Robert Woody, the Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Music, has finished a new book, “Becoming a Real Musician: Inspiration and Guidance for Teachers and Parents of Musical Kids.”
The book, from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, will be released Oct. 14. It is available through Amazon and other retailers.
The book is a tool for helping both teachers and parents of musical children work as a team for providing young people with music learning experiences that are meaningful and lasting.
Woody will do an author talk and book signing starting at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Francie and Finch bookstore, 130 S. 13th St., in Lincoln. On Nov. 10, he will do an author talk and book signing at The Bookworm, 2501 S. 90th St., No. 111, in Omaha. Woody will also present a session for the book at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 23 at the 2019 Conference of the Nebraska Music Educators Association.
“Making music should not be just a pastime of childhood,” Woody said. “If kids are given what they need to become real musicians, they will take into adulthood the skills and values for a musically active life, whether music becomes for them a profession or an avocation for leisure time.”
Teaching music in the future will become more inclusive and considerate of the learners themselves. As this evolution of music education happens, parental involvement will be especially critical in assuring that meaningful communication between teachers and students guides the musical growth.
“My goal with this book is not to reveal what young people must do to acquire the skills of a professional musician, or how to make a good living as a performer,” Woody said. “I define a ‘real musician’ as someone who is able to participate in music making in a variety of real-life settings, including common social situations—from large formal gatherings such as weddings and funerals to smaller informal ones such as a circle of friends and family around a campfire.”
Woody is confident that his book will have appeal for both teachers and parents of musical children.
“I know lots of people my age who have kids doing school music, and they’re always asking questions,” Woody said. “They’re wanting to get their kids the best experience and wondering if it’s worth all of these early mornings for this and paying for this trip or paying for this experience. I’m really optimistic about this book being valuable to music educators, but also valuable to people who want music to be part of their lives.”