Your future musician has just let you know that they have signed up for band class. You may be very excited about them and plan on shopping soon.
Before you pull out your credit card, here are some tips to get you through the first few practice sessions.
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When selecting which type of instrument you will buy, consider the age and experience level of your child. If this is your child’s first semester playing an instrument do not buy the top of the line instrument.
For example, if your child wants to learn to play the clarinet. Do not buy a wood B flat Buffet brand Clarinet. Look into plastic B flat Clarinets.
Obtain the list from the band or orchestra teacher, of all required materials. Choose a local store that may have a buyback policy. If your child decides to change instruments they may offer you high trade-in value.
Shop around with local merchants to see if they offer special discounts specifically for local school-aged students.
There may be additional practice music books and things that are needed that are specific to that instrument. For example instrument polishers, cleansers, reeds, practice stands, metronomes may be needed for your child to keep up with the other children.
Read all instructions so that you will know how to properly take care of the instrument. Teach your child that they are responsible for keeping the instrument clean, oiled, and in working order.
Home practice is very important. Have everything that they need to practice successfully in the house. If the sounds truly bother you, have your child practice in the room that holds sound the best.
In the warmer months during the day, send your child into the back yard to practice. If the sound drives you crazy, listen to your iPod for a half hour. Schedule a set time for your child to practice so that they know it is not okay to practice too late at night.
Many schools have special sound insulated practice rooms. There may be certain times where there is supervision and help available. Speak with the band or orchestra director to see if they offer these rooms for practice before and after school.
Be sure to get a list of all concert dates for the orchestra or band. Know what groups your child is involved with. Invite family and friends to these performances.
Encourage your child throughout the year with new sheet music, instructional DVD’s, and with your positive feedback. Encourage practice sessions and for them to experiment with making their own songs.