The Music Parents' Survival Guide: A Parent-to-Parent Conversation

The Music Parents' Survival Guide: A Parent-to-Parent Conversation

by Amy Nathan
     
 

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This book of parent-to-parent advice aims to encourage, support, and bolster the morale of one of music's most important back-up sections: music parents. Within these pages, more than 150 veteran music parents contribute their experiences, reflections, warnings, and helpful suggestions for how to walk the music-parenting tightrope: how to be supportive but

Overview

This book of parent-to-parent advice aims to encourage, support, and bolster the morale of one of music's most important back-up sections: music parents. Within these pages, more than 150 veteran music parents contribute their experiences, reflections, warnings, and helpful suggestions for how to walk the music-parenting tightrope: how to be supportive but not overbearing, and how to encourage excellence without becoming bogged down in frustration. Among those offering advice are the parents of several top musicians, including the mother of violinist Joshua Bell, the father of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the parents of cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and those of violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. The book also features advice from music educators and more than forty professional musicians, including Paula Robison, Sarah Chang, Anthony McGill, Jennifer Koh, Jonathan Biss, Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Marin Alsop, Christian McBride, Miguel Zenón, Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, Kelli O'Hara, as well as Joshua Bell, Alisa Weilerstein, Wynton Marsalis, Anne Akiko Meyers, and others. The topics they discuss span a wide range of issues faced by the parents of both instrumentalists and singers, from how to get started and encourage effective practice habits, to how to weather the rough spots, cope with the cost of music training, deal with college and career concerns, and help young musicians discover the role that music can play in their lives. The parents who speak here reach a unanimous and overwhelming conclusion that music parenting is well worth the effort, and the experiences that come with it - from sitting in on early lessons and watching their kids perform onstage to tagging along at music conventions as their youngsters try out instruments at exhibitors' booths - enrich family life with a unique joy in music.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Where can the dedicated, but slightly frantic, music parent turn for advice? Enter Amy Nathan, a writer and music parent who wants to help...Harried parents will find plenty of insight here." -Megan Westberg, Strings Magazine

"An important read for every family engaged in music studies: a delightful collection of ideas and moving accounts from loving, dedicated parents." —Aaron P. Dworkin, Founder and President, The Sphinx Organization

"I'm thrilled that Amy Nathan has provided such an encyclopedic guide. Now I can refer the parents who ask me about starting their kids in music to this thoughtful, balanced conversation among so many parents who have been there." —Theodore Wiprud, Vice President of Education, the Sue B. Mercy Chair, New York Philharmonic

"[A]n engaging read and will be of benefit to current and future music parents... a great source of information for teachers." — The Instrumentalist

"...shares the experiences, reflections, warnings, and helpful suggestions of more than 150 verteran music parents." — Radcliffe Magazine

". . . any music parent will find stories and advice that will resonate with them in this book. The sidebars and stories from professional musicians were particularly delightful . . . could also be considered essential reading for any music teacher. . . So whether you are a music parent (struggling or otherwise) or an educator who has found oneself counseling a frustrated music parent, this book is worthy of a place on your bookshelf!" —American Music Teacher

"A concise, positive, practical and highly recommended source of advice and solace for anyone guiding a young musician's life." —Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
2014-12-18
Almost everything a parent needs to know about the challenges and rewards of children's music lessons.Nathan (Round and Round Together, 2012, etc.) offers the flip side of her 2008 book, The Young Musician's Survival Guide, and looks at parents' experiences with their children's music study, including its delights, dilemmas, expenses and intangibles. Inspired by her own experience but primarily drawing from interviews with other parents, she offers 12 chapters, each carefully labeled so that harried readers can turn directly to the most pertinent information. Every parent who pays for music instruction, ferries children to lessons, provides instruments and listens to his or her kid practicing exercises asks similar questions: Which instrument? Is there life after lessons? Can they make a living at it? Parents of now-famous musicians reveal in interviews that there's no one right way to begin, or even know to begin, a child's musical career. Shirley Bell, the mother of world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, discovered her son's talent when the 2-year-old created his own musical instrument from rubber bands and drawer knobs, but she says that she "never anticipated that it would be a career." Other parents share effective, sometimes indirect ways to encourage practicing in two useful sections. One chapter is devoted to finding a teacher and offers wise tips: Attend kids' concerts and check nearby colleges, local orchestras and summer programs. The interviewees' consensus is, unsurprisingly, that it's all worth it, even if children don't turn into professional musicians; it gives them a lifelong source of delight and, as parent Theresa Chong affirms, it can forge "a close connection…through our shared passion for music." There's also a handy bibliography for further research, a source list and an index.A concise, positive, practical and highly recommended source of advice and solace for anyone guiding a young musician's life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199837144
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/12/2014
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
796,852
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Amy Nathan is an award-winning author whose previous books include The Young Musician's Survival Guide, Meet the Musicians, Yankee Doodle Gals, and Round and Round Together. A Harvard graduate with master's degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Columbia's Teachers College, she is the mother of two musical sons: one a composer, the other a saxophone-playing political scientist.

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