Parents of Band Students Listen Up!

mbandHey all of you parents that have a child in a school band, listen up. A band is not like a sports team. If your child is part of a sports team, they usually meet a few times a week for a few hours a day and work their muscles into shape so they come together as a good team.

Unlike a sports team where there is only one or two people who play a certain position, a band can have many people who play the same instruments and play the same parts.

Here is the difference between sports teams and bands. Band students need to practice everyday. No if, ands, or buts. On a sports team where there is only one person playing a position, everyone can see when he or she makes mistakes. In a band however, when you have kids that practice everyday and those that don’t, the ones that don’t practice bring their section in the band down.

These are the squeakers, they don’t know their fingering, they don’t get the counting correct. They are a distraction to the band members that sit on either side of them. Band members need to listen to what is going on around them. If they are playing correctly and the people on either side of them are playing the wrong notes or are coming in and out of music at the wrong time, it can easily throw three people off.

This is extremely frustrating to the band leader. He or she is trying to get all of the kids to play their piece of music together and they usually have a lot of them all at once and they have a very limited time with the group of students. You will make the band director’s task a lot easier if you will have the student in your home practice.

If you think that the student in your home will be come a great horn player or stringed instrument player by only touching the instrument when they are at school, you have another thing coming. Your student will fall behind, lose interest, and then twenty years down the road everyone will hear them say, ” I use to play the clarinet/flute/guitar/trumpet etc., but I quit and I wish I never had.”

There is a huge difference between the person in the first chair of their section and the person who is in the last chair. Do you know what the difference is? Practice! First chair students are practicing their fingers off and that is what it takes.

If your student is having a difficult time with their music, get them in with a music teacher. It may only take a couple of lessons to point them in the right direction.

All it takes to improve is 15 minutes of practice each day. The student should be able to practice all of their music in that amount of time. If the student is just starting, they should be able to play all of their pieces of music 5 times each in 15 minutes. Their pieces are only 20 – 30 seconds long.

So what type of band member do you want? A first chair or a last chair?


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