Tips for Parents

Your involvement and interest in your child’s musical journey is the key to their success. Here are a few suggestions you should consider as you guide them through their adventure in music:

  • Provide the proper instrument, music, and supplies to ensure success. Keep in mind you will need to purchase new reeds on a regular basis since the lifespan of a reed, when “broken in” correctly, is roughly 20 hours of playing time – not much when you consider practice time, band/orchestra rehearsals, concerts, etc. As your child progresses, different equipment and music will be necessary to help them achieve the next level, so be prepared when the instructor sends your child home after their lesson to request to purchase an advanced book, better mouthpiece, etc.
  • Act as a “cheerleader” at home: listen to and monitor (without hovering) your child’s practice sessions throughout the week and provide positive feedback for a job well done; if they are struggling, offer words of encouragement.
  • Ask your child to give you and your family a “home concert” each week with some of the music they prepare for their next lesson – this not only helps them learn how to perform in front of an audience, but allows you to hear their progress and offer verbal support (clapping at the end of the concert is a must!)
  • Commit to weekly lessons: building a foundation of excellence in artistry takes consistent, steady practice. Weekly lessons with a skilled teacher will lead them to a path of success and enjoyment.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher on a regular basis. If you observe something at home that might be helpful to the teacher, please share that information.
  • Make your child’s weekly clarinet practice and attendance at lessons, Foundation Seminars, and other Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet events a priority.
  • Take your child to local clarinet recitals or other classical music concerts (Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Third Chair Chamber Players, university ensemble concerts, etc.). Also, listen to compact disc recordings of different professional clarinet players, and chamber or orchestral musicians. The more they listen to great music and musicians, the more they will learn to appreciate classical music and want to make it a part of their life.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice…

  • Your child’s teacher will discuss requirements for daily practice at the first lesson and throughout their course of study.
  • Depending on your child’s skill level, there is an established length of time they must practice throughout the week and on a daily basis. As your child progresses, the practice requirement will increase as they will be ready to play for longer periods of time and will have more music to learn.
  • It is important you understand the practice expectations and reinforce them at home.
  • While it is highly recommended and best for your child to practice each day, it is acceptable to skip one day per week pending any extra family activities or special events that may occur.
  • Consistent, daily practice allows the student to retain more information and progress at a much higher rate than not practicing at all for a few days prior to a scheduled lesson and having one giant practice session the day before.
  • It will be evident to the teacher if your child practices infrequently or sporadically throughout the week, so please help instill good practice habits for your child at the very start of their musical journey.

Performance Etiquette

Here are some tips for proper behavior at any musical performance – at home, in special Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet recitals, music concerts at school, and other music performances:

  • No talking during a performance, period. You may talk with your neighbor in between musical pieces (but not between the several “movements” within one musical piece) as the performer walks off the stage and while waiting for the next performer to walk on stage, or at a specified intermission.
  • Turn your cell phones, pagers, Blackberrys, etc. OFF.
  • Do not get up from your seat and leave in the middle of a performance.
  • Do not leave a recital early because your child has finished performing. Please stay and hear all of the other student performers.
  • Some younger children may not be of an appropriate age to quietly sit through a performance. If a younger sibling must attend a concert, please ensure there is someone there to take them outside or to the hallway if they are likely to distract the performers for any reason.
  • Do not use flash photography during a performance – this is extremely distracting to the performer. For any performance sponsored by Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet, you may take flash photographs when your child has finished playing (during their bow) or at the end of the concert.
  • Videotaping a Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet performance must be pre-approved by Dr. Barger.
  • Attend a performance in proper concert attire out of respect for the performers.







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