Why Marching Band?
Music programs give students practice and experience in skills that reach far beyond musical notes and instruments. The students don’t realize that they are getting experience in so many non-musical life-skills that will have positive impacts as they become adults. The Harris Poll that found that 73% of CEOs from Fortune 1000 companies were involved in music programs in high school. When you think about the different areas of development that marching band reaches, you can see why.
Music affects the brain. Hearing it. Playing it. Especially playing it. The math involved in playing music keeps the brain active and growing. Music can uplift you when you’re down or dragging.
Marching and playing at the same time is challenging, and marching band members meet the challenge of marching at one tempo while playing at another. The neuronal connections grown in marching band will benefit the students throughout life, for multi-tasking through college and in the workplace, and for multi-tasking as a parent.
Long Rehearsals. Memorize drill. Memorize music. The discipline you experience & practice is a foundation for discipline later, through college, in the workplace, as a parent. The discipline of being a part of a team like a marching band is experience that you’ll take with you through life.
Every part of a team is important. Every part contributes. There is amazing satisfaction in coming together with a team, working hard alongside and with a team, to perform a show. And the teamwork is very different from that of a sports team, where the goal is to defeat opponents in games. In sports, teams try to go after an opponent’s weakness and to shut down an opponent’s strong scorer. The teamwork in marching band is about individual and group self-improvement, competing with self, comparing results with self over time.
Shared experiences over time build relationships/friendships. Whether you are a rising freshman or new to the school, attending practices with the marching band allows you to start the school year with a set group of friends.
From July through November, a good chunk of time will be consumed by rehearsals, football games, and competitions. You give up a lot of computer time, video game time, free time during those months. Time management experience will serve you well throughout life.
Band members get an opportunity to see the benefits of sacrificing what you want to do (computer chats, shopping, goofing off) for the good of the team. There is personal satisfaction in knowing as you are walking off the field together that the group had a good show. Seeing your scores improve throughout the season or from year to year is rewarding. Awards, medals, trophies from festivals and competitions are sweet tangible payoffs to the sacrifices band members make throughout the season.
Students mess up. They keep going. Judges make mistakes or make calls we don’t agree with. The band members keep going. Students learn that a bobble or a fall during a competition is not the end of the world. Resilience is a hot topic in psychology today & being able to bounce back after a mistake or setback is an important skill throughout life, a skill that develops by being practiced and experienced, and (fortunately or unfortunately), there are lots of opportunities to practice in marching band.
The band staff embraces feedback from judges’ commentaries. Instead of rigidly insisting that the show they put together at camp in July is perfect, they take constructive criticism seriously and make adjustments where needed. The staff model flexibility and creative problem solving for the students; the students practice flexibility in tweaking the show until the show is the way the directors want it.