Why You Should Join Band
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Throughout my own experience in marching band, I have come to terms with the fact that just about any time I tell a story related to band, it will be interrupted with the line, “one time, at band camp.”
This is fine, it all comes with being a part of band, so does being assumed as being a “band geek.” I am well aware that I am a band geek, and I’m proud of it. But why do I love band so much? This is a lesser known fact.
To me, and so many others, band is my second family. From the start of band camp in August to the end of the season in either November or December, we spend a lot of time together in rehearsals or at performances. For example, this past year the University of New Haven Chargers marching band performed in Allentown, PA. That day the band was together from approximately 9 a.m. to approximately 2 a.m. the following day – with small breaks in between. Some people would look at a time commitment like this with horror, but for us, it was normal and even fun. The bus ride itself took about three hours each way, but we all had a lot of fun, playing music, games, and even watching movies together. This was the biggest performance of the season for us, but we were not even thinking about that because we were enjoying the time with each other so much. Every home football game is a long day as well, we are together from about 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but we enjoy every second of it.
Band does not only give us a family, it also teaches valuable life skills. I personally have learned time-management, teamwork, and leadership skills from band as well as learning basic resilience.
With all of this time spent practicing on and off the field, as well as travelling to performances, it is important to be able to manage one’s time effectively if they hope to keep their schoolwork, social life, and other extra-curriculars running smoothly, not to mention the basics of sleeping and eating.
To ensure that our performances go smoothly, teamwork is key. Though we all have our own individual instruments, band is not an individual activity. We work together to ensure that the music sounds good and the shapes (forms) looks good as well. If someone is out of place or out of tune it has an effect on the entire performance, yet we also all understand that we are humans and that humans make mistakes. While we are all aiming for perfection, we are kind to one another when we make mistakes and we help each other through it which is yet another important part of teamwork that we learn.
Marching band has also asked me to step up on multiple occasions. In high school, in only my second year of band, I was made section leader of the drum line. Being a section leader or drum major is not the only way to step up as a leader in marching band though, members can also offer to help with various tasks and events in which they may be in charge.
Lastly, we all learn resilience because we start our season in the sweltering hot weather, in which marching and playing instruments is unpleasant, yet we do it anyways because in the long run we know we are going to do it. We have also performed in the pouring rain which also is not the most pleasant; however, it is worth it in the end.
Seeing the audience clapping and singing along while you perform is one of the greatest pleasures of marching band and is a huge reason that many of us keep coming back year after year, in addition to all of the great things we get out of being in band. The band family is extremely welcoming so consider joining band the next time you think you need to add another extra-curricular activity to your life.