Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Less-Stress Band Practice Suggestions

My son Levi had his first band concert last night. It went well. I was very proud of him! There was some squeaking involved but thankfully only 1 or 2 of them came from my sons saxophone! A couple of weeks ago he was so discouraged. He was convinced that he'd never be able to play in his concert. His biggest problem was playing along with everyone in band. When he would practice at home he'd do alright but when he'd practice with the band at school he just couldn't follow along or keep from squeaking. His teacher didn't help matters. He didn't even try to help him, he just expected him to be able to do it. He wasn't very nice about it either. I had a very hard time trying to keep his moral up. He was so frustrated that he wasn't doing well enough. He didn't want to practice and I hated making him do it because I knew it was making him feel bad about himself. I knew it was temporary and with more practice he would get better and then be proud of himself but sometimes it's so difficult to see past the here and now. It was a very stressful situation. A couple of times Levi even wanted to quit but he stuck it out and now, the difference is amazing! He loves playing now and he has much more confidence. The struggling was well worth the end result. Today I found an article about reducing stress and how to keep from getting overwhelmed by it. http://livswahmblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/relieve-that-stress.html I wish I would have read it before those stressful days of practicing, I might have come through with more of my sanity intact!

Here are 5 things to know when helping your son or daughter succeed in band:

  1. Get some ear plugs, but not the bright orange kind, you may not want them to be seen!

  2. Expect you'll need much patience!

  3. Don't expect the band teacher to actually teach them to play the instrument.

  4. Use youtube videos of other people playing the songs as a way for them to practice with others. (Unfortunately the cracked song flute from the toy box doesn't quite do the trick.)

  5. Expect you'll need much patience!

Just in case that doesn't help, you can use this handy kit!

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