Ever wonder what the benefits would be if your child played in a music ensemble? Aside from team experience, the benefits could be more than you might expect. Here are the top ten reasons why you should get your child to join or start a band.
Team work: a band is only as good as its weakest player. Your child will know if he is bringing the team down and needs to practice more. Peer pressure to do better is rife in bands.
School bands teach children how different parts of a large ensemble can fit together to work in harmony. This can greatly improve their understanding of reading large musical scores (the ones that the conductor reads), where there can often be 12 or more lines of music to read simultaneously.
Sightreading greatly improves. As a private piano teacher, it is most challenging to teach a young student to not stopand fix mistakes while sightreading a piece for the first time: the temptation to stop and fix things on the first reading is too powerful to overcome when the student plays solo. However, put the student in a band during the band’s first reading of a song, and that student will be forced not to stop, because the band will not wait for him to fix his mistakes. He has to keep going or he will be left behind!
Counting improves! If the child loses his place while reading the music, he can at least count and read ahead to an easier section or the piece where he can wait to come in and play again.
Multitasking: He has to count, read music notation, work his instrument, listen to the other band members AND watch the conductor all at the same time!
Leadership skills: Every band needs a leader. It won’t function without one. Someone eventually steps up and takes the lead. It could be your child.
Extra music practice of any kind means faster comprehension and understanding of this langage.
Performance opportunities: everyone gets some degree of stage fright, and even the pros who do it all the time admit to getting the jitters just before going out on stage. Being in a band can ease you child into the performance anxiaty because he’s up there being supported by his bandmates. It’s also a great exercise for taking action in spite of feeling intense fear.
It can be a chance to “cross train” on a second instrument. The best instrumental composers write better music because they played more than one instrument: they have a deeper understanding of how different instruments work, their advantages and disadvatages.
Being in a music ensemble exposes your child to a larger variety of music genres. None of my piano students know about genres outside of what they listen to from their friends at school or the sheet music put in front of them. Being in a band forces them to listen to new material that they normally wouldn’t think about listening to or appreciating.
I hope this helps explain why being in a music ensemble is important as part of a well rounded musical education. Again, the benefits of being in a band are huge and shouldn’t be overlooked.