Welcome Steger Sixth Grade Students
Good day. I am writing to explain my band class homework policy. I believe that it is imperative that each student practice a minimum of 5 days a week. Historically, band teachers would state that 30 minutes of practice per day was the minimum to reflect what is needed for success. I know that there are growing demands on your time and your child’s time. Playing an instrument requires muscle development, thought development and experience working independently towards self-discovery with the guidance of a teacher. This skill set cannot be developed by ‘cramming’ 2 hours of practice on Saturday morning. I am asking for your support in having your child practice each day. I do not want you to tell your child how long they should practice but rather help them to focus on the quality of practice. On a day that affords more time their practice might to 20 or 30 minutes or longer. On a day that is busy the practice may consist of a 5 to 7 minute warm-up and practice on one item. At this point we want to develop a habit of daily practice focused on quality practice over time spent holding the instrument.
To help facilitate the best use of time please set up an area that is always ready with a chair, music stand, metronome and pencil. The toughest part of practicing for most children is getting started. By being organized and setting a scheduled time to practice each day you can help remove roadblocks to your child’s success. The first part of class each day is designed to help students know what and how to practice at home. Listening to good music is also considered part of homework. Many great recordings and performances are available at no cost through YouTube.
Take time to recognize your son or daughters effort and let them know you are listening and proud of them. Ask for your son or daughter to give you a mini concert on a regular basis. I believe that consistent, focused and thoughtful home practice with the support and guidance of parents and siblings will provide your son or daughter with the best opportunity to be successful in band. Parents that show an interest in their child’s life validate the effort and give the child the support to try, fail and try again knowing that they have the support of their family. DO NOT TEASE OR COMPLAIN.