Tuesday, August 28 2018 10:33

Back to School: Getting Kids Ready to Rock their Instruments for Fall and Beyond...

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This Back to School Special Feature is brought to you in collaboration with Music & Arts...

The "summer slump" is real, and it doesn't just have to do with what we as parents think of as the subjects in which kids normally tend to fall behind during the mid-year break. There's always a lot of emphasis on kids forgetting what they've learned, particularly in areas like reading and math, but even electives can fall off - and sometimes those are harder to get back into when the time comes. I know that this is true, and that's because we're living it right here at our house. Even if it's an activity that kids love to do - like playing a musical instrument - there's so many things vying for attention and the skills get a bit "rusty." That's certainly in no way a slight to the other activities as kids need time for free play and to have adventures - but now that the school year is upon us, it's time to get things back on track! In our house it's guitar and recorder that have the focus right now.

It doesn't take much to get back up to speed, but your kids will appreciate the help. Start with getting things together - make sure you have the instrument and all the related accessories in one spot. If it's become dusty, give it a nice cleaning with a microfiber cloth and the appropriate cleaner/polish. For stringed instruments (like my specialty, guitar) - get them tuned-up and re-strung if need be. Think of these instruments like a clean house or a freshly-washed car... when they're shined up and ready to go, kids will take pride in them and want to play.

Music & Arts

For those parents who play music, play along with your children... and for those who do not, listen to the little ones play.  These simple actions should spark the fire to rock once more, and be sure to set aside some practice time each day. Even if it's just 15-20 minutes before or after school, that set time will work wonders for building those chops!

Whether it's in-store or online, Music & Arts is a one-stop shop for parents, students and educators alike. They've got all the gear plus the largest band rental department in the country. Check out the official site for more details and to find a store near you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Music & Arts. The opinions and text are all mine.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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