A Parent’s Guide To Enhancing Your Child’s Musical Experience
CONGRATULATIONS: Your decision to provide your child with a quality musical instrument is an investment in your child’s future. By giving your child the opportunity to play a musical instrument, you are providing the way for self-expression, creativity and achievement. Numerous studies indicate parental attitude, support and involvement are important factors in a child’s ability to successfully learn to play and to enjoy music.
These guidelines are designed to assist you in giving your child the best support for his or her musical endeavors. Like any skill, interest counts far more than talent. With the right support from you, playing music will become a natural part of your child’s life.
For your child music participation enhances:
* Problem solving
* Memory skills
* Self-confidence and esteem
* And much, much more!
For your family, a child’s music study also offers opportunities for shared family experiences, including:
* Music event attendance
* Family music making
* Performing for and with family and friends
* Learning about the lives of composers and cultural heritage of many civilizations
* A sense of accomplishment and pride for the entire family
HOW YOU FIT IN
* Your support is an essential element in your child’s success with music study.
* Schedule practice times
* Music achievement requires effort over a period of time. You can help your child by:
* Providing a quiet place for practice
* Remaining nearby during practice times as often as you can
* Scheduling a consistent, daily time for practice
* Praising your child’s efforts and achievements
SELECTING A MUSIC TEACHER
* Formal music instruction can help your child’s progress. In choosing a teacher, consider these points:
* Background and experience
* Comments from other parents and students
* Provisions for sharing music through performance
* As your child’s band directors, we can recommend excellent private teachers in our community. You may also wish to contact local music stores, who will provide you with a list of qualified instructors.
WHAT TO DO
* To give your child the best 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 condition.
* Allow your child to play many types of music, not just study pieces.
* 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.
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 he or she doesn’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 condition.
* Don’t expect rapid progress and development in the beginning.
IF YOUR CHILD LOSES INTEREST
* In the event that your child loses interest in his or her music studies, don’t panic.
* Discuss the situation with your child to determine why their interest is declining.
* Talk to your child’s music teacher to see what might be done to rekindle their enthusiasm.
* Encourage your child to stick with the lessons for an agreed period of time.
* Offer increased enthusiasm and support.