Parent Page

Mom and Flute StudentYour son or daughter is about to embark on an exciting journey. Learning to play an instrument is fun, exciting and can lead to a life long involvement in music that will enrich their life. There are many advantages your child acquires when they play an instrument.

Why Music?
Did you know this journey could also make them smarter and more successful? Studies have shown a direct correlation in higher academic achievement and the study of music. In fact, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies prefer to hire employees with a background in the arts because those employees tend to be better problem solvers, show more concentration and the ability to stick with a job through to completion. That’s a great skill set to acquire!

We live in a society filled with music. It is everywhere that we live. Music is the most pervasive of all the arts and is the most easily used for enjoyment and relaxation, for study or participation. Understanding the role that music plays and being able to use it to express ourselves are important means of developing as human beings. Those who develop an understanding of how to make music are forever enriched by this experience.

See also: Yamaha Music Advocacy Report: Discover the Power of Music Education

Why This Method?
The Yamaha Advantage will provide your child with the kind of help necessary to learn and stay involved with music. We’ve created this web site to be a companion to The Yamaha Advantage Band Method, the method your child’s teacher is using. Your child will be able to find helpful tips to help them learn their instrument easier and faster. They will also be able to download music to play free of charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there band pieces that correlate with The Yamaha Advantage?

Yes. There are currently 43 piece that correlate to specific pages of the Primer, Book 1 and Book 2. You can hear MP3 files of all the pieces in the Teacher Section.

What is The Yamaha Advantage Primer?

The Yamaha Advantage Primer is an exciting addition to the Yamaha Advantage curriculum. Perfect for a summer, wheel program or younger beginners, this 16 page book introduces beginners to the basics of music and playing an instrument. From holding the instrument properly to producing a quality supported sound, this book is a great way to get your beginners ready for Book 1 of The Yamaha Advantage.

Where can I purchase the Yamaha Advantage Method Books and The Greatest Solo Songbook?

All of the books for The Yamaha Advantage Primer, Recorder, Book 1, Book 2 and the Greatest Solo Songbook are available. Please contact your local music dealer to place an order. If you have trouble finding the books, please email us at

Are CD accompaniments available?

All of the play-along accompaniments are available on this site for free to download as MP3 files. They were recorded by live professional musicians. A two CD set is also available for $12.95 at your local music store. Also, MIDI files are available for the first 14 pages of the book.

What if my students do not have access to the internet?

The Yamaha Advantage is designed to be a self contained, comprehensive instructional method. This site is being offered as a supplement to the printed books. All of the material on this site will be available in other ways so that all students can take advantage of this material. For example, all of the fun songs and theory worksheets are authorized for duplication and the accompaniments are available for sale in a two CD set.

Is this book an update of the Yamaha Band Student?

This is an entirely new band method book. There is no connection between THE YAMAHA ADVANTAGE, published in 2001, and the Yamaha Band Student, published in 1988.

Where can I purchase The Yamaha Advantage?

The Yamaha Advantage books are available from your local music dealer. If you have trouble finding the books, then email us at and we can help you get the books.

Is there a corresponding string method for The Yamaha Advantage?

Currently, there is no corresponding string method for The Yamaha Advantage.

How can I receive a review copy of The Yamaha Advantage?

To receive a review copy of The Yamaha Advantage, simply contact us at and give us an address to send material to.

Hints for Success

You play an important part in your child's success. During the first few months your enthusiastic support and reinforcement is necessary to ensure success. Provide a quiet, well lit, well ventilated space for daily practice. Make sure there is a comfortable straight back chair and a sturdy, adjustable height music stand. Set a convenient time schedule that, if possible, is the same every day. Be consistent, 15 minutes every day is better than an hour one day a week. Depending on the instrument, just holding it properly can be tiring. Developing an embouchure uses new muscles and can be uncomfortable in the beginning. That's why short practice sessions and lots of encouragement are so important.

Your child wants you to share in his/her success. Attend demonstration concerts and full performances and whenever possible, take your child to performances of other musical groups.

Advocate for music in your schools. Current research proves that music participation will help your child in all disciplines and in life. Become familiar with this information available on the American Music Conference and other web sites and become an outspoken supporter of music education.

Make sure your child's instrument is always in proper working order. See pgs. 2 and 3 of the Yamaha Advantage Method Book or download the Instrument Care in formation for your child's instrument from the Extras page. If problems arise take the instrument to your child's band director or to the local music shop for professional repairs. It is very frustrating to play on an instrument that is not functioning properly.

Getting Started: Great Expectations and Rewards

Reprinted from Great Beginnings, a band recruitment package from Yamaha.

Research has indicated that the study of music has long-term benefits for children who participate. Those who have studied music have 10 to 30% higher scores on standardized achievement tests (such as the ACT or SAT exams), higher graduation rates, greater abilities, at reading, math comprehension and abstract reasoning, improved expressive skills, and greater self-discipline. They also tend to demonstrate greater linguistic and writing composition ability, higher level critical thinking skills, and are more creative in personal expression and problem solving. Noted Harvard researcher Howard Gardner has identified seven regions of the brain that develop specific areas of natural intelligence as part of cognitive development: linguistic, mathematical, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, visual and social. Of these, music is the only natural intelligence that requires the use of all the other intelligence. In other words, perceiving, understanding and using music is an important part of whole brain development.

