Success is highlighted during recitals and through achievement programs, such as our Musicians Success Path trophy program. Be sure to communicate regularly with your teacher and listen in on the last five minutes of your child's lesson. One of the best things a child can do is incorporate practicing their instrument at home. If they are young or new to the instrument, their practice sessions may last five to ten minutes at first. As time goes on and the child improves, they may eventually practice for twenty or thirty minutes. Consider this: if your hobby is golf and you get busy for two weeks and can't play, are you going to throw your golf clubs in the lake and forget about it? Or are you going to resume when your schedule permits? Children deserve the same respect and level of patience that you would give yourself.
You should choose a school that uses a rewards system like this (Happy Valley Arts Academy is the only school in the state of Oregon using this program currently) and allows for children to see breakthroughs in their progress every 3 months. It's very important for kids to be rewarded at certain levels so that they are continually engaged and hopeful that they'll perform better each week. To see that your child is progressing in their skill, follow my three-step action plan:
1. Ensure your child receives rewards at least every three months.
2. Allow your child to participate in recitals every six months.
3. As often as you can, pop into the last five minutes of every lesson.
These steps are a healthy action plan for any parent to follow during their child's musical journey. As a parent, you will be doing enough by seeing that the above action steps are followed through. This will require you to have faith in your teacher's curriculum and trust in the school's administration. If you follow through on these steps and come to find out that you're not happy with the results, then find a different professional to work with your child. At the end of the day, parents need to trust the process and feel good about it. Take it from me as someone who has been in the industry for a long time, the process is incredibly strong and can allow for the parent and child to be incredibly happy. Parents from all backgrounds, whether it's a small business, corporate America, or military, can value for being accountable for one's work. We incorporate this philosophy into our curriculum by providing an evaluation in the form of a recital every six months.