Girl Playing Clarinet

Your child wants to learn clarinet in school this year and be part of the band. Great, you took trumpet lessons in school and have fond memories of football games, field trips and concerts.

But wait, there’s a catch…your child’s school is remote this fall and you know nothing about how to play the clarinet.

Fear not, here’s how you can help your child have a memorable and rewarding musical experience.


 

CREATE AN INVITING HOME PRACTICE SPACE
 

Studying in front of a computer all day can be tedious and damper your child’s enthusiasm for learning. Break up the monotony of their day by giving music practice is own unique space. Choose an environment that is conducive to practicing their instrument with a special creative space. If possible, this area should be free of or have minimal distractions and be a “quiet zone” for others. Let them decorate the area with pictures of their favorite musicians who inspire them. Having what they need to practice at home is important too.

Home Music Lesson Essentials


Some of the essentials are:

Music stand - for proper posture


Instrument stand - safe place for instrument when practicing

Metronome - for keeping the beat

Tuner - for keeping in tune

Method books or songbooks - let them pick out what they want to play

Reeds or Strings - A broken reed or string ends playing - have extras on hand.

Notebook and pen - to take notes for questions or mark their music






Supplement Lessons with Easy Ed TeCh

Practicing Musician Virtual Sax Lesson


While nothing can replace the coaching and motivation provided by a real-life music teacher, the internet is filled with resources that can greatly improve the learning process by helping “fill in the gaps” between live or virtual lessons. One of the best is Practicing Musician which combines video tutorials, sheet music delivery, standards-based student assessments and student practice logs in one simple browser-based lesson platform – and content can be downloaded and viewed off-line providing equitable access to households with limited internet. What we like about Practicing Musician, besides the fact that they have waived their usual $10 per month subscription fee for a limited time, is that the videos are short, focusing on reinforcing once concept at a time and are created and regularly updated by actual music teachers.  Also, Practicing Musician has pledged to keep its services totally free to K-12 schools and their students who register and have their students subscribe. How cool is that!


 

MOTIVATE YOUR CHILD TO PRACTICE THEIR INSTRUMENT

 

Girl Practicing Sax with DadDon’t make it a chore
Often, parents want to help their children succeed but end up pushing their child too hard and they become overwhelmed. Try not to have your attention seem like nagging, but instead give them positive reinforcement for their efforts. Become their biggest fan. Music should be a stress relief not a point of stress. Make practicing seem fun by asking if they’d like to play for you. Set up a time or schedule for practicing and make it seem like a break from schoolwork or like recess to be included in their everyday routine. Let your child make suggestions for times to practice that work for them. Involving them in the process makes it seem less like your forcing them and more like they’re part of the plan or in semi-control.
Mom and daughter with flute



Your child isn’t sure how or what to practice
Much like academic schoolwork, you should check your child’s instrumental homework as well. Take a moment to talk to them about their teacher’s assignments, see where they are in their lesson books, or just straight out ask them if they need help! Showing interest not only aids in your child realizing their musical lessons are important, but it will also help you gauge where they might need further assistance from their instructor or maybe even private lessons. Don’t hold back from contacting their music teacher as a simple email can provide needed additional advice for a simple solution!

Child Frustrated with Music lessons


Your child is frustrated

Learning something new can be difficult and when you child feels like they aren’t succeeding at it, they can become frustrated and want to quit. In today’s world, everyone is looking for instant gratification like they get with social media or on their computer. Learning a new skill takes time, effort and practice, so let them know that it’s ok if they don’t get something right away. And don’t compare them to another student... everyone learns and progresses at their own pace. Don’t rush them!

 


The instrument doesn’t seem to play correctly
 

Sometimes, it’s not your child’s ability, but something wrong with the instrument itself and a simple “tune-up”, adjustment or repair can alleviate the problem. Most instrumental teachers can spot the problem easily, but if your child doesn’t have access to their band director at school right now, Here are some videos that can help you determine what’s wrong.
 

FluteTrumpetViolin/Viola
  
SaxophoneTromboneClarinet
   

If your child’s instrument does need repair, make sure to have it serviced by a qualified technician. If you’re having trouble finding a local shop or prefer the convenience of shopping online our EASYCARE Instrument Maintenance and Repair Service may be just what you need.

EasyCare Instrument Repair


What else can motivate my child to practice their musical instrument?

There are so many ways to support your child in their musical journey other than in-school, private lessons or practicing. Here are some ways you can inspire them.

Kids Playing Music together Virtually


Live performances - Take your child to see a concert! Or in this present climate you can show them online performances, YouTube videos, or live streaming events!
 

Introduce them to different genres of music – What they play in school might make them think their instrument is only suited for certain types of music. There’s more than just classical... Broadway, Rock, Blues, Marching, Country, Jazz, Soul, Dance and HipHop. There’s bound to be a band you love that you can share with them that hosts the instrument they play in their repertoire!
 

Role model, practice buddy or music sharing app - Kids work well in teams or with a buddy. Being part of a school band or orchestra is a way for them to experience teamwork but also understand that some of the same challenges they are facing are experienced amongst their peers. If playing in a large group setting isn’t possible right now, they can work virtually with a group or even practice with a friend. Even speaking to an older child who has more experience and years playing the instrument can be a game-changer as they can be a role model for your beginner musician! Other ways to help them play together can be found right on their phone or computer. They can collaborate with friends or play together using an app like:
Cyborg Llama
Upbeat Music

Endless

Soundstorming

 

Encourage your child to perform - Let them perform for you and your family! Having an audience can help them with their confidence and make it fun to “prepare” for their “concert”. Post for family and friends on social media or live stream it so they can get encouragement with real-time comments!

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