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

Jim Keenan

July 6, 2017

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Whether you’re simply looking to continuously improve or you’re preparing for that big recital, you’re likely spending countless hours in lessons and practicing. Taking music lessons with a great instructor and committing to a practice schedule are all important and rewarding parts of your musical development. And any musician would agree that the value of this process and experience is priceless.

But, it can also feel a little isolating. If you’re feeling a bit isolated, and if you’re looking for a new challenge, then joining a band or an ensemble can be a great decision. Especially one that is coached by an outstanding professional.

We know that playing a musical instrument is a craft that, when practiced correctly, everyone can find success doing. Some people mistakenly think that the people who play in a band are the ones who are already excelling, where it comes easy for them, or they’re the ones who are 'talented.' But just like music lessons is for everyone, and where anyone can be successful, performing with other like-minded musicians in a band or ensemble is also for everyone, not just the ones who make it look easy.

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

Performing in a band can lead to many of the same benefits. In a July 2014 Harris poll, 71% of Americans said that the habits they developed playing in music ensembles, whether it was bands, orchestras, or choirs, equipped them to be better team players in their careers. Playing in a band just might be the ultimate team sport!

When you make the decision to play with a band, here are a couple benefits you can look forward to:

Building skills through camaraderie

When you’re working as part of group, you’re striving for a common goal. Everyone is important. You have to know your part and how it fits in with everyone else. For example, just look at marching bands who perform on a high level or in competitions. Practicing drills and staying in step without compromising the quality of their music is harder than it looks!

With rehearsals and performances, you build a strong sense of camaraderie, friendship, and trust. Ensembles of all sizes and instrumentation offer exposure to a diverse array of challenging repertoire from different musical styles or periods. While each group may offer unique benefits, they all include the potential to make new friends, connections, and to feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.

Increased sense of belonging and happiness

Psychologists have found that the more people feel connected to a group, the more satisfied and fulfilled they are. There is a clear link between feeling connected to a group and your level of happiness. Identifying as part of a group gives people a stronger sense of purpose and support.

Ready to get started? 

The next time that you feel isolated or that you’re in a rut with your music (or if you suspect that your child may be experiencing this), look into joining a band and make performing music with others a priority. When you do, you’ll be excited about the new challenge, increase your happiness through a sense of connection to others and a purpose bigger than yourself, and you’ll have more fun! 

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.

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

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