No matter the age of your kid, by being engaged in your child’s school music program they are more likely to be engaged themselves. Plus, being involved is usually a lot of fun!
For over 75 years, West Music has worked with local communities to bring band and orchestra music into school. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a successful school music and have some tips for parents. Read our fun, foolproof guide to becoming the ultimate band or orchestra parent in 5 easy steps!
1. Get Your Child to Places on Time
Unless you son or daughter is old enough to drive, getting them from place to place will mostly fall on you. Being on time to practice sessions and private lessons are important because it gives your young musician as much time with their instructor as possible. Also, you can ask about your child’s progress and ways you can help them. If your school program is planning a recital, by attending any meetings or practice sessions you can find out important information about the day of the event. For example, you might learn that all the students have been asked to wear black, so you need to do laundry tonight!
2. Be a Savvy Shopper, Avoid Big Box Stores
We don’t have to say them by name, but those national chain stores typically don’t give you the best value for your dollar. The instruments they sell are shiny, colorful, and inexpensive. But remember, you often get what you pay for! Instruments from big box stores are typically manufactured very cheaply and do not conform to any instrument manufacturer’s standards, meaning repairing them is virtually impossible!
Also, use caution when buying student instruments online or at garage sales. Again, if the price appears “too good to be true” it probably is just that! Instead, trust a local retailer for your student instruments and supplies. Besides offering you the best quality at the best price, local stores often hire experienced staff that can help you choose director approved items. Also, it’s your local music store that will be doing instrument repairs.
Learn about buying or renting a student instrument from West Music.
Learn about West Music’s Repair Shop.
3. Join a Booster Club
A booster club is a formal organization of parents, teachers, and others that support a school program. Booster Clubs are important because no one teacher or one school can do it all on their own. For younger grades, teachers need help organizing recitals and field trips. For older grades, there are always fundraising needs, but more on that later!
Ask your student’s music teacher if there’s already a booster club at your school. If not, consider starting one. West Music offers free resources for booster clubs, including the West Music Booster Handbook.
For information on starting your own booster club please contact West Music at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Volunteer & Fundraise for Your School
If there’s one universal truth about school music programs, it’s that they are always in need of adult volunteers! Volunteers can act as chaperones for field trips or off-campus performances. They also are needed for fundraising.
Why do school music programs need to fundraise? Don’t they have all the money they need? The answer is typically no. High school marching bands, for examples, can top over $100,000. Even elementary and middle school programs have additional costs that need to be covered, such as new instruments or maybe a cart to transport instruments in. Without parent support, schools would never have enough to cover these costs on their own.
5. Reward Yourself!
Okay, this one isn’t a requirement, but it’s fun to show off your music parent pride. Find fun and funky accessories such as socks, bags, mugs, and even jewelry to let the whole world know that you’re a dedicated music parent!
West Music has a wide range of Music Gifts.
- How Music Helps Kids Excel at School
- How Parents Can Help their Young Musician
- Practice Tips for Young Musicians
- Why Choose Lesson for Your Child?
In closing, we want to encourage you to get involved with your child’s school music program. Even if you can’t be president of the booster club, you can still show your support by driving your child to practice. By showing interest in your child’s musical journey, your child feels encouraged to continue to Play now. Play for life.