Band Parents’ Association

Top Ten List for Supportive Parents

  1. Listen together to all styles of music—both live and recorded‚—and share what you like or don't like about the music or the performance.
  2. Help your child keep their instrument in good working order, and have necessary accessories such as {sticks/mallets} reeds, valve oil, or rosin.
  3. Be sure your child has a music stand to be able to sit or stand tall and hold their instrument correctly when playing at home.
  4. Help minimize distractions when your child is practicing (and doing homework) so they can focus on their work.
  5. Encourage your child to stop and practice difficult measures over and over until they are played correctly, then play the song again from beginning to end.
  6. Encourage your child to play along with an accompaniment or recording once an exercise or piece is learned.
  7. Occasionally allow your child to practice with friends.  Its always fun to make music in a group!
  8. At the end of each practice session, your child should be able to answer two questions: "What improved today?" "Which pieces or skills need work tomorrow?"
  9. Attend your child's concerts—don't just drop them off and pick them up when its finished.
  10. Stop what you are doing to listen to your child play something on their instrument each week.

From Maximizing Student Performance; Practice and Reflection in Band and Orchestra by Wendy Barden, Neil A. Kjos music company page 56.

Why Students Really Quit Their Musical Instrument (and How Parents Can Prevent It)

(Summarized) by Anthony Mazzocchi

  • The student is not musically talented (or at least thought they weren’t).
  • The student is too busy with other activities.
  • The student hates practicing (or the parents grow weary of begging the child to practice).
  • The student doesn’t like their teacher.

…and there’s more…

Without the proper tools and practice habits to get better at anything, students will become frustrated and want to quit.

The real reasons that students quit is often beyond their own understanding:

Parents need to find music just as important as other subjects.

  • You wouldn’t let your child quit math, would you?  Many kids would jump at that opportunity.  Music is a core subject…period.  The more parents treat it as such, the less students will quit.

Students don’t know how to get better.

  • Without the proper tools and practice habits to get better at anything, students will become frustrated and want to quit.

Parents and students think they aren’t musically talented.

Students discontinue playing over the summer.

  • Statistics show that students who do not read over the summer find themselves extremely behind once school starts.  The same goes for playing an instrument.

The instrument is in disrepair.

  • Students, parents and teachers need to be aware of the basics of instrument maintenance and be on top of repairs when needed.

Teachers don’t create enough performing opportunities during the year.

  • The best way to motivate students musically is through performance. Parents can help by creating small performance opportunities at home — a Friday night dinner concert or a planned performance for visiting family members are great ideas.

There is not enough “fun”music to practice.

  • It’s very important for parents to be aware of music that interests their child, because it exists in sheet music form for download or purchase.

Other activities are pulling at the child.

  • Parents need to understand that the enduring social and psychological benefits of music are as enormous as those of sports

from the National Association for Music Education web site.  See full article here: