1. You become a doer.
While most of your other classes just involve listening or observing, band teaches you to do. You learn how to perform, how to be flexible, and how to communicate and cooperate with others across groups: Exactly what you need to succeed in any company or organization.
2. Your brain grows.
Learning music helps develop the areas of the brain involved in language and reasoning, but it also teaches students how to think creatively and solve problems. Studies also show a link between music and spatial intelligence, which is vital for solving all types of things—from mathematics to how to efficiently pack up a moving van. It’s no wonder that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests and also achieve higher grades.
3. You develop self-esteem through self-expression.
Ah, expressing oneself in high school…So much black lipstick. So many chain wallets. No, learning music doesn’t mean you bypass all the crimes against fashion, but it does give you a more meaningful outlet to express yourself—through music. You can learn sad songs, you can learn ‘80s pop songs, you can play Phantom of the Opera tunes alone in your room ad nauseam. Self-expression builds self-esteem at a time in one’s life when you really need it. Entering adulthood with healthy self-esteem benefits you in every way possible and sets you up for future success.
4. You learn the value of community.
Regardless of their dorky reputation, it’s obvious to high school creatures of every stripe that band kids are having more fun than you. The way they congregate in the halls….their wacky inside jokes…the ruckus of the band room just before class. Band kids STICK TOGETHER and definitely seem a little bit kinder than the other cliques. This closeness and sense of community may be the first kids experience outside of their families. It’s a powerful feeling that sets them up for building and being a part of other communities throughout the rest of their lives.
5. You appreciate music.
Studying music isn’t just about learning how to play scales and memorize notes. It’s also a lesson in history, culture, and art movements that you wouldn’t otherwise receive from regular curriculum, or at least not this hands-on. Band turns kids into well-rounded adults who have a richer worldview, are more interesting to talk to at parties, and always have the best classical music playlists.
6. You learn how to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
There’s no “I” in “BAND”! Being a member of the band teaches you how to work within a group to achieve a higher goal. You learn the value of teamwork and how your contribution matters as much as everyone else’s. Not practicing just might let your section down. You must pull your own weight for the good of the group. Perfect training for the workplace, or being part of a family.
7. You’re more humble.
Because marching band uniforms. Everyone from the hotties in percussion to the flute section ladies look like hell in that much polyester. This levels the playing field for teens during a very self-conscious time in their lives.
8. You learn how to work hard and persevere.
Band directors don’t tolerate tomfoolery in the band room, nor will let you hide out and let the rest of your section cover up the fact that you never practice. You have to behave; you have to buckle down; and you have to practice to really learn the music. Band teaches you to stay focused despite distractions in order to achieve your goals.
9. You have stamina.
There’s something about marching in those uniforms that absolutely don’t breathe, while lugging a large piece of metal in the sweltering early September heat, that requires some serious stamina. It’s all about that sustained effort in the face of adversity. It ain’t easy, but hanging out after the game sure can be fun. Marching band proves that the rewards of hard work are undeniable, but only if you’ve got what it takes.
10. You’re no stranger to sacrifice.
Back in band, you gave up basically every Friday night to play at sporting events. You sacrificed after school shenanigans to go practice or take private lessons. You gave up crucial locker space (and coolness points) to your giant instrument case. You gave up weekends to attend regional music competitions on the road. Band turns kids into adults who don’t balk at giving up small comforts for a larger prize.