top of page

Practice Tips for Parents

Practice Tips for Parents

Making Music Practice Fun

By Ilene Raymond for Parenting magazine, 10/2001

  • Be a presence when you can. “Young kids thrive on a parent’s interest because it keeps them from feeling lonely or bored,” says Beth Bolton, Ph.D., curriculum director of early-childhood music foundation at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and author of Musical Children.

  • Hang loose. Let him goof around on his instrument to warm up.

  • Add imagination. See if your child can make up stories that match the mood of the music, for instance.

  • Play games. Challenge him to play a piece loudly and then softly or slowly and then quickly.

  • Break it up. If he gets antsy or tired halfway through a 20- or 30- minute regimen, try several 5- or 10-minute sessions instead.

  • Give him time off. Let him skip a day whenever he seems burned out. At this age, the most important thing is keeping music enjoyable.

  • Have a family concert. Once a week, turn your child’s practice time into a full-scale performance, complete with a formal introduction and applause. He’ll get a confidence boost from such an appreciative audience.

  • Allow him some choice of music. After satisfactorily practicing the pieces required by the teacher, allow your child to play any piece he wants and even to improvise (make-up) his own music.

Practice Tips for Parents

By Ron X. Gumicio of The Journal News, 5/31/2004

Practice tips for elementary students

• Help your child set up a special place at home to play an instrument.

• Establish a time each day to play.

• If possible, be a positive part of your child's playing time.

• Praise your child for each step forward.

• Provide positive role models. Bring your child to hear amateur or professional musicians perform.


Encouraging your teen's musical talents

• Expose your teen to all kinds of music.

• Seek out live music.

• Have your teen participate in chorus or the school band or orchestra.

• Visit a museum that has a collection of musical instruments.

• Check in on your child's music teacher.

Young people experience wide ranges of emotions while still in the developing stages of learning how to appropriately express themselves. Music can be a very valuable tool for expression as well as an avenue through which young people learn how to identify different feelings and moods in others. Participating in a musical ensemble can give students a sense of belonging and a unique identity that will give them strength and confidence in all aspects of their schooling. Music is itself one of the “Multiple Intelligences” as defined by Howard Gardner.** The instruction of music incorporates many varied learning styles, thereby enabling success for many students who may not necessarily be as successful in other academic subjects. It also can offer a challenge for those students who may benefit from the rigor or who may engage in a leadership role in the ensemble.

*(Oxford University Press (2006, September 20). First Evidence That Musical Training Affects Brain Development In Young Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2010, from­ /releases/2006/09/060920093024.htm)


**(Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books. Tenth Anniversary Edition with new introduction, New York: Basic Books, 1993. Twentieth Anniversary Edition with new introduction. New York: Basic Books, 2004.)

Music Education Philosophy

by Leanne M. Griffey

Why music?


Music is an integral part of our society. It is one of the elements that make us human. It is a “universal language”. No education is complete without music and the most effective way to experience music is to learn to read it and create it individually and with others in an ensemble. To learn music is to learn how to express oneself, to learn about multiple cultures and histories, to learn cooperation, discipline, and responsibility. There are many technical aspects to learning to play an instrument and also learning to read music. These skills have been shown to support learning in other subject areas as well by challenging students in various ways. In order to perform music, students must work to develop fine motor skills, right and left brain thinking, critical listening skills, and mathematical reasoning. The study of music has been shown to positively impact children’s brain development and memory.*

Why Music?

String Orchestra Education Rationale

from American String Teachers' Association

Why String Orchestra?


All children are capable of playing a stringed instrument, regardless of “talent”, “giftedness”, or musical background. Unlike most other musical instruments, stringed instruments come in a variety of sizes so that even very young children can begin instruction. Orchestral music, which is considered one of Western culture’s greatest traditions, cannot be performed without stringed instruments. Contemporary music increasingly relies on strings. In every school, there are students who are inherently attracted to the sound of stringed instruments. To deny these students the opportunity to play the instrument best suited to their personality would be to deny them their expressivity and the possibility of a lifelong love and appreciation for music. *

Why String Orchestra?

The Value of Music Education

There are so many reasons why I, Mrs. Griffey, chose to teach and make music that I cannot begin to list them all here! Explore these links to some pertinent articles and see what so many others are saying about the reasons why all students should learn music. The reasons are as varied as the unique personalities of all the students I teach. 

bottom of page