The Roll of a Parent
As a parent, it is not important for you to have previous experience with musical study. If you have, you will understand the challenges, enjoyment and effort your child will experience through the study of a musical instrument. Your role as your child begins instrumental music is simple - be supportive. You don't need to know how to play an instrument to help your child learn. Just as baby struggles with the frustration of not being able to walk or talk easily, so too do young instrumental students struggle with the first efforts at playing their instrument. Let's face it - they are using reading, motor and cognitive skills they've never had to use all at the same time before. Here are some simple suggestions for your child.

Show Encouragement
Encourage your child to keep going, even when it seems difficult. Remind them that they couldn't walk or talk the first time they tried and that it took practice to hit a ball, or ride a bicycle.

Be Patient
Early sounds are often not very musical. It will only take a little time your child will be playing familiar songs. You must understand that and help your child understand that also. Doing anything well takes time, practice and perseverance, from art to sports to music.

Be Supportive
Results in anything come gradually. As our increased technological society helps us achieve results faster and faster, students must learn that some things still take time. Show them early versions of their handwriting and drawing, or watch a video of them learning to ride a bike. This will help you become an ally in the musical learning process. Let them know when you hear improvement in their daily practice. Having someone who can empathize with and reward them is an important part of the student/parent teamwork needed in either music or sports. Attend school concerts your child participates in, and be sure to seek out the music teacher during parent/teacher conferences.

Help Them Practice
Practice is like the homework students bring home in other subjects. It's the way in which they gain increasing skills and abilities. Although you may not know what or how they should practice, you can still play an important role. Practice should be in a private place, away from family members or distractions, radio, television or stereo, and friends. A bedroom or isolated part of the basement or family room is best. A proper music stand, straight-backed chair and good lighting are also important. Students should plan 30 minutes into their schedule. That's their investment. You need to guarantee your investment by helping them make that daily commitment.

Show Resolve
When you hear frustration in such phrases as "I want to quit" or "I sound awful," discuss why those feelings occur. Don't take the path of least resistance and let your child quit too early in the experience. Six weeks, two months - even six months is not enough time to make that kind of decision. Help them establish realistic goals.

Work With Your Child's Teacher
Establish good communication with the music educator teaching your child. You should expect progress reports from them at regular intervals. These teachers will want to hear from you too, so that both positive achievement and possible problems can lead to a successful instrumental music experience.

Choosing an Instrument

No musical instrument is easier to play than another - they all have differing challenges. There are many considerations in choosing an instrument, from musical aptitude to physical characteristics to the desire of the child. Here are a few considerations...

Be honest with your child. Playing an instrument is fun and rewarding, and it will take time, effort and patience. Make sure you have talked with your child about the entire program.

Many students want to play the instrument of their dreams. Their interest plays an important part in the instrument selection process, and in later motivation. But parents have a responsibility to help their child realize that certain factors can work against a student being successful on some instruments. Spend time talking about what instrument your child is interested in playing, and why. Then, work with your child's instructor to determine the best choice, one based on good reasons. After all, band is made up of marry different instruments, and not everyone can play the same instrument.

Physical Requirements
Playing an instrument is a physical experience. The shape of lips, hands and fingers, formation of teeth and jaw, and use of braces all contribute to initial success on an instrument. Your child's instrumental music teacher will discuss the importance of these in the instrument your child chooses to play.

Musical Aptitude
All students appreciate and enjoy music, but everyone has a different aptitude for music. Your child's music teacher may have administered tests to determine these aptitudes in your child. Work with the teacher to understand how that ability may translate into your child's personal success.

Obtaining an Instrument

Once a decision has been made for your child to play a particular instrument, you'll need to go about obtaining one. Some school districts will provide certain instruments. Or, you may be asked to obtain an instrument for your child. Much of this information will be given during the band registration period.

  • Whether you rent or purchase an instrument from a reputable music dealer, or have access to a used instrument in the family be sure that you obtain an instrument that has high durability and is in good repair. An instrument that doesn't work properly may cause problems for a child.
  • Price is important, but so is resale. Choose an instrument that will retain its value over the long haul, not just because it is initially far cheaper than others.
  • You can't win an auto race if the car is in bad shape. If you choose a used instrument, be sure that it has been thoroughly checked out by a certified repair technician. There is nothing more frustrating for a student than having difficulty playing on an instrument that may not be in good working condition.
  • Be sure to emphasize to your child the proper care and maintenance of the instrument at all times. You child's teacher will review this during the first few class sessions. There are some easy ones to remember:
    • Always place the instrument in the case when not in use. Leaving it on a bed, chair or propped against the wall is a certain formula for disaster.
    • Use oils, grease or other lubricants as instructed by your child's instrumental music teacher. Get in the habit of regular maintenance, which will help the instrument last for years of trouble-free playing.
    • Never let the other children, family members or friends hold or play the instrument "just for fun." This almost always leads to "accidents."
    • Never have mom or dad "fix" an instrument that appears to be broken or inoperable. Wait for an instructor to help during class, or take it to an authorized dealer where a qualified repair technician can look at the instrument


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