Why join a band or choir??? Many life-skills can be learned from being part of a band or choir. The musical knowledge, enjoyment, and friendships may or may not last past the teen years, however, other valuable skills will.

Skills such as working as a team, sharing the spotlight, accountability, professionalism, behaviour protocols for formal settings, and self-discipline will carry on with the student into the work force and home.

The relationship building skills teach children how to work together toward a common goal, setting any personal differences aside for the sake of the project. As band and choir students often become quite close throughout the process, there are often opportunities to learn how to offer grace, forgiveness, and encouragement.

During the process of learning a piece of music to a performance standard of quality, skills such as self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-critique are learned. As well, students learn to accept being constantly challenged to work harder to obtain a higher level of quality. It is beneficial to learn to appreciate this form of criticism rather than to interpret it as rejection.

With public performances, students have the opportunity to learn stage presence. In a group, students learn this skill with the support of their band or choir members in a positive and embracing setting. These performances can boost confidence in even the shyest child, as they are never out there alone and therefore can achieve success in this challenge. This type of confidence has the potential to spill over into the workplace later in their future.

Lastly, music demands a student to put oneself out there and TRY!!! This is such an important skill to learn. There are many situations in life where a person must try something new. Band and choir present children with opportunities to learn how to try new things in an environment where they are supported and guided into success, building their confidence and diminishing any fear of new challenges.

Believe it or not, band and choir are about much more than just the music. Personally, my favourite childhood memories and friendships were made in my band and choir classes. It is my pleasure to add that some of those friendships have sustained through the years and continue today, now 12 years later. Of my childhood mentors, my band and choir teachers have made lasting impressions on me and, although I didn’t realize at the time, they contributed in shaping who I have become as an adult. (On behalf of myself and other former high-school band and choir students, I’d like to thank the band and choir teachers out there who have persevered in feeding our souls and pouring into our futures.)

Why join a band or choir??? Because there’s nothing to lose and lots to gain!

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