Yamaha is best known for its instruments and motor products, but did you know that the company has been involved in music education for the last 50 years?
That journey often starts with a child asking to play an instrument. For parents who come from musical backgrounds, it can be an easy transition, but what about those who grew up without music in their lives? Often times, frustration can act as a deterrent to involving their children in music. Endless questions arise: How old does my child have to be to start? Will they need an instrument? How much will it cost? Can we rent at first? Where do I get the instrument from? How do I encourage musicality in a child with exceptional needs?
To help answer those questions, and more, Yamaha has created a number of websites for parents who want to encourage their child into entering the world of music. In this article, we’ll explore each in turn.
If you have a young child or are just starting to think about introducing your son or daughter to the joys of music, this should be your first stop. With its carefully curated list of activities and resources for students between the ages of 4 and 14, you’ll find plenty of tips that will encourage your child to develop their natural music-making abilities. There’s also information for students with exceptional needs, with a wide range of musical activities for varying levels of ability in each age group. You can also opt to receive additional tips, resources and activities straight to your inbox.
If your child is considering getting involved in school band or orchestra, this is a great starting place for parents who don’t have a musical background. In clear, concise language, the site explains why music is important for students (and society), what the future might hold if your child wants to continue in music, and how to choose an instrument. It then gives you the option to learn more about band and orchestra specifically in the Welcome to Band and Welcome to Orchestra pages (detailed below).
An important note: School is a great place for your child to learn more about themselves and others, but if they find that they want to explore more musical styles, play the songs they like, or even grow a little bit faster than the pace of the school classroom, private or group lessons are a great place for them to thrive and grow individually. Your local dealer and your child’s band or orchestra teacher can help you find someone in your area to help your student grow. Remember, there are many ways to make music!
The “Welcome to Band” website is for parents who are ready to jump into band as a school activity for their children. If your child has been showing an interest in the flute or the saxophone, or any of the instruments that show up in the band room (percussion included), this is a great place to hear from band students, learn about renting versus purchasing an instrument, gain information about the different instruments in a band room, and find your local authorized dealer.
This site is designed for parents of a child that’s been itching to play in the school orchestra and bring out their inner violinist. Yamaha has condensed the six most important factors to consider when choosing to pick up a violin for the first time, making it easy to find the best option for your budding Vivaldi. You can also hear directly from orchestra students about their experiences with string instruments.
There’s also a Violin Finder — an on-site quiz that matches your preferences for purchase and sound with a Yamaha violin. There is also a tool for you to enter your zip code and find the nearest authorized dealer that can assist you in finding the violin identified by the quiz.
Hopefully the musical road ahead for your child is long and fulfilling, and one that leads them to come to know music as a central part of who they are. There are many ways to start making music and the resources listed in the websites outlined above intersect with where Yamaha has particular expertise.
Remember, though, that long before humans ever picked up instruments, they were making art through other types of mediums such as through written forms, painting and sculpture. Imagination and inventiveness is much bigger than just music, and I encourage you to see all the creative energy bursting out from your child as worthy of cultivation. But if music is the art form they gravitate to, hopefully the melodies they create — who knows, maybe even yours too! — will be heard some day soon.
Click here if you’re thinking about introducing your child to the joys of music.
Click here if your child is considering getting involved in school band or orchestra.
Click here if you’re the parent of a new band student.
Click here if you’re the parent of a new orchestra student.