Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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First Patrons: Parenting the Musician

Kyle D. Pruett
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 19 Number 4: Page 154 (December 2004)

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Abstract: This discussion of the parental influences on musicians' development begins with a review of the high-stress environment of the 21st-century family, including the increasing burdens on parents' time and the increasing influence of the media. The author provides a list of transcultural qualities of "good enough" parenting, especially in the context of raising a musical child. Parenthood is regarded as a developmental phase itself, with unique competencies needed to care for children in different age groups, from toddlers to adolescents. A brief discussion of the different motivations, both positive and negative, of parents for involvement in their children's music making is included. Parental factors that promote durable musicianship are high levels of emotional and material support, provision of informal musical practice ("playing around") in early life, and the presence of a musically inclined parent. Parents should stay engaged throughout their children¿s musical careers, including fostering a healthy relationship with teachers.

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