There are 3 participants in a child’s music education:
As good as my teacher was, as encouraging as my parents were, it was the community around me that kept me playing.
A few months each year my brother, sister and I would play in the Youth Symphony. We would rehearse for 2 hours with a 10 minute break. I’d dash to the gymnasium across the hall. 10 minutes of basketball was just enough to keep me looking forward to rehearsals each week.
Each summer we would go to a music camp at Appalachian State University. For a month, we would play music for 8 hours a day. But every spare moment not playing music, I was at the student union playing foosball or bowling. My parents would come up on the weekends and visit, but most of the time we were independent and enjoying life on our own.
When people see and hear an accomplished musician, they typically think about the teacher and the committed parents.
The unsung hero, though, is the music community that surrounds the student.
At that age, it was the break times between music that I loved. The music was the price I paid for that fun.
Life is busy. Parents have less and less free time. A good way to leverage that time is to find a musical community. Even if your child only enjoys the break times, the benefits are immense.