Balancing Band with Band


Juggling multiple musical endeavors can be intimidating. But many musicians value the unique rewards and have developed strategies that prevent them from toppling over.

Many students simply cannot get enough band. In high school and college, music students will participate in multiple ensembles within their schools, then take their skills to independent organizations such as drum corps and indoor ensembles.

This situation brings about a number of challenges, such as scheduling conflicts and finding enough time for individual practice, but it can also give students unique experiences that help them further their musical careers.

Musical Development

Music professors agree that many university students maximize their music participation in order to better their education and enhance their careers.

Participating in a variety of ensembles also helps students narrow down the direction that they want to take with music. It also helps them figure out what they enjoy and what they want to do with their music. Being well-rounded as musicians is going to pay off in their future careers. There are different things they can gain from each ensemble.

Personal Growth

In high school, many students balance music participation with regular classes and might not intend to pursue music as a career. Participation in a variety of music ensembles will benefit students even if they do not plan to major in music.

Music makes a more well-rounded individual and teaches linear thinking, problem solving, [and] team thinking.

Participating heavily in music also allows for social development. Playing with other people in an ensemble fosters friendships and the activity and reward of belonging to a social group.

Time Management

Despite the numerous benefits, time conflicts will inevitably arise while playing in multiple ensembles. Scheduling conflicts are the biggest obstacle for most students who participate.

Space and Perspective

From a director’s perspective, communication is key to ensure that students stay on top of their obligations and avoid falling behind. Performances and rehearsals may overlap, so students may have to pick one or the other or communicate with their director that they’re going to be late. Learning to juggle schedules properly and communicate with the band leader is of the most importance.

While participating in a large number of ensembles will create challenges for both schools and individual students, there is no doubt that the variety of experiences will help the student find the true purpose of musical performance.


Article first published by HalfTime Magazine –


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