Practicing: At this point your child should be practicing at least 20 minutes per day, five days per week. Frequency of days is far more important and will “burn” those skills into the brain rather than cramming everything into one day of practicing for two hours.
Performance: Our first concert is on Wednesday, November 15, at 7:00 PM at North Elementary. Please have your child to the gym no later than 6:45 for warm up prior to the concert.
Progress: To monitor progress in band, the district 47 bands use Units of Study as a learning tool for individual growth. The Unit of Study is a four item checklist that covers music vocabulary, method book exercises, rhythm proficiency test, and performance assessment. Students must complete each item in the checklist in order to move forward in their method book. At the elementary level it is our hope that students will complete 10 units in their first year of study.
Here are three things to keep in mind as your child is learning to play a musical instrument:
1. To become skilled at a musical instrument one needs to struggle a little. In your child’s case, they need to sound bad before they sound good; they need to work on things just beyond what they are capable of in order to get better and smarter, and that means they need to make mistakes. There is a small gap between what we all are able to do and what we want to be able to do, Focusing on that gap makes us better learners and better people. Learning a musical instrument allows us to grow from our mistakes.
2.“Hard works trumps talent every single time.” Practicing a skill over and over, the right way, fires circuits in our brains that solidify that skill. Sure, some people find some skills easier at first than others, but the people who practice that skill daily in order to “burn it” into their brain will always far surpass people who don’t practice enough. Practicing a musical instrument helps children learn the universal truth that hard work trumps talent.
3. “This is a long-term commitment, and we are going to stick with it.” Studies have shown that students who identified that they would play their instrument for longer than one year outperformed students who only committed to one year of playing by up to 400% – practicing the same amount of time if not less! The ideas and mindsets that students bring to their musical studies have a direct effect on their success, and it’s the parents’ role to set the tone by not giving their child an “easy out” to quit. Make the decision to invest in your child’s music education for at least a few years of their schooling and you will see results.
For more information on the benefits of playing a musical instrument, please click on the link. Music and the brain