To be successful in any endeavor, your child will need parental support. In band this is especially true. Here are some suggestions on how you can help your child succeed.
- Be patient when repeatedly reminding your child to complete their daily practice. Remember: everyday means every day.
- Encourage your child when they get frustrated. The very nature of practice is that your child will spend concentrated time and effort doing something that they do not do well yet. This can be very frustrating. Be supportive and positive when your child seems overwhelmed or overly frustrated.
- Expose your child to as many cultural events as possible and don’t just limit yourself to music! Try taking a family outing to the museum, be inventive with what you watch on TV, or visit family or friends that might be musicians. Keep interesting music and programs on your radio and stereo. In essence, make your home a haven for the arts.
- Foster common sense when helping your child balance his/her schedule. Making practice a regular and natural part of their daily routine will pay off big dividends in other classes besides band and music.
- Praise good work – when you hear something that sounds good, let your child know. Although it often just feels good to do something well, hearing it from someone else never hurt, either.
- Be careful with sarcasm and put-downs. Remember that practicing, when done correctly, is concentrated effort on something that you don’t do very well. Although you may be joking when you say it sounded like a dying cat, that negative reinforcement will make an already aware and sensitive child reluctant to return to the work they so desperately need.
- Never use practicing as a punishment. Never ever.
- Plan activities ahead knowing that your child’s attendance is not only required, but imperative for the overall success of the ensemble. Almost all concert dates should be available as the school year begins. Please make a point of including these in your long-term family calendar planning.