Each year students and parents are faced with a decision. Should our child stay in band? Enrollment may not of started yet for your school, but it will soon. Now is a great time to think about the opportunities band offers your child.
Students need to be committed to something. Band is an opportunity to show a high level of dedication. Most students are in band over the course of seven years! This is information that can set your child apart on a college application and impress potential employers
Of course you have invested time, money, and resources for your child to be in band, but don’t forget that your child is investing in long-time friendships and learning. Band directors have a unique perspective to witness a student grow up over many years. I have seen friendships develop in 6th grade which last through high school. I bet these friendships actually last even longer than that. Musical skills and friendships can last a lifetime
5. Dedication & Perseverance
Band doesn’t just teach students how to read music and make sounds on their instrument. One of the most important lessons in band is that hard work is rewarding. Students need to experience that some goals take time to accomplish. I remember writing my first paper in high school English class. We spent weeks going to the library and taking turns with the encyclopedias. Today’s students could accomplish the same things in a fraction of the time. Students often don’t understand the long-term. They must experience it first hand before it makes sense
6. Critical Listening Skills
Music classes are one of the only places for students to develop one of their primary senses. Noticing sounds is one things, but truly hearing music and experiencing how sounds can connect to our emotions…that powerful stuff
When students stick with band, several leadership opportunities show up. Middle School Honor Bands, Jazz Band, All-District Band, section leaders, drum majors, and more opportunities are available to your child in the future. Most of these opportunities occur in 8th-12th grade, but they are worth the wait.
8. Enroll now, or forever hold your peace
Students who don’t enroll one year - maybe because they see another class they want to try - don’t come back. Over the years, I have heard many students and parents say they will join again the following year…but they don’t (in my experience). By the time the next enrollment comes around, the student may want to be back in band, but they realize they have forgotten how to play their instrument. Plus, they would be an entire year behind. If band is important to your family now, stick with it every year
9. Don’t Regret It
I’ve heard many parents talk to me after their child’s concert. They say they used to be in band, but didn’t stick with it, but they wish they did.
10. It’s Fun…Still
Yes, I know this was the #1 answer, too, but it is important. If your child gets enjoyment out of playing their instrument in class and gets excited after band concerts (even if they don’t practice as much as they should)…then band is a great place for them to learn, grow, thrive, develop, and enjoy school in a way that keeps them interested.