Shinichi Suzuki, inventor of the Suzuki method of music education.
Parents can be a huge help and source of support when it comes to students
progressing in their music lessons.
Expose students to lots of music.
Parents can provide an atmosphere of music by playing different types and styles of music at home and in the car. It’s hard for a teacher to know a student’s musical tastes if he is not exposed to lots of different music. If you have access to musical theatre, the symphony, or concert events in your city, take advantage of those opportunities. Exposure is key!
Information is made available. Please read!
The best way to get information out to parents of all the students is through a website, blog, Facebook page, e-newsletter, or group email. It is very important for parents to read the information they are sent. If the teacher takes the time to keep you updated, and you pay for the teacher’s time, it makes sense to read what is being sent to you. Your student might believe you don’t care if you don’t know what’s going on.
Become friends with your music store.
A good relationship with the personnel at the local music store goes a long way for being able to obtain printed music and all other things music. Your teacher probably has a very close working relationship with the music store personnel, so when you do pay a visit to your music store, be sure to mention the teacher’s name. You might even get a discount!
Tech talk for the music student
Technology is being used more and more in music studios these days. Be aware of what your teacher uses as her teaching tools, whether it be Piano Maestro on the iPad, Finale composing software on her computer, theory game apps, or a variety of many other tech tools for teaching. Be supportive by supplying your student with access to these tools in your own home.
Parent time and effort is necessary.
Make the time to check in with your student every so often to see how things are progressing. Ask if you can listen to a piece she is learning. Take a look at the assignment book and ask questions. Have your student teach you something. Attend your student’s performances and bring grandma and grandpa along. Be supportive without being a stage parent, and above all else, don’t embarrass!
Parent-teacher conference for music lessons
Ask your child’s teacher for a parent-teacher conference at least once a year. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress, attitude, behavior, and skills one-on-one with the teacher. Ask if there is anything you can do at home to help. Consider your music teacher as a part of your “village” and keep them informed of anything you think she needs to know to be supportive of your child.
Provide guidance and comfort when needed.
Help your student manage time, priorities and resources. No doubt your student has other activities that demand much of her time. Make time each week to talk to your student about her schedule and when she feels overwhelmed help her with adjustments and provide comfort as she learns about making sacrifices. Guide her through the struggles of the schedule and support her in her efforts.