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Message to Parents

Congratulations
Your decision to provide your child with a musical instrument is an investment in your child's future. In making it possible for your child to play a musical instrument, you are providing the opportunity for self-expression, creativity, and achievement. Numerous studies indicate that parental attitude, support and involvement are important factors in a child's ability to successfully learn to play and enjoy music.

This section is designed to assist you in giving your child the best support possible for his or her musical endeavors. Like any skill, interest counts far more than talent. With the right support from you, playing music will become a natural part of your child's life.

Benefits - For your Child
Music participation enhances:

• Problem Solving
• Teamwork
• Goal Setting
• Self-expression
• Coordination
• Memory Skills
• Self-Confidence & esteem
• Concentration
• Poise
• and much, much more!

Benefits - For Your Family
A child's music study also offers opportunities for shared family experiences, including:

• Musical event attendance
• Family music-making
• Performing for, and with, family and friends
• Learning about the lives of the composers and the cultural
heritage of Western Civilization
• A sense of pride and accomplishment for the entire family

How You Fit In
Always keep in mind that your support is a key element in your child's success with music study

Schedule Practice Times
Music achievement requires effort over a period of time. You can help your child by:

Providing a quiet place in which to practice.
Remaining nearby during practice times as often as possible
Scheduling a consistent, daily time for practice.
Praising your child's efforts and achievements

Selecting a Music Teacher
Formal music instruction can help your child's progress. In choosing a teacher, consider these points:

Background and experience
Comments from other parents and students.
Provisions for sharing music through performance

What to Do
To give your child the best possible support, you should:

• Encourage your child to play for family and friends.
• Offer compliments and encouragement regularly.
• Expose your child to a wide variety of music, including concerts,
and recitals.
• Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons.
• Make sure your child's instrument is always in good working
order.
• Allow your child to play many types of music, not just study
pieces.
• Listen to your child practice, and acknowledge improvement
• Help your child build a personal music library
• Try to get your child to make a minimum two-year commitment
to his or her musical studies.

What Not To Do
Your child's progress will be greatly enhanced if you…

• Don't use practice as a punishment
• Don't insist your child play for others when they don't want to
• Don't ridicule or make fun of mistakes or less-than-perfect
playing.
• Don't apologize to others for your child's weak performance
• Don't start your child on an instrument that's in poor working
order or condition
• Don't expect rapid progress and development in the beginning

If Your Child Loses Interest
In the event your child loses interest in his or her music studies, don't panic.

• Discuss the situation with your child to determine why their
interest is declining.
• Talk to your child's music teacher to see what might be done to
rekindle their enthusiasm
• Encourage your child to stick with lessons for an agreed period
of time
• Offer increased enthusiasm and support

Credits
This message has been developed by the following organizations in the interest of making music study and participation an enjoyable and richly rewarding experience for children and their families.

American Music Conference
303 East Wacker Drive, Suite 121
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 856-8820

Music Educators National Conference
1902 Association Drive
Reston, VA 22091
(703) 860-4000

Music Teachers National Association
617 Vine St., Suite 1432
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2434
(513) 421-1420

National Association Music Merchants
5140 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92008-4391
(619) 438-8001


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