Tips for Parents with Band Kids by Parents with Band Kids!

Here is a great collection of tips from Band parents “who have been there…done that” and are passing the information on to the “new” parents. What tips can you add to this list?

 

General Tips

  • Thank anyone that you see volunteering. A little gratitude goes a long way.
  • Take your students band letter jacket to a seamstress to have the patches put on. The sleeves require a special needle to avoid ruining the material
  • Anything can happen on a band outing. If your child calls home and says “our bus got hit by a swimming pool” Believe them! But it is a great life experience!
  • Start collecting patches for you child’s senior letter jacket NOW.
  • Get involved in some way, your own way, big or small
  • Wear your band shirt proudly to all events, even to the grocery store!
  • Enjoy each moment your kids perform, go overboard: clap, sing, tap your foot, and yelling is encouraged
  • Make extra copies of all your child’s music. Put their name on every page. Be prepared to buy another flip folder at any time.
  • Back into your parking space at the high school when picking up your child after any band function. It makes your departure easier and safer.
  • Do not block the parking lots after events. Watch out for buses unloading kids. Be nice to the person helping with traffic flow!
  • Yes, your child needs to be at every game, practice or event.
  • Four years of band flies by FAST!!!! Don’t miss them! Be a problem solver not a problem maker!
  • Encourage your student to get to know their section leader. The main purpose of a student leader is to aid fellow students. If you need copies of music, advice, confirmation of times, or even borrowing instruments when your’s is in the repair shop, there’s a good chance the section leader can help you out and you can avoid having to bother a director.
  • Purchase memory items like DVD’s and videos of performances. Once your child’s in college, they’ll want them to show off to all their new friends who won’t believe they were in a marching band.

Game Tips

  • Feed your kids before a game or marching event. Students will know ahead of time if a meal is going to be provided.
  • If your child must eat something, send a snack for on the bus that can be eaten without their jacket on.
  • Don’t leave till it’s over. Your support is noticed by your kids!
  • NEVER think you can make it to the restroom at half-time – You are sure to miss the best part of the game.
  • Do not try to go up into the stands to talk with your child at a game. It will embarrass your child and they will act like they don’t know you.
  • If you have season tickets and do not use them for a game (or decide to chaperone instead or illness), consider offering them up to a band parent.
  • If you want season tickets for home games you have to buy them in the summer (if you can). Call the athletic office for details.
  • Students are not allowed to go to the concession stand at games! No concession food at games. Parents cannot take food to your child.
  • Be prepared to get food on the way home after a game. Kids are always starved after a band event.
  • Please check periodically for equipment. (Reeds, valve oil, white tee shirts, sox, uniform cleaned)
  • Avoid sending gum, chewy or chocolate candy to football games. (Candy may be “banned” at any time)
  • Encourage your student to be careful with his/her instrument when not playing it both at rehearsal, and at games! Be careful of OTHERS equipment as well.
  • Keep an extra pair of socks handy: you never know when you or one of your friends will need one.

Contest/Concert Tips

  • Contest patches can usually be ordered from the band rather than trying to buy them at events, that way you don’t miss the performances.
  • It costs $$ to get into contests. But supports music programs!
  • Contests will last ALL DAY. Avoid family activities and other conflicts on contest dates.
  • Try to watch other performances at contests. Pride yourself in being respectful and supportive of every group!
  • Pack an extra water bottle in your kid’s hat box when going to contest- when it’s hot outside, the 1 bottle of water that you get just doesn’t last.
  • Concert – Boys can wear their black marching shoes with their black concert tuxedo. This way, You do not have to run out and buy black dress shoes.

March-a-thon Tips (if you have one at your school)

  • March-A-Thon donations are tax deductible. Tax receipts can be found on the web site.
  • A piece of Moleskin on the back of the marcher’s heels (or any other spots where blisters are likely to form) can help prevent blisters.
  • Pack a lunch for your child to take to March-A-Thon. They MUST eat!
  • Your child needs to start hydrating the week before march-a-thon. Drink lots of water and no soda for days before the event.
  • Do not spray water on the students playing woodwinds. Your good intentions can damage their instruments.
  • Be at Lowe’s or Tom Thumb before noon. This is a sight to never be forgotten.
  • If you have a Camelback (backpack with water reservoir), it is a great idea to put one on your kid for the March-A-Thon! Kids need the hydration because it is VERY HOT out there!

Practice Tips

  • Be on time, if your child needs to be on the field by 5:30 get them there by 5:15.(Traffic can be a challenge)
  • Find a great carpool … it will make life much easier (and help cut down on that traffic)
  • Show up to night rehearsals and watch where your student is marching so you will know where to look for your student at the performances.  It’s easier to spot your child on the field in shorts and t-shirt than it is in a band uniform.
  • If a band director or parent is trying to help direct traffic, please do not run over them with your car… They have a plan and are trying to help!
  • The directors say to be somewhere at a certain time, they mean on the field and ready to roll at that time.  Arrive 10-15 min early.
  • “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left!”
  • With these early morning practices, suggest that your child go to bed earlier than normal, to get their MUCH NEEDED REST!
  • Even though morning practice is only a couple of hours, they still need to bring water or Gatorade for hydration.
  • Make sure your child wears a white t-shirt (or mostly white) to each Monday night practice.
  • Attending extra rehearsals that are student led may seem unimportant, but try to help your student make them if at all possible.
  • When your freshman comes home from summer camp and says he needs markers for practice, what he means is he needs something to mark his steps on the field. Old CD’s work great!
  • Purchase plastic page protectors for the drill book.
  • You will need a long string with pencil attached for both the drill book and flip folder.

Uniform Tips

  • Band letter jackets can be earned by your student’s senior year. You will receive details then. Start collection patches now.
  • Buy a Santa hat to have on hand before they actually need one.
  • Have uniforms ready the night before a game (especially Freshman), because there is not much time between school dismissal at 3:30 and having to report to the field for an “away game” at approx 5:00.
  • Your local dry cleaners may offer substantial discounts for band uniforms. Get them cleaned often. Every week if possible
  • The uniforms need to last for years to come. Please take good care of them.
  • A good tip is to have your child leave their garment bag at the band hall during games so they can change into street clothes before they leave.
  • Stubborn scuff marks on your white marching shoes? Try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser- it works the best on those stubborn scuffs and most often solves your problems.
  • Find the local person who is available to help keep your uniform repaired – they will be a great resource.

 

 

Article from the Allen Band Booster Association.

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