Hello all! This week, I'm trying posting on a Thursday instead of Friday.....which day of the week would you prefer new posts?
This post is specifically tailored to music parents, but I think these suggestions could apply to most any parent. Chances are, if you're a parent, you want your child to succeed in music lessons, and if you're a teacher, you also want the student to succeed! Well, below find 5 ways that parents can help their children (with an infographic for your pinning pleasure).
Kids can't remember everything (and neither can adults!). Help your student to be prepared at his/her lesson by making sure that all necessary lesson materials come to each lesson. Having a designated lesson bag where all of these materials live can help.
Help your student remember to practice. This doesn't have to be a nagging reminder (and remember, this is more important than practice). Figure out what works best for you and your student and go with that.
Reminding your student of upcoming recitals might also help to encourage practice. You can verbally remind the student, or even have it marked on the calendar in a special way (think stickers, fancy pens, you can even go crazy with glitter glue....who am I to say?).
Encouragement is sooooo important. Would you really want to do something that you felt you could never do well enough? That gets old after awhile. Give your student positive, specific praise. Here are just a few examples:
Encourage your student by being part of the experience. If you have even a little musical background, you might consider jamming together. I used to enjoy practicing trombone more when my mom would jam on piano with me than when I just practiced regular practice pieces. Have fun and show your student that music isn't a drag! If your student would like you to, listen to him/her practice. That being said, sometimes practice is a private experience, and be sure to respect that as well if possible.
Sometimes teachers are wrong. But as a general rule, please work with and support your child's teacher. You've chosen this teacher for a reason; if you don't think that this teacher is adequately qualified, it is probably time to find a different teacher.
One area you might support the teacher include his/her choice of repertoire. Maybe Johnny can play that difficult piece, but there is likely a reason that the teacher has him playing easier pieces. Maybe his hand position needs work, maybe the teacher is working with him on musicality, etc. If you are concerned, speak with the teacher during lesson time or contact him/her via phone, text, or email.
The balance between involved and helicopter-parent might be a little tricky, but just try your best! Your effort will likely show.
Be in contact with the teacher. Respond to emails and texts in a timely manner. Bring up any concerns you have during the student's lesson time, or even via email. Different people have different communication preferences. See what's best for the teacher and for you and stay in touch.
Attend your student's events! Don't just attend, but be present. Show your student how you value his/her work by paying attention and making a big deal over the experience. Consider bringing flowers for your student (it also doesn't hurt to bring them for the teacher as well ;) ).
Above all, make sure you love your student. This goes a long way. If you truly desire to do what you believe is best for your student, it will show! The other things will very likely follow.
As a teacher, I value parents and families that love and want what's best for their child. Supportive parents are so great!
Parents, what are your best tips to pass along to work as a team with your students' music teachers? Teachers, what are some of your best experiences with families involved in their students' music education? I'd love to hear your ideas!
P.S. Feel free to share the infographic in your newsletters or on social media, just please credit me and/or fischarper.com!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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