1. Family - Band provides another environment and family atmosphere for band members to lean on. There will be ups and downs as with any family, but band provides its members with a unique habitat of students that will support them both during good times and bad.
2. Self Confidence - Band affords its members to benefit enormously from participating on a team that breeds excellence. All 315 of the students are a part of the greater whole. We experience success and failure together, we learn how to handle ups and downs together, and most importantly your band member can take pride in knowing that they contributed to something greater than him or herself, and can take ownership in the group. Band members will learn that they really can accomplish goals with a clear plan and a high level of discipline, and will be able to tackle other projects outside of band with direction and purpose.
3. Commitment - Band teaches the ability to practice and learn follow through. “Doing what I say I will do when I say I will do it.” Band members learn by committing to a practice schedule, accepting responsibility to complete a task, and making a promise to their teammates to see a task through to its conclusion. Participation in a team sport, and sticking it out when it isn't always fun or the rewards aren’t always tangible in the moment is a lesson that benefits band members far beyond the music classroom.
4. Conflict Resolution - With 300+ members on the team, conflicts are bound to happen. Band members will face conflict in their lives within their families, with friends, and will also have to learn how to deal and work with people they just plain don’t like. Learning to work through these challenges is a unique opportunity posed through participating in a large team sport.
5. Giving up Video Games - For many, video games are fun. They develop hand eye coordination, and are a great stress release. Unfortunately, they can also become a detriment to productivity. Facebook, social media, television, and other activities are often more fun than the “ to-do ” list, and band will help its members learn the importance of giving up unnecessary distractions and prioritizing.
6. Life is not fair or always fun - Despite our best efforts, sometimes life isn't fair and it most definitely isn't always fun. Learning how to handle disappointments as well as develop systems for dealing with disappointment is an important part of being in band. We won’t win every competition, band members won’t win every chair test, and sometimes they will do everything to the best of their abilities ... and things still won’t go their way. Learning how to bounce back from these disappointments will benefit them long beyond their time wearing a band uniform.
7. Instant Gratification or Shortcut? Patience - There is no shortcut to excellence at playing a sport or an instrument, or achieving high marks in the classroom. Each requires diligent study, focused practice and a high level of commitment, as well as patience. Band members will learn the level of dedication required to achieve excellence in any one skill. Music provides a wonderful outlet for this as it is something than can provide a great deal of enjoyment at all levels and can take the edge off the pursuit of excellence.
Sometimes, the greatest rewards are those that come from gaining strength through failure or realizing that the sun will indeed come up tomorrow, and you get a fresh chance with each time you start over at something. These rewards become even sweeter the older our students get, and they learn how to truly cherish the rewards of hard work heading into college and the real world.