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[VIDEO] Why Playing In a Band Accelerates Your Musical Growth

Jim Keenan

March 15, 2017

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Music can sometimes feel like an isolating pursuit with the countless hours you spend practicing and attending private lessons. In order to challenge yourself to grow, have more fun, and build something bigger, eventually you'll find yourself wanting to share your enjoyment of music with kindred spirits. 

Joining a band or other ensemble has many benefits, not only for your musical growth, but for your personal happiness as well. Here are just some of the ways that playing music in a band can accelerate your skills as a musician as well as improve other aspects of your life.

Musicians Already Have an Edge

Plenty of studies have already shown that students who study music perform better academically and have better cognitive skills than those who don't. Making music has been shown to boost overall memory, relieve stress, and improve hearing. Musicians, even from a young age, have increased neural activity on the left side of their brain, which is associated with language development, as well as improved sound discrimination and fine motor skills. So what happens when you take all of these benefits of being a musician and combine them with the perks of being part of a band?

Why Playing in a Band is the Ultimate Team Sport

In many ways, it is helpful to think of playing in a band in the same you think of participating in a team sport. Research has shown the benefits of participating in team sports that go beyond physical well-being and extend to psychosocial improvements like higher self-esteem and relief from feelings of anxiety and depression due to the socialization provided. Joining a team fosters cooperation, teaches communication skills, and provides healthy socialization opportunities critical for school-aged children.

Working to build something together gives teammates a sense of camaraderie and unification that is especially important in children and adolescents. Joining a band offers all of these wonderful social benefits as well as the cognitive and academic ones of practicing music in general. The team goals and constructive criticism that come about in playing and performing music together teach important coping skills and cultivates a shared sense of accomplishment once a piece has been mastered.

Depending on your musical preference, instrument, and the type of ensemble you decide to join, there are additional perks to look forward to, including: 

Building camaraderie

Marching bands provide young musicians with a dose of healthy competition, discipline, and physical activity. Practicing drills and staying in step without compromising the quality of your music is harder than it looks and you'll never see more solidarity than when you see that hard work pay off at an amazing half-time performance.

Wind ensembles, orchestras, and choirs offer exposure to a rich and diverse array of challenging repertoire from all musical periods. Different groups offer different benefits, but all include a sense of camaraderie. 

Get ready to rock! Learn more about Real School's bands programs and RealJams Academy summer program.

Bring diverse creative skills together

Theater performances, on the other hand, offers you a chance to contribute to a broader performance where you can see a wide range of talents come together to create an amazing theatrical performance. Vocalists, actors, set crews, artists, costumers, and musicians all join up to produce something greater than the sum of their parts. At first, you might feel less in the spotlight as you sit out of sight in front of the stage, but nothing beats that rush you feel as the house lights dim and the overture begins.

Having fun and connecting with friends

Want to join or start a rock, pop, or jazz band? There's nothing quite like spending time with friends and jamming out a few tunes. You're making music with people you get along with, and it can easily blossom into something more structured with the right amount of discipline and passion. If that happens, you'll learn vital communication skills as you and your bandmates try to formulate your vision together. 

Rock and jazz bands stretch musicians creatively in contemporary improvisation and spontaneous interplay. You'll learn from one another and work to create a sound that captures everyone's ideas about making great music together. 

Where To Start

If you'd love to start a band but can't find other musicians to play with, or if you want expert coaching from experienced instructors, learn more about the Real School Ensemble program. Then, take it to the next level and have the best week of your entire summer with RealJams Academy

Whatever type of ensemble you decide to join, whether it's a rock band, orchestra, wind ensemble, choir or jazz band, the sense of fun, camaraderie, and development that you gain from the hours spent practicing and performing with your bandmates is not only satisfying as you see your skills in action, but also creates fond memories and lasting friendships that will stay with you for many years to come.

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