You’ll be required to play outdoors, in temperatures ranging from frozen to sweltering. We ask that you wear the most scratchy, ill-fitting outfit imaginable, oh, and did we mention it comes with a really special hat? And we’re going to throw in early morning drills and weekend events for good measure. Does that sound like a recipe for fun to you? Well, we proud band geeks wouldn’t have it any other way!
It’s that time of year when high school band geeks around the country get to take center stage, er, field, and show their non-roll-stepping peers what they’re made of. In addition to totally killing your half-time performance and wowing all your classmates, it turns out participating in marching band will benefit you in many ways off the field as well. Read along to review our top 10 benefits of playing in your school marching band.
#10 Marching band graces the resume of many who’s whos.
Gwen Stefani , Alanis Morissette, Halle Berry, and Tina Fey all played flute in high school marching band. Clarinetists include Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Roberts, Sara Evans, Steven Spielberg and Gloria Estefan. Saxophone was the high school instrument of choice for Norah Jones, Jennifer Garner and Lionel Richie. Steven Tyler, Samuel L. Jackson and Ke$ha played trumpet, while Nelly Furtado chose trombone. And we doubt it’s merely coincidence that so many successful individuals played in marching band because…
#9 Marching band requires discipline and dedication.
Long rehearsals in the aforementioned elements are not for the faint of heart. To work strenuous hours through tough conditions instills a mental fortitude and ethic that will serve you throughout your life.
#8 Marching bands are the best ‘teams’ around.
Teamwork is a necessity when you’re part of a marching band, no one gets left behind. When you work hard together, each contribute your important part, and trust each other marching forwards, backwards and every-which-way, there’s a camaraderie unlike any other. Plus, you automatically have a whole bunch of friends to share the experience (and commiserate about the scratchy uniforms) with.
#7 Marching band may just make you smarter.
The neurological benefits of playing music are well documented, and we’ve discussed them on our blog previously. However add marching, often at a different tempo than which you are playing, to the mix, and you’ll soon be a multitasking pro.
#6 Marching band provides automatic exercise.
No need to hit the gym from July through mid-November. You’ll be marching mile after mile carrying anywhere from a 15 oz. piccolo to a 40 lb. snare drum, controlling your breathing the entire way.
#5 Marching band is a crash course in time management.
Balancing school, homework and practice can be quite the challenge. But again, this is a skill that you’ll appreciate more and more as you get older. As the saying goes “early is on time, on-time is late.”
#4 Marching band teaches you to grow from adversity.
You can’t win every competition or knock-em-dead at every show. So, you take critical feedback, be it from judges or your director, and use it as fuel to make yourself better next time around.
#3 Marching band directors are awesome people to know.
This may come as a shock, but most marching band directors aren’t in it for the money. The men and women who take on the task are some of the most dedicated educators around, and their love of music and learning is infectious. It’s no small feat to take 50 to 150 diverse students and turn them into a well-oiled marching machine (and make sure they sound good doing it).
#2 Marching bands make you a better all-around musician.
After playing in 100-degree heat while marching in formation, sitting in concert band, zipping through Tchaikovsky’s 1812 seems like a walk in the park.
#1 Marching band camp for life!
The hours are long, the weather dicey, the tan lines wicked… but there’s no other way you’d want to spend your summer. Plus, you’ve already made a whole bunch of friends to start the school year with.
Band geeks are the best geeks, right? Show off your band geek pride with this great, exclusive Musicnotes band geek swag:
Are you or were you a member of your high school or college marching band? What made you choose to join, and what takeaways do you think are most important? Please share with all your fellow band geeks in the comments section below!