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Families of budding musicians at NJAOM can benefit from a number of resources to help inform and guide daily practice, perspective on the benefits of music, and much more. Here are some current articles we recommend for parents interested in learning more about the process of becoming a musician and the challenges and rewards therein.
I don’t play an instrument. How can I help my child? Even if you don’t play an instrument, you are crucial to your child’s success in our program. Establish a daily practice routine (same time, same place in your house), take notes at lessons so you can help your child at home, and follow through on encouragement and reward for milestones reached. If you have questions, be sure to ask your teacher during the lesson so you will know what to do at home. Consider yourself your child’s “coach” as you practice together.
The Importance of Parent Involvement Parent involvement serves as a support system for the student. Learning an instrument well is a difficult and complex undertaking that can only be done successfully with long-term persistence and dedication. Parents help provide the encouragement and positive reinforcement when practicing gets tough, a skill being worked on requires days or weeks of attention, or a piece just is not sounding as polished as it could be. Parents are there to provide the “Yes you can,” “Don’t give up,” and “Keep trying until it’s right” messages at home. Allowing a child to give up when faced with a challenge only serves to reinforce an attitude toward taking the path of least resistance and only doing what is easy. The discipline, work ethic, commitment to high standards, and artistry developed from learning an instrument well are benefits that last a lifetime.
When we see a young person achieve great success, such as an Olympic athlete, classical or pop musician, Broadway performer, or TV/film actor, we marvel at their ability and cheer their success and greatness. What we don’t see or perhaps even comprehend is the years of dedicated hard work; hours of practice; participation in countless classes, lessons, rehearsals, competitions, and performances; early mornings; late nights; frustration; failures; joys; and successes that the individual and their family went through. And at the very start of that journey, no one could have predicted a certain outcome, but they began by trying, putting forth their best effort, and making a commitment to their learning and development.
ADDITIONAL READINGMake-Up Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View
Caring for a String Instrument
Purchasing a String Instrument
Practicing with your Child