New Student Guidelines

New Student Guidelines for Parents

We want each student to be successful. Here are some tips to bring out the best in your student.

Introduction

Now that your son or daughter has some experience as a beginning musician, the following information has been compiled as a guide for parents to help monitor progress.  By now, your child has been taught proper posture, the method of producing a tone, and several different songs.

Home Review

One excellent method of reinforcing what has been taught during private lessons is to ask your child to teach someone else. Using yourself or a brother or sister, ask your child to teach one of the beginning songs that they have learned. This way, your child will be able to review the basics needed for their own performing. This will also help to build your child‚s confidence.

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Home Practice

Home practice is handled differently in every household. Parents are often hesitant to “force” their children to practice, but children must practice daily in order for progress to occur. Consistent daily practice is the ONLY way a student can be successful in music in the long term.

Guidelines

The following guidelines provide some basic information regarding practice expectations. While some of these points might seem elementary, it is much more difficult to break bad habits than it is to create new ones. Please go over these guidelines with your child now and throughout the year to help ensure their success.
  1. Establish a regular daily period when your child can concentrate on practicing. It is far more beneficial for a student to practice each day than it is for a student to practice for longer periods in fewer days. Your child’s instructor will give you an idea of how much practice time they expect.
  2. Proper posture and/or instrument position is essential for producing a good sound and proficiency on any musical medium. Vocal and instrumental students should sit up straight in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. A vocalist may also prefer to stand. Piano students should sit a comfortable distance from the keyboard with curved fingers, high wrists, and a straight back. Music should be placed at eye level.
  3. When practicing, students should not just be playing or singing through the notes. Time should be taken to COUNT and CLAP rhythms, review fingering or positions of each note, check breathing and mouth and tongue position, and read letter names of notes aloud. When playing, the goal is to play or sing without stumbling or stuttering over notes. When a problem area is encountered, the problem should be practiced several times until it is played smoothly and then return to the beginning of the line and try the entire line again.
  4. The tone quality of beginning students will undoubtedly be unrefined. However, the sound should be full and solid, but NEVER forced, blasted, pushed, or banged.
  5. Toward the end of a practice session, it is advisable for students to go back and play previous accomplishments or favorite songs. This serves as both an excellent review and a reward for their practice time.
  6. Each instrument needs special care. At the end of each playing session, instruments should be put back in their case for safe storage. Proper cleaning and storage will keep the instrument in good playing order, as well as help to retain its value. (Specific maintenance techniques for each instrument are discussed by each teacher.) Vocalists should learn to treat their body as their instrument, always drinking plenty of WATER after a practice session. Pianos should be closed so they can remain free of dust and dirt.
  1. Establish a regular daily period when your child can concentrate on practicing. It is far more beneficial for a student to practice each day than it is for a student to practice for longer periods in fewer days. Your child’s instructor will give you an idea of how much practice time they expect.
  2. Proper posture and/or instrument position is essential for producing a good sound and proficiency on any musical medium. Vocal and instrumental students should sit up straight in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. A vocalist may also prefer to stand. Piano students should sit a comfortable distance from the keyboard with curved fingers, high wrists, and a straight back. Music should be placed at eye level.
  3. When practicing, students should not just be playing or singing through the notes. Time should be taken to COUNT and CLAP rhythms, review fingering or positions of each note, check breathing and mouth and tongue position, and read letter names of notes aloud. When playing, the goal is to play or sing without stumbling or stuttering over notes. When a problem area is encountered, the problem should be practiced several times until it is played smoothly and then return to the beginning of the line and try the entire line again.
  4. The tone quality of beginning students will undoubtedly be unrefined. However, the sound should be full and solid, but NEVER forced, blasted, pushed, or banged.
  5. Toward the end of a practice session, it is advisable for students to go back and play previous accomplishments or favorite songs. This serves as both an excellent review and a reward for their practice time.
  6. Each instrument needs special care. At the end of each playing session, instruments should be put back in their case for safe storage. Proper cleaning and storage will keep the instrument in good playing order, as well as help to retain its value. (Specific maintenance techniques for each instrument are discussed by each teacher.) Vocalists should learn to treat their body as their instrument, always drinking plenty of WATER after a practice session. Pianos should be closed so they can remain free of dust and dirt.

Thank You

Thank you for your help and support during the beginning stages of your child’s musical development.
Please feel free to ask any questions of any staff members and remember that we are all here for the benefit of YOUR child.

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