Short Message to Parents
NOTE to PARENTS: How to Help Your Child Practice
Learning to play an instrument can be compared to learning a foreign language. It takes time and dedicated practice to see any success. As a parent, you can help your child by insisting that they stay committed with a long-term goal in sight. Generally, it takes at least 1-2 years to see achievement on any instrument. Stay the course and don't let your child give up! They will thank you for the rest of their life if you help them stick with it. A favorite quote is “I am not telling you it is going to be easy. I am telling you it’s going to be worth it.
Encourage Daily Practice
If at all possible, encourage your child's practice time to be at the same time and place every day. Daily practice should be like brushing your teeth, seamlessly fitting into the daily routine.
Provide a Designated Practice Space
It is helpful if you encourage your child to have a space designated for practice, away from distraction, electronic devices and other family members. Keeping your child's instrument in a space where it isn't easily forgotten is also helpful.
Be an Active Participant
Your child will be more likely to practice efficiently and regularly if you take an active interest in what they are doing. Pull up a chair and listen to them at least a couple days a week, away from electronic devices. Ask them questions such as what they are working on, what parts are the most challenging for them, their favorite song or scale, etc.
Have Patience & A Positive Attitude
One of the most helpful (and most challenging) things to do is to have patience and a positive attitude as your child practices their instrument. You will hear many terrible and unrecognizable tunes as your child begins practicing their instrument regularly in the early stages. Remember, with dedicated and FREQUENT practice, this too shall pass! Sooner than later, your child will be a virtuoso!
Get Involved & Stay Informed
The best way to stay involved is to follow you child's music program social media pages and read email correspondence from your child’s director. Many programs offer booster club memberships and volunteer opportunities, so please lend a helping hand whenever possible. Running a school music program takes a village!
Listen to Quality Music
The best way for your child to learn what a good, characteristic tone on their instrument sounds like is to listen to quality music and performing artists.
From The Future of Music Project: United Musical Instruments
The Important Role of the Parent
"Your child's success in learning to play an instrument depends a lot on you. Your involvement is vital to your child's attitude and progress. Encourage your child to play for you every day. Be generous with enthusiastic praise. Offer your support when your child becomes discouraged. Above all-participate-meet the music teacher and music dealer and attend concerts and recitals. Regardless of your own musical background, you will derive great satisfaction and enjoyment from following your child's progress".
From: NAFME (National Association for Music Education)
The Many Benefits of Music Education-Tips to Share with Parents
"Here are some ways parents can assist their school music educators:
-Study the ways that music education develops creativity, instills disciplined work habits, and statistically correlates with gains in standardized test scores.
-Be in touch with local music teachers on a regular basis."
Visit www.nafme.org and search "Power of Music" for more Parent Resources.