Tips for Parents

Tips for Parents

How You Fit In
Always keep in mind that your support is a key element in your child’s success with music. Music achievement requires effort over a period of time. You can help your child by:
– Providing a quiet place in which to practice
– Remaining nearby during practice times as often as possible
– Scheduling a consistent, daily time for practice
– Praising your child’s efforts and achievements

What To Do
To give your child the best possible support, you should:
– Encourage your child to play for family and friends
– Offer compliments and encouragement regularly
– Expose your child to a wide variety of music, including concerts and recitals
– Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons
– Make sure your child’s instrument is always in good working order
– Allow your child to play many types of music
– Listen to your child practice, and acknowledge improvement
– Help your child build a personal music library
– Try to get your child to make a minimum two-year commitment to his or her music
studies
– Remember that there are always peaks and valleys in the learning process. You and your
child should expect times of discouragement, accept them, and focus on the positive
fact that he’s/she’s learning to make music. Remind him/her that everything worth
doing takes time and effort.

What NOT To Do
Your child’s progress will be greatly enhanced if you:
– Don’t use practice as punishment
– Don’t insist your child play for others when they don’t want to
– Don’t ridicule or make fun of mistakes or less-than-perfect playing
– Don’t apologize to others for your child’s weak performance
– Don’t start your child on an instrument that’s in poor working order or condition
– Don’t expect rapid progress and development in the beginning

What To Do If Your Child Loses Interest
In the event your child loses interest in his or her music studies, don’t panic:
– Discuss the situation with your child to determine why his/her interest is declining
– Talk with your child’s music teacher to see what might be done to rekindle the
enthusiasm
– Encourage your child to stick with lessons for an agreed period of time
– Offer increased enthusiasm and support

Practice Time
Help your child establish a routine. This may require some consultation with the teacher. For example, a typical 30 minute practice routine might include:

  • Warm-up (buzzing the mouthpiece, long tones) — 3-5┬áminutes
  • Play a fun, familiar piece — 3-5 minutes
  • Work on a new or difficult piece — 10 minutes
  • Review other assigned pieces — 10 minutes

Play something fun to conclude the session

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