Member Challenges

The Member Challenges at CGC Academy are month-long community events that focus on one theme to help you focus on and achieve short-term goals. We hold a challenge every season and the topic for each challenge will be different for each season. The beginning of each year always kicks off the Member Challenges with a focus on technique, but topics range from scales to duets to metronome practice and much more!

The format for the challenges will differ depending on the focus for each particular month, but in general members who participate will be asked to upload weekly update videos on their progress with the challenge topic and Niki and Dave will provide feedback and guidance via comments in the Forum on each member’s videos. The challenges typically launch on the 1st of the month (schedule listed below) but stay tuned to this page as we may need to make adjustments along the way.

This page houses info as well as signups for all of the challenges. Here is the basic schedule for our round of challenges each year:

  • January 1: Winter Challenge (Technique)
  • May 1: Spring Challenge
  • August 1: Summer Challenge
  • November 1: Fall Challenge

Current/Upcoming Member Challenge

Summer Challenge, 2020: Metronome Practice (kicks off on August 1!)

This challenge is all about sticking with the metronome, simple as that. If you feel like you already have a solid metronome technique and you have no problems sticking with the metronome, then we’ll ask you to challenge yourself by introducing various difficulties (including alternate rhythms or much slower metronome markings). Either way the goal is to see how perfectly in sync you can play with that tick, tock, or beep!

This challenge will be split up into four weeks:

  1. August 8: For week 1 choose an exercise such as a scale or arpeggio to work with. Whatever you choose for this first week, it shouldn’t be something overly difficult as you want your focus to be on the metronome itself. You can start out with, say, a simple quarter-note scale and set your metronome to eighth notes, or if you feel like you need a challenge you can choose a slower metronome setting. For the first week, though, the goal is to keep things simple.
  2. August 15: In week 2, step up the challenge and add some difficulty: try a slower metronome setting (if you set your metronome to quarter notes in week 1, try half notes; if you set it to eighth notes, try quarter notes, etc.); or add a variant such as a dotted rhythm. It’s up to you, but really try and step up the challenge!
  3. August 22: For week 3, choose an excerpt of a repertoire piece and similar to week 1 keep things simple: try and stick as closely as possible with the metronome.
  4. August 29: For week 4, step up the difficulty a bit as in week 2; if you’re the absolute metronome master and you need an added challenge, try a more difficult repertoire excerpt or one that is a bit more rhythmically complex, such as 6/8 rhythms or, again, a much slower metronome setting.

We are asking that videos not be longer than two minutes. That should be plenty of time for us to tell how well in sync you are with the metronome and to give you a good idea of how well you’ve progressed from week to week. We will have a live wrap-up session on Sunday, August 30 at 4pm NYC time.

Signups for the Metronome Challenge will be open August 1-8:


Go to the Metronome Member Challenge Forum.