Tonic Progress Challenge #1

🚀 Have you ever thought about the power of progress?

Oftentimes we watch and listen to musicians playing a piece, executed to what seems like perfection, marvelling at the skill at their instrument. But how did they actually get there? For most, if not all, it takes a lot of hard work, consistency, and time to get to where they are.

As musicians, we can often get caught up in what wasn’t achieved, being dissatisfied by not reaching major milestones fast enough, or forgetting that it takes years to achieve big accomplishments. However, it's important to remember that every successful person has one thing in common in their journey with all its ups and downs: Progress.

The Progress Challenge on Tonic

At Tonic, we created a Progress Challenge, to motivate and inspire our community to document their journey of progress and improvement over a 14 day period. Participants of the challenge could choose a piece of their choice, and submit a video of their playing on Day 1 and a second video of their playing on Day 14.

This way not only advanced musicians could participate, but the challenge also invited musicians new at their instrument. Progress, while not as easily measured, can be seen at any playing level, and on any instrument. We want our community to celebrate the small wins on their musical journey, and couldn’t be more excited about seeing the enthusiasm and energy in the Tonic Group leading up to and during the Progress Challenge! 🔥

Congrats to the winners

Karen working on Chopin Ballade No. 3 (Piano)

Karen already knew she wanted to learn Ballade No. 3–it’s her favourite of Chopin’s famous Ballades. One of her goals was to capture the range of emotions she gets from listening to it. Learning this piece is her most ambitious project so far, and we at Tonic are amazed to see the progress she’s already made in just two weeks!

Anastazja Stanio (”@anastazja”) playing Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (Violin)


Emily Yang with Friedrich Kuhlau’s Sonatina Op. 55. (Piano)

After a break of 28 years Emily started playing the piano again in October 2020. It’s inspiring to see Emily’s motivation after such a long break. Keep it up!


Uialindis playing Plyve Choven by M. Lysenko (Harp)

For a small virtual ensemble she has already been working on other parts of the piece for a while. That plan was to perform the piece, but it has since evolved into something far bigger, so she was more motivated than ever to do well on this particular piece.


Jiles Defosse (Violin)

Jiles wanted to improve his double stops, and took the Progress Challenge as a source of motivation to see how much he could actually improve within two weeks. (Spoiler: a lot!)


Not only is the end result important, so too is acknowledging the work we put into achieving the small wins that eventually lead us to new heights. Steady progress builds momentum and the confidence to keep going. At Tonic, we're constantly thinking of ways to tighten these positive feedback loops. The power of progress is that with enough time, it will eventually lead to our own definition of perfection.

Anni (@anni) is an amateur pianist and professional audience member. With a background in computer science and software engineering, she's been a part of the Tonic team since April 2021.