Ms. Fike's Music Bulletin Board
Help Your Child Be Successful in Band
Even Mozart had to practice. Everyone needs to do his music homework in order to be successful in band. All the children have been asked to practice at least four times a week. I have suggested that they treat it as homework and do it in the same time frame as the other subjects. Wind players will find that blowing for the 15 minutes of required practice will give them a helpful change of pace.
Learning how to practice is as hard as learning how to play. Each practice session should include blowing long tones, scale patterns, trying to learn new pieces, sight reading, and enjoying playing the pieces the student already knows.
- The student should take a deep breath and make one note as long as he can--time by the clock. Add seconds each day. Five seconds is a good first goal.
- Some of the fourth graders and all the fifth graders can play the Bb concert scale. Fourth graders should go over all the notes they have learned. Fifth graders should also be practicing Eb concert scale.
- Learning new pieces is the hardest part of the practice session. The student should practice the new music in small parts. If naming notes is still difficult, the child should name the notes and practice the fingerings before attempting to play. When he/she begins playing, she should work on just a few notes at a time until they feel easy. It is better to learn a little bit well each day instead of trying to learn a whole song at one time.
- Another important practice technique is sight-reading. At this time the child could try to play any piece the appeals to him. It does not need to be school music. The idea is simply to practice reading notes.
- Finally, playing the pieces the student already knows is the most fun part of the practice. This is an important part of practice because it reminds the student that it is fun to play once the music is learned and feels easy. This part of the practice is very important also because it gives the student a chance to show you how good she sounds.
You are your child's most important audience. Please notice improvement. Learning to play a musical instrument is a difficult and complicated task.
If practicing during regular homework time does not work in your house, please help your child find a pleasant time to practice. Practicing is difficult and needs to be done when we are fresh. If you have an early riser, consider before school practice.
Help your child find and set up a good practice space. A musician needs quiet to concentrate on the music. Try to let your student believe that it is a joy to hear him trying to improve.