AF Band Program Joins with AMP: Association of Music Parents
Our American Fork Band has just become a proud booster member of the national organization AMP: Association of Music Parents, which entitles each of our parents to have their own membership as part of our group. AMP is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose commitment is to grow a grassroots national movement that brings together ALL STAKEHOLDERS of Music Education to uphold the interests of our students and ensure that music and the arts remain essential disciplines within the core 21st century education system in America.
Activate your families membership utilizing the following coupon code: AF14 for payment. By doing so you will have complete access to ALL areas of the www.AMParents.org website. (Please note this is a new code from last years membership. You will want to update the information on your webpage with this code as well.)
Once logged in, AMP will provide YOU the parents with excellent resources to support your child’s musical endeavors as well as providing great value to our parent organization as a whole. There is a deep wealth of resources for you to immerse yourself in and share with others the valuable impact music is making in your child’s life. We will all be able to
We will also be able to network with like minded parents from booster organizations across the country. Our membership as an organization will allow us to share our stories and successes with these other groups and truly build a national community of parents.
Activate your registration now at www.AMParents.org/register. Don't delay! We also recommend you “like” the organization at Facebook.com/AMParents to join the conversation, see the most relevant news articles, and share this information and organization with your friends.
Allison Dean Nate Seamons
Booster President Band Director
American Fork H.S. Band American Fork H.S. Band
THE SITE IS AN ENDLESS SOURCE OF INFORMATION RELATIVE TO EVERY MUSIC PARENT.
WE CREATED A USER-FRIENDLY, EASILY NAVIGATED WEBSITE FOR MUSIC PARENTS. IT INCLUDES A WIDE VARIETY OF INFORMATION EXCLUSIVELY DESIGNED TO ANSWER THE MANY INQUIRIES MUSIC PARENTS (OR "TO BE" MUSIC PARENTS) ASK IN THEIR ALL IMPORTANT DECISION-MAKING PROCESS:
SELECTING WHICH INSTRUMENT TO PLAY
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN SELECTING AN INSTRUMENT
THE VALUE OF MUSIC LEARNING AND MUSIC MAKING TO THE POSITIVE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF EVERY CHILD
CARING FOR THE CHOSEN INSTRUMENT
HOW PARENTS CAN ENCOURAGE STUDENT SUCCESS
Have you ever tried quickly assembling your little one's Christmas toy without reading the instructions only for it to become a pile of broken rubble? Or perhaps you took on what first appeared to be a small do-it-yourself project without asking for help? Better yet - and I suppose we husbands are most guilty-you didn't stop to ask for directions when you knew you were dreadfully lost in the middle of nowhere?
At one time or another, most of us have "been there, done that," haven't we? As hard as it is to sometimes admit, we often could have avoided the pain of trial by error if we had stopped to ask someone for help or perhaps taken 15 minutes or so to read the instruction manual.
This can also be said of a majority of parents who have a child enrolled in a school music ensemble. They are eager to launch into their volunteer role in a boosters organization only to fail taking the proper time for leadership training and development.
This is not meant as criticism. In findings, The National Association of Music Parents (www.amparents.org), in its dealing with booster organizations across the nation, has discovered the vast majority of music parents have little to no prior high school music ensemble experience. So it should come as no surprise that for many parents whose child is a member of a band, choir or orchestra, the music world is a strange, new land.
Who can blame a parent for wanting to get involved and enjoy the meaningful relationships they will develop with other parents? It's all exciting! However, if you expect your parents to become the volunteers you need without proper training and development, it's like expecting a child to jump off the high dive on his first day of swimming lessons. They might have the will to try, but the effort will not be as productive and beneficial as it could be.
As the son of a retired band director enjoying my 13th year as a band booster, I've often observed that occasional misunderstandings between parents and music educators, stem from a lack of training and understanding. These conflicts could largely be avoided if only the parents received a more thorough education about their child's music education involvement and the proper role they are to play as booster members and leaders.
For the satisfaction of both music educators and music parents, taking time to learn the "music parent instruction manual" is well worth the time and energy.
Looking back on my early years as a music parent, I am so thankful my children's band director (who happened to be an old college band buddy of mine) along with a group of seasoned band parents took me under their wing to show me the so-called "band booster leadership ropes." In many ways, they mentored and trained me to be the band booster organization volunteer and eventual president I was to become.
Had I not had their help, I would have been banging my head against the proverbial wall or hitting organizational or political land mines one after the other.
How I wish The National Association of Music Parents had been around when I first entered the booster scene! AMP's professional development resources, webcasts, training workshops and networking benefits could have saved so much time for me and my child's director. I could have learned how to be even more effective as a music parent volunteer and booster leader.
In a recent Good Housekeeping article, "I Hate Asking for Help," Nora Klaver, author of "Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need," says avoiding help is common to our culture as most of us prefer being self-reliant. She points out that we often view asking for someone's assistance or guidance as weak or admitting one's failure.
Perhaps the theme song we could all use for this topic is The Beatles' "Help!"
"Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody."
"Help, you know I need someone. Help!"
If you are a band, choir or orchestra director, it is important for you to encourage your parents to become better educated about their vital roles in order to advocate and advance your program. Boosters, in many ways, will reflect the spirit of their child's music director. If the director encourages professional development for the program's boosters, there's a greater likelihood parents will reflect that spirit by striving to become all they can be as volunteers.
If you have parents whose child will be entering your band, choir or orchestra program this fall, give them the tools that will allow them to step out as engaged music parents - or as we at AMP like to say - a VIP (Very Involved Parent)! Cultivate your parents to grow together by involving them in as many ways possible in the life of their child's music ensemble. AMP provides several wonderful resources for new parents ranging from books to monthly webcasts that will help prepare them to become a Super VIP!
If you have parents coming on board as first-time booster officers, don't allow them to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of their responsibilities. Encourage your seasoned parents to mentor them so they don't try to shoulder the weight of the world by themselves.
Serving as a music parent volunteer or booster officer takes time, commitment, energy, creativity, time management skills, and a good dose of common, everyday sense. Incoming booster officers, with your assistance, must find those who have previously held a position so they can seek their advice, learn from their mistakes, build on their triumphs, and advocate the correct way for your music program.
Like children growing, this all takes patience, training and mentoring. In the end, you'll be glad you gave them helpful instructions to become the best, most productive parents yet!
And just like the first-year music parent, officers should take advantage of the many benefits and resources AMP has to offer. Asking for assistance is THE best way to become the officer your organization needs and deserves.
So the next time you're feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed, don't hesitate to ask for "Help!" The thoughtful assistance you receive from others will be time very well spent, resulting in a more effective and efficient you.