Navigating Summer Learning
Summer is fast approaching. It is often a time when schedules need to be adjusted because of vacations, jobs, and kids being home from school. As parents, we desire for our children to maintain all the learning they have received throughout the year, as well as stay creative and engaged during the summer months. This applies to their music learning as well.
Here are a few points to help parents as they navigate the summer transition which is rapidly approaching:
•AVOID LEARNING LOSS! Learning loss is especially damaging for individuals studying music. Statistics show that we have a tendency to forget whatever we study within two to three days, so you can imagine the impact that two or three months may have. Pausing lessons can be especially damaging for music students because regularly maintaining muscle memory is a key factor in seeing continued progress. Continued learning over the summer helps maintain musical progress and build music experience even further. It takes months or even years for students to develop their skills, but not much time to lose them.
•LEAP AHEAD! Did you know that playing an instrument for just 20 minutes a day, improves literacy, quantitative reasoning, and math and science skills. Music study also encourages a healthy mental state of mind. Leap ahead academically and musically with your summer practice.
•STAY IN IT! Continuing with regular music lessons and practice make it far less difficult to try and “get back into it” after an extended break. No need to spend time reviewing. Continued learning during the summer helps students avoid any muscle memory or music theory loss.
•MIXIN’ IT! Music learning provides the right mix of fun and challenges to prevent summer slacking and keeps your child’s mind active during the summer. Studying an instrument is a perfect complement to your child’s expectations of having a great and exciting summer.
•POSITIVE RESULTS! Enjoying music classes over the summer provides your child entertaining goals to work towards. It also builds self-confidence and initiative, and develops a positive attitude when school resumes.
•SCHOLARSHIP PREP! Scholarship competition can be steep in the performing arts. Gain a competitive edge with extra time for practice during the summer. Join us for audition prep and/or college prep classes this summer!
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s continued learning this summer, we are always here to help.
Heather Parks, Piano Instructor/Owner
New Song School of the Arts
Our Investment in Our Children
As parents, we are willing to invest in our greatest blessings . . . our children.
In doing so, we often wonder:
-what is the best way to invest in my child?
-what should the duration of this investment be?
-what signs should I look for to know if I am receiving a return on my investment?
This may sound transactional, but in the span of a life, we only have so many resources to invest in those we love and we want to make sure that we are doing so wisely. Your child may never become a concert pianist, Broadway star, or a famous artist. That’s not the point. The point is for them to receive the benefits of the investment you are making.
When THEY WIN, YOU WIN!
Here are some quick reminders of the benefits that your child will receive from your investment:
Academic: Because the performing arts can activate nearly every brain region and network, it helps to keep a myriad of brain pathways strong. This includes those connections that are involved in well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and happiness. Those who participate in performing arts have better SAT scores, improved communication skills, goal setting skills, and better reading comprehension.
Emotional: Music making, especially when done in a safe, encouraging environment, has long been supported by research to be positive for one’s mental health, physical health, and social functioning. Self esteem is increased as students grow, learn, and mature in their skills. They start to realize, “I CAN! When I work hard and accomplish my goal, I feel my heart smiling”. What a confidence boost after they practice and perform successfully on stage!
Social: Research supports that music/fine arts learning promotes individual goal attainment, and naturally fosters important social and emotional skills, such as self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership skills, social skills, and socio-emotional intelligence.
Look for opportunities to get your child involved in collaborative musical activities such as our T.E.A.M. Jam programs. This is FUN and provides practical application for what is learned in private lessons.
Those statistics you just read? FACT CHECK THEM! It’s all true and has been since the beginning of time. So, think back to the “WHY” behind this investment.
Again, it’s not about creating a star artist or concert musician – although we wouldn’t mind this either. In the near term, focus on the benefits that will be infused into your loved one’s mind, heart, and soul through the opportunity YOU are providing for them.
We will do our part to make learning fun, positive, and engaging. Encourage them to stick with it as long as possible so that they can absorb the benefits for as long as possible.
As parents and teachers, we desire for the lives of our students to be forever touched and rewarded through your investment!
-Heather Parks, Piano Instructor/Owner
New Song School of the Arts
A NOTE FROM MISS HEATHER
The “P” word!!! P.R.A.C.T.I.CE!!!
It is what every parent wants to HEAR, every teacher wants to SEE, and every student doesn’t love to DO. Every grown up knows how important practice is if you want to be good. However, young people have not yet learned value of practice. They still see it as a chore.
I have been playing the piano since I was four years old. To keep my skills sharp, my personal practice goal is two hours/day (10 hours weekly). That said, even after all these years, I still don’t LOVE to practice….. BUT…. I LOVE the results of my practice.
This is where parents come in.
As young people continue to mature, build character, and learn life lessons, they need wise and mature parents to encourage, motivate, and inspire them to STICK with their fine arts study until they see the results of their hard work.
Here are some tips for you as you parent your musicians, artists, and actors:
What NOT to say:
“If you don’t practice, I am going to make you quit”
“You have a lesson tomorrow and you have only practiced once this week”
“Your teacher is going to be mad at you because you’re not prepared”
Keep it positive!
What TO say:
“Can you play some music for me while I make dinner?”
“I loved that song I heard you playing on the piano today. Can you play it for dad when he comes home from work?”
“Let’s FaceTime grandma this Friday and you can play her the song that you learned today at your lesson after your practice it for a few days”
“That piece is sounding nice. Let’s do a family “parlor performance” this Sunday.
Let this fine arts thing blossom and evolve naturally. We LOVE working with all of you and your amazing children!
Miss Heather, Piano Instructor/Owner
New Song School of the Arts
7861 Tudor Lane, Argyle, TX 76226