What to do and Not to Do to Best Support Your Child Starting An Instrument

Tips for Parents

You can help your child to succeed in band by supporting him in his efforts. Parental support is a crucial element in success, not only in band, but in all school activities. Help your child by obtaining the necessary equipment and music, encouraging practice, attending all performances and participating in band parent organizations.

Please contact your child's band director if you have questions or concerns. Remember, they are there to help your child, and will be happy to do what they can on your child's behalf.

These guidelines are designed to assist you in giving your child the best support possible for his or her musical endeavors. Music achievement requires effort over a period of time, and 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. We strongly believe that music study has numerous benefits for your son or daughter. These include a lifelong love of music, problem solving, teamwork, goal setting, self-expression, coordination, memory skills, self-confidence, concentration, poise, self-discipline, and much, much more.

To give your child the best possible support, you should:

  • Help your child to find a regular time and place to practice.
  • 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

  • Don't use practice as punishment.
  • Don't insist that 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.

from the Clarinet Corner

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