To educate parents on the benefits of school music programs and encourage student participation and retention, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has announced the addition of “The New Music Parent,” a new free course on the NFHS Learning Center.
“The NFHS Learning Center is pleased to offer this resource for new music parents,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “It is a great resource for any new music parent or for anyone who will soon be the parent of a music student. It provides guidance and expectations to help set the stage for a positive experience for both the parent and the student.”
Approximately 50 percent of students who begin playing a musical instrument between fourth and sixth grades are no longer playing after one year. “The New Music Parent” was created to help combat this significant student attrition rate while explaining and promoting the numerous benefits associated with music participation, including better grades and test scores, strong work ethic and enhanced spatial intelligence and problem-solving skills.
An early chapter of the course is focused on the many reasons why students stop playing and presents tips on how to overcome each potential hurdle, which can include students’ misjudgment of their own talent levels, a distaste for traditional styles of school music, and the perceived inability to squeeze practice time into an already loaded activities schedule.
The course also covers two crucial preliminary decisions that must be made: the student’s decision to select an instrument and the parent’s decision to buy or rent that instrument. Students should be guided to select the right instrument based on their identity and personality, and parents should heavily weigh the pros and cons of buying and renting before choosing the option that fits best for their family.
The final sections are devoted to teaching proper instrument handling and cleaning and setting up students for success with healthy, diligent practice habits. Routine maintenance and avoiding precarious situations play vital roles in maintaining students’ interest in school music, as broken and/or compromised instruments are the leading cause of declining participation numbers. An effective practice regimen requires a cooperative effort on the part of the parent, student and music instructor, and includes dedicated methods for in-school and at-home rehearsals.
“We are very excited about the launch of “The New Music Parent” course on the NFHS Learning Center,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports. “This will be a great resource for parents whose students are getting involved in music. There is a plethora of information to help educate and guide parents in this process. Participating in music can bring many benefits and it is important to be well-versed as your student is going through the program.”
For more information on “The New Music Parent,” please visit: https://www.nfhslearn.com/courses/the-new-music-parent.