In this candid and detailed book, more than 150 veteran music parents offer advice on walking the music-parenting tightrope, addressing everything from choosing an instrument to choosing a college program, and how to be supportive but not overbearing. Their experiences appear beside those of dozens of music educators and more than forty professional musicians.
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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.
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 ; Multi-Taskers ; 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 ; Spare-Timers ; College Wrap-up ; Chapter 12: Moving On ; Seeds Sown ; New Roles ; End Notes ; Bibliography ; Resources ; About the Advice Panel ; Author's Note ; Acknowledgments and Credits
. . . any music parent will find stories and advice that will resonate with them in this book. The sidebars and stories from professional musicians were particularly delightful . . . could also be considered essential reading for any music teacher. . . So whether you are a music parent (struggling or otherwise) or an educator who has found oneself counseling a frustrated music parent, this book is worthy of a place on your bookshelf! * American Music Teacher * ...shares the experiences, reflections, warnings, and helpful suggestions of more than 150 verteran music parents. * Radcliffe Magazine * An engaging read and will be of benefit to current and future music parents... a great source of information for teachers. * The Instrumentalist * I'm thrilled that Amy Nathan has provided such an encyclopedic guide. Now I can refer the parents who ask me about starting their kids in music to this thoughtful, balanced conversation among so many parents who have been there. * Theodore Wiprud, Vice President of Education, the Sue B. Mercy Chair, New York Philharmonic * An important read for every family engaged in music studies: a delightful collection of ideas and moving accounts from loving, dedicated parents. * Aaron P. Dworkin, Founder and President, The Sphinx Organization *
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