Category: Beginning Music Parents

Article — “Mom, how do I play a G#?” A Parent’s Guide for the Young Musician’s Practice Experience

Many parents want to help their child learn to play an instrument, but have never had any musical training themselves and do not know where to begin. Marc Whitlock, band director for Discovery Middle School and formerly a band director with the award winning Plymouth Canton Educational Park, MI and Marian Catholic H.S., gives parents detailed guidelines for home practice to help their child succeed.

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Concert Etiquette

A concert is a formal event, even if held in the school’s gymnasium. A lot of preparation is involved by the teachers and students to make it enjoyable for the audience and performers. Please see the documents below to help make each concert a memorable and rewarding experience for your child. There is even a fun quiz, provided by MENC, to pass out at your next concert to help educate others.

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What is a Metronome?

Want to make your practice more effective? Practice with a metronome. A metronome is a device that can be set to make a ticking sound at different rates of speed used to set the tempo for playing a musical piece. For example, if you set the metronome to 60, you will hear 60 ticks(beats) every minute. If you set the metronome to 120, you will hear 120 ticks(beats) in every minute. So a setting of 120 is twice as fast as a setting of 60. The higher the number the faster the tempo.

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Guidelines for Effective Practicing

To learn a musical instrument you must learn to master many physical skills. Your brain is reading notes on a page, while your fingers are contemplating which keys to press, all while your lungs are taking a big breath to blow through your instrument to create a sound. A music student’s job is to exercise those skills, remember what you’ve learned, and have fun in the process!

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