:

*Learn 20 fiddle tunes by heart

*Figure out all the major and minor chords on my dulcimer

*Win the National Mountain Dulcimer Contest

*Have twenty regular dulcimer students

*Play 100 concerts

*Write an instructional book for chromatic mountain dulcimer

You get the idea. Long-term goals are about dreaming big and hoping for the impossible! Chasing after them often turns the impossible into a reality.

This year, I'm setting some goals for leading GPDA well.

*Use the club cardboard dulcimers at least six times during the year

*Update the traditional and Christmas playlists with some new songs

*Provide consistent instruction for developing musicians

*Inspire non-musicians to pick up an instrument this year by creating a safe and welcoming space for them to explore dulcimers (and other instruments!)

These are some of the things that are important to me, but I'm just one of you. I would really love for you to think about your goals this year - for yourself as a musician, and for our little dulcimer alliance. I will have poster board at the Winter Retreat for goal-making and sharing. While you are there, soaking up instruction and jamming, I hope you will take a few moments to write down some of your goals.

You can also share your goals, dreams, and ideas with the executive committee (that's me, Gary Bell, Connie Renberger, and Richard Taylor) anytime throughout the year. We would love to hear from you!

Erin Mae, President

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