The Benefits of Encouraging Students to Join the School Band and Orchestra
When you’re a student, extracurricular activities are probably one of the most exciting endeavors you can try at school. From the drama club to debate team, there are just so many options that students may find it hard to pick just one.
Out of all the many choices, the school band and orchestra remain very popular. The benefits of being in the school band or orchestra go way beyond just picking up an instrument. In fact, our article entitled Why your child should be in the school band or orchestra emphasizes that playing music has been scientifically proven to aid mental health and overall well being.
While there are lots of reasons to encourage students to join a band, here are some of the most important:
Helps cognitive development
Whenever you’re playing a song, you need to be able to track time, read notes, process key changes, and ensure you’re on pitch. All of these are cognitive skills that are exercised every time students step into rehearsal. In a 2014 study, professors from the University of Switzerland found that the cognitive benefits of playing an instrument occur throughout life, citing that adult musicians’ brains continue to remain plastic and open to change. To this day, the results remain relevant and can be directly attributed to playing music.
Provides opportunities for socialization
Collaboration is at the heart of every school band, with every song reliant on a team effort. Socialization inevitably occurs whenever people share music stands or run through a song together. For introverted students, the school band is a great way for them to step out of their comfort zone and connect with peers who have similar interests. Providing a nurturing environment such as the school band can also help students become more confident in their social skills — an important trait that is useful throughout life.
Supports efficient brain processing
In another study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, it was revealed that there is a huge difference in grey matter between musicians and non-musicians. Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control and sensory perception. Research from Maryville University confirms there’s a definite psychological link between mental health and learning development. This is also why music engagement is encouraged among young children, whose brain can easily be molded to become more efficient in processing thoughts.
Self-expression is important, but not everyone is blessed with the ability of being a great writer or speaker. Music provides an avenue for students to get in touch with their emotions. Playing music can let them express themselves in a way that just listening to music doesn’t allow. We often think of emotion as the key factor that differentiates between a good and a great player; and as a student gains confidence in their abilities, they will naturally experiment and gravitate towards the sounds they like best.
Lowers stress levels
The State Press notes that playing music has been shown to reduce stress, which can be attributed to a number of reasons. Playing an instrument requires students to regulate their breathing, thus calming the mind and body. Players are also required to maintain an upright posture, which acts as a physical cue that lets a person perceive themselves as more confident, therefore becoming less stressed.
Article for the sole use of hilljemusic.com
Words by Tori Belle