The Music Parents' Survival Guide: A Parent-to-Parent Conversation

ISBN : 9780199837144

Amy Nathan
280 ページ
157 x 233 mm

This book of parent-to-parent advice aims to encourage, support, and bolster the morale of one of music's most important back-up sections: music parents. Within these pages, more than 150 veteran music parents contribute their experiences, reflections, warnings, and helpful suggestions for how to walk the music-parenting tightrope: how to be supportive but not overbearing, and how to encourage excellence without becoming bogged down in frustration. Among those offering advice are the parents of several top musicians, including the mother of violinist Joshua Bell, the father of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the parents of cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and those of violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. The book also features advice from music educators and more than forty professional musicians, including Paula Robison, Sarah Chang, Anthony McGill, Jennifer Koh, Jonathan Biss, Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Marin Alsop, Christian McBride, Miguel Zenon, Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, and Kelli O'Hara. The topics they discuss span a wide range of issues faced by the parents of both instrumentalists and singers, from how to get started to encouraging effective practice habits, to how to weather the rough spots, cope with the cost of music training, deal with college and career concerns, and help young musicians discover the role that music can play in their lives. The parents who speak here reach a unanimous and overwhelming conclusion that music parenting is well worth the effort, and the experiences that come with it - everything from flying to New York on the weekends to searching a flute convention for the perfect instrument - enrich family life with a unique joy in music.


Chapter 1: Parent-to-Parent-The Conversation Begins
Team of Advisors
Profile of the Advice Panel
A Different Kind of Advice Book
Chapter 2: Music Parenting-the Why's and Worth of It
"Opened Up a Vast New World"
Strengthening Ties to Family and Friends
Building Life Skills
Music's Impact on the Brain and Learning
Good for All?
Shifting Goals
Chapter 3: Starting a Child's Musical Journey
Picking Up on the Clues
Kids Make the Call
The "Just Because" Approach
The Age Story
Age Guidelines for Starting Instruments
Music-and-Movement Classes
Suzuki Instruction
El Sistema Programs
Music-Friendly Households
More Than Music
Chapter 4: Helping Kids Choose an Instrument
Picking and Switching
The "Petting Zoo" Approach
Piano Power
The Singing Advantage
Sibling Issues
Other Issues to Keep in Mind
Instrument Shopping
Finding Financial Help
High-End Loaners
Shopping Tips
Bold Choices
Chapter 5: Finding Teachers
The All-Important First Teacher
Having a Private Teacher-or Not
The Independent Teacher Option
The Music School Route
Meet and Greet
Teacher Switching
Listen Up
Switching Etiquette
Sitting In On Lessons-or Not
Injury Watch
Special Needs-Special Planning
Cost Concerns
More Teacher-Search Strategies
Chapter 6: On Singing
The Anatomy of the Voice Lesson Debate
Late-Start Advocates
Early-Start Advocates
The Middle View
Common Ground
The Choral Advantage
The Instrument Advantage
Finding Voice Teachers
Warning Signs of Vocal Stress
Switching Up
Cross-Genre Singing
Delivering a Song
Different Timelines
Chapter 7: Dealing with Time Issues in Practicing
Many Routes to Regular Practice
First Step: Understanding Why
Getting to Regular
Let Kids Take Responsibility
How Long to Practice
Using Rewards-or Not
The Ten-Minute Plan
Finessing the Schedule
Positive Peer Pressure
Ensemble Volunteering
Summer Programs as Practice Boosters
Growing Into It
A Gift
Chapter 8: Fine-Tuning the Parent's Practice Role
It's Not Easy Being a Highwire Artist
"An Outside Pair of Eyes"
A Fun Start
More Ways to Liven It Up
Play Around
The No-Nonsense Approach
What to Say-or Not-as a Practice Coach
Targeted Comments
Different Kids-Different Strategies
Practice-Not Just a Run-Through
An Assist from Technology
Going Solo
Listening Counts
Role Models
Being There
Chapter 9: Managing the Ups and Downs
"They'll Thank You"
Strike a Deal
Give Them a Break
Change the Music
Quadruple Play
Help with Plateau-ing
Make It Social
Go to Concerts
Sports Issues
Lessen Perfectionism
Performance Jitters
Curve Balls
Letting Go
Chapter 10: Getting Serious
A Different Stage of Learning
The Pre-college Option
Performing Arts Schools
Summer Networking
Stepping Up the Effort
Academic Choices
Home- and Cyber-Schooling
Keeping Future Options Open
To Lighten Up on Academics-or Not
Cutting Back on Extras-or Not
About Competitions
The Upsides of Competitions
The Downsides
Competition Coping
Wide-Ranging Exploration
Composition Experience
Going Pro-or Not
Tips for Going Pro
Sibling Strain
Chapter 11: College and Career Concerns
First, the Worries
The Teaching Anchor
Planning for "Plan B"
A Rundown of the Choices
Researching the Options
Choosing a Conservatory
Choosing a University-based Conservatory
Choosing the College Route
The Dual Degree Option
Hit the Road-or Not
Financial Aid
Audition Advice
Creating Opportunities
Beyond Performing
College Wrap-up
Chapter 12: Moving On
Seeds Sown
New Roles
End Notes
About the Advice Panel
Author's Note
Acknowledgments and Credits


Amy Nathan is an award-winning author whose previous books include The Young Musician's Survival Guide, Meet the Musicians, Yankee Doodle Gals, and Round and Round Together. A Harvard graduate with master's degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Columbia's Teachers College, she is the mother of two musical sons: one a composer, the other a saxophone-playing political scientist.