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

To create a post for your update videos in the Member Challenges forum, first go to the appropriate forum in the Member Challenges forum, then scroll to the bottom of the page to “Create a New Topic.” In the “Topic Title” box please put your first and last name and the title of the challenge and/or the exercise you’re working on. In the large box below that you can type your text and directly paste the URL from your YouTube video. For each weekly update please post in this same topic — please do not create a new topic for each weekly update.

Current/Upcoming Member Challenge

Summer Challenge, 2020: Metronome Practice

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 five steps:

  1. For your status video we would like you to choose an exercise such as a scale or arpeggio or even a short excerpt of a repertoire piece to work with for the month. In this video please do not use the metronome. We want to get a raw sense of your internal pulse and then we have a baseline to compare with when you add the metronome into the mix next week.
  2. For week 1, turn on that metronome and, to keep things simple, use subdivision so that your metronome is set to the shortest duration beat of your chosen exercise.
  3. 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!
  4. For week 3, we’d like to shake things up so please choose an exercise or short excerpt of a repertoire piece  in a different time signature / meter and similar to week 1 keep things simple: try and stick as closely as possible with the metronome and use subdivision.
  5. For week 4, step up the difficulty a bit again as in week 2 by lengthening the duration of your metronome clicks and beeps; 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.

Signups for this challenge are now closed.