But did you know you have a role to play, too? Here are some tips to help you be a great parent before, during, and after the concert!
Make sure your child is practicing his/her music! Show interest and have your child perform his/her part at home for you. Give them positive feedback and encourage them to . If you're not a musician yourself, ask your child what they find easy and hard about preparing for the concert.
Your child will probably be nervous as the concert date approaches. You may be, too! Reassure them and help them understand that a perfect performance isn't the main goal. Help him/her focus on being prepared and confident in front of a large group of people. That's a skill that will transfer to any career or field of study years from now.
Find out what your child will need to wear to the concert. Most band directors will have very specific attire guidelines for their students during concerts. It may be black dress bottoms and a while dress shirt, or simply, "church clothes," or something else. Make sure your child has clothes and that they are ironed before the event so they can feel confident. If it's been a while since they tried them on, make sure they still fit, prior to the evening of the concert.
Decide what YOU and your family will wear to the concert. Although you won't dress as formally as your child, most likely, help your student feel special by dressing for the occasion in honor of them and their hard work!
Make sure your child is on time (read - "early"). The band director will probably ask students to arrive 15-,30-, or 45- minutes early to make sure everyone warms up and instruments are adjusted.
Applaud, appropriately. You may just find that your child sounds surprisingly good, with the rest of the musicians. Some pieces may have more than one distinct section, or, "movement." Wait until you are confident that the entire piece is finished, to applaud.
Avoid distractions. Wait until the end of the concert for flash photography. Don't yell out to your student when the band walks onto the stage or performing area. Little ones who need to "sing-along" or cry with the music should be escorted to an area rather than allowed to cry around the rest of the audience. The other parents want to hear their children, also.
If you need to come in late or get up during the concert, do it in-between songs. Try to avoid getting up and blocking the view and causing noise, especially with auditorium or gym doors, during the music.
Congratulate your student! Even if it was obviously not a perfect performance, your child was brave enough to get in front of a large group of strangers and adults and perform. Make this a teachable and positive experience.
Take lots of pictures! After the concert is over, take lots of pictures. Your child with friends. With the teacher. With your family. With their instrument. Help them feel special. And you'll look forward to going back through these pictures (awkward stages and all), soon, and years from now when they've moved out. And yes, they will eventually move out. Or you'll kick them out. :-)
Congratulate your child's teacher! They've worked hard planning lessons and teaching students to hold the instruments, make their first sounds, and begin to make pleasing music. Concerts are their shining moments, so don't overlook their hard work.
Get to know the other parents! Band and Orchestra are group activities for your children and also for you. As your child advances in the program, there will be more events and trips, most likely. Parents will play a vital role in helping to fundraise, chaperone, and move equipment.
Don't rush to leave! Offer to help the band director clear the stage or gym of equipment and chairs. If the concert was held in a shared space, a class may need the stage or auditorium space first thing tomorrow morning.
You've just made it through your first concert - the first of many to come.
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