There’s truth in the old adage, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Band students often have many varied and well-rounded interests that make them among the school’s busiest students. There is usually plenty of time in the day if the time is well spent. The experience they gain in balancing these interests and activities often proves to be one of life’s most valuable lessons.
Yes! It’s well established that band has a positive influence on grades. Poor grades are often a problem of application rather than insufficient time. Band teaches self-discipline, perseverance, the value of preparation, and the pride of accomplishment—all useful qualities in other schoolwork. As a result band students consistently average higher grades than non-band students.
We can never really be sure of what children will want to do. The best we can do is provide opportunities and encouragement and hope that they will take advantage of them. However, even if he/she does drop out of band at some point, the experience of having been in the band will have taught lessons and created lasting value that he/she will likely treasure all through life.
There is much more to band than marching at halftime at football games. There are concerts, contests, festivals, parades and many other performances. But most of all, band is music education. No student should have to give up one part of his education to participate in another. Provisions can almost always be made for students with multiple interests.
Your respect for his/her efforts is sure to have a tremendous effect on what he/she deems worthwhile. Take time to listen occasionally, attend all the concerts and performances, and give compliments as often as they are deserved. Never joke or kid about their efforts, as their confidence is very tender at first. For most children, a parent’s interest and approval are prime motivation.
“I wish my parents had encouraged me to learn to play a musical instrument” must be one of the world’s most repeated sentences. Children can’t know what experiences will be meaningful for them later. They rarely ask permission to go to church, school or scouts. The most worthwhile thing a parent can give a child is guidance in what will be important to them later.