Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents

Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents

Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents

Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents


As a musician, a music teacher, and father of three musical children, Robert A. Cutietta can view the challenge of raising musical kids from all sides. Now, in a volume written specifically for parents (with or without musical background), he draws upon his extensive research and varied personal experience to offer a complete, practical guide to this common parenting issue. Does music make kids smarter? At what age should a child begin music lessons? Where should I purchase an instrument? What should parents expect from a child's teachers and lessons? How do I get them to practice? Raising Musical Kids answers these and many more questions as it covers everything from assembling a good listening library for kids, to matching a child's personality with an instrument's personality, to finding musical resources in your community. Cutietta is a gold mine of common sense and straightforward advice. For instance, his novel reward system for enforcing practice will be a godsend for parents. Knowing that children can--and usually do--get most of their music education within the public school system, the author explores at length the features and benefits of elementary and secondary school programs, and shows how parents can make the schools work for them and their children. And along the way, readers will enjoy Cutietta's good humor--his tales of 3rd graders wrestling with huge string basses--and the common sense way he dispels many stereotypes, such as the all-too-common "only boys can play drums." Throughout, Cutietta emphasizes the joy of participating in music for its own sake. This is a book that parents everywhere will treasure as a complete road map for developing their child's musical abilities.


It was a normal morning. Our son had already caught the morning bus to high school and our two daughters were waiting for their bus at the end of the driveway. My wife had already left for work, and I was getting a few last things together to take to the office. I would leave as soon as I heard the school bus stop in front of the house and arrive perfectly on time at work. the routine was well practiced.

But this morning the sound of the bus didn't come. Instead, the front door flew open. dad, we missed the bus!!! all the other kids are gone already!!! Suddenly everything was in high gear as we all rushed to get in the car and head to school.

At the school I was just one more parent with a cup of coffee and children pouring out of the minivan. Unfortunately we arrived after the final bell had rung and I had to go into the main office to sign the girls in. They went to their classes while I walked past classrooms filled with students and teachers who were just beginning their day together.

Later that day I was in another middle school across town observing a student teacher who was, somewhat awkwardly, teaching an eighth-grade music class. You see, in addition to being a parent, I am a professor who specializes in training music teachers and therefore spend many of my days in schools. But that day, as I watched this young man, something occurred to me that never had before. It struck me how different the school looked to me as an educator than it had to me as a parent just a few hours earlier.

This thought stuck with me. the more I pondered it, the more intriguing it became. It became even more intriguing as I mentally expanded the view from two perspectives (university music teacher . . .

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