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1. Physical Benefits

These are obvious.  Marching band provides rigorous exercise.  Participants undergo aerobic and cardio workouts during rehearsals and performances, as well as muscular development carrying instruments and using correct marching style.  Looking to get 10,000 steps in a day? Try doing s parade with the marching band.

2. Inclusive Participation

One of the most wonderful attributes about marching band is its inclusivity. There is a place for everyone in band.

3. Leadership and Discipline

Perhaps more than in classroom ensembles, marching band allows for students to gain skills in leadership and discipline.  Uniformity of both musical and visual performance, style, and focus are required in marching band. Student leaders learn how to effectively communicate and offer positive reinforcement and constructive criticism to their peers. Many are also able to utilize skills in conflict management and problem solving to move the group forward.

4. Creative Performance Outlet

For students who just want to perform, marching band is the place to be! 

Stage presentation is a life skill taught in marching band that is often overlooked. Marching band performers must present themselves in a way that reflects confidence and pride.  The performers look is not shy. Shoulders are back, chins are up, and the performer presents a look that engages judges and audience members alike. This elevated level of presentation serves performers well later in life– such as when they need to present to a Board of Directors, lector at a church, or take a job interview.

5. Friendly Competition

Marching band offers competition that is friendly and fair. In marching band, students learn to win or lose gracefully.  Students, band fans, and directors encourage each other to do their best and recognize the effort it takes to put on a quality marching show.  It is often said that “the band always wins”.

6. Travel

This component is one of the most important.  In my role as band director, when leading performing groups across the country, I was amazed at the large percentage of students who had never traveled out of their home state or region.  There are students who, due to financial and other constraints, are not able to travel outside of their city or state, and are certainly never offered the opportunity of a vacation in the summer or fall months. Marching band gives all students the opportunity to experience places and events they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.  

7. Financial/Time Management

Marching band demands a student be financial and time aware. Students must know when it’s time to load, dress, warm up, perform, eat, etc.  They must do all of this on a pre-assigned allotment of funds to get through the day. They must work to fundraise for equipment, uniforms, and trips.  All of these skills will allow them to be fiscally responsible adults.

8. Respect of Self, Others, & Hierarchy

Marching band members can develop deep self-respect, respect for others in their own sections, a thorough knowledge of their individual section role as well as what their function is in the ensemble as a whole.

9. Marching Band May Just Make You Smarter

The benefits of being exposed to a music education have been well-documented.  Marching band utilizes all of the concepts of fine musicianship practiced in the concert hall.  The wrinkle comes when you add the physical movement to the existing musical and emotional components.  That truly is multitasking at its best and has distinct added neurological benefits!

10. Relationships

When people experience hard work for a common purpose, enjoy the thrill of the positive experiences as well as the sorrows of defeat, they grow in appreciation of each other.  Some of the best long – term friendships I have made were all developed in marching band activity at the high school and college levels.

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