Dear Band Families!
This Blog post is just for YOU! Whether your student has been playing for three years or is just beginning this month, the following information, tips, advice, and pleas are for you. When you get involved with your child’s music education you show them that music is something you value and that you support their efforts on this new adventure. Beginning an instrument is usually exciting, frustrating, and empowering; being able to share that experience with family is so important.
Every student is working out of a Standard of Excellence Band Method Book. Most of us are in the Red Book right now (Book One,) some will soon be moving to the the Blue Book (Book Two,) and by the end of the year, I anticipate some students will be moving into THE GREEN BOOK!
My plea to you is this: Sit down with your child and look through this book. Ask them to explain to you how it works, with definitions at the top of the page, fingering charts that can look a little bit like hieroglyphics to the untrained eye, and different skills addressed on every page.
Here are some areas I’d like for you to notice:
1. When you open up the book, you’ll immediately see the PRACTICE JOURNAL. I would LOVE for students to use this and keep track of how much and when they are practicing each week. I will write their assignments in the designated spot as well.
2. The first few pages address setting up your instrument and CLEANING + CARING FOR your instrument. These are the first things I will teach my students, but reminders from the family are SO important. Gross things grow in unclean instruments. Instruments are expensive, care for them so you don’t need to put more money into them.
3. Flip through the book and find songs that have a clapping part underneath the instrument part. You be the clapper, have your child teach you the rhythm, you clap while they play.
4. This book uses American Folk Music, and folk music from around the world. Chances are, you’ll know some of the songs. Sing them for your child. Teach them to sing it. If they can sing it, they can play it.
5. The back of the book has the FINGERING CHART. Help your child to find and use this resource. I will teach them to read the fingering chart. When they can learn to play new notes on their own, they can become independent learners, instrumentalists, and musicians. This is the end goal my friends.
Your child probably needs you to help him or her remember to practice. Help them find a place in your home free of distraction. It might seem daunting to offer help when they are practicing if you don’t know how to play their instrument, but use the resources in their method book, or just help them write down the questions they have so I can answer them when we see each other.
Your support will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
Thank you thank you thank you!
PS: If your child brought home a new method book this year it would be helpful to send in $7 for Ms. Kauffeld!