Many colleges and universities these days have their Marching band groups, but if you are a student then you might be confused about whether the marching band is a good activity for you or not?
Many students also think joining a college marching band will impact their studies. In this article, I have thoroughly explained all the pros & cons of joining the college marching band groups. So, keep reading this article till the end to know whether the marching band is good for you or not?
Here’s Should You Do Marching Band in College?
Doing marching band in college is great because it would give you a fantastic experience, especially if you wish to entertain people. The primary focus of the college marching band groups is to entertain the crowd during sports activities (Football Games) and social functions.
There are several other benefits as well that will encourage you to join the college marching band groups. If you love to travel, you can enter your college marching band because, as a band member, you can travel to various locations, cities, and stadiums where your team will play sports.
Moreover, doing marching band in college also help you to build friendship, learn musical instruments, become physically active, and earn incentives. There are other benefits as well of joining the college marching band groups, which are explained below.
Why is Marching Band Good For College?
Here we will explore all the benefits that you will get after joining the college marching band group. So, let’s check out all the benefits one by one-
#1 Extracurricular Activity
An extracurricular activity is something that students perform in their free time besides their school and college studies. There are different kinds of extracurricular activities that students perform.
Some popular extracurricular activities include sports, community services, arts (Dance, Drawing, etc.), hobbies, and educational clubs. We all are engaged in some extracurricular activity.
Doing extracurricular activities are great because it always complements our academics, and it always teaches us something. Like some other activities, marching band can also be considered an extracurricular activity because, unlike other activities, we do the same and learn something new. Besides that, it will also diversify your transcript into an enjoyable elective & will improve your commitment, dedication, and musical skills.
Joining the college marching band group can also support you financially because many institutions and colleges offer scholarships for their marching band members. Not just that, if you play any instrument in your band, then you are eligible for numerous other marching band scholarships.
Besides that, many organizations also give awards to the students for participating in various extracurricular activities. If you join the marching band group, you are also eligible for that.
But you have to become eligible for the scholarship; I am trying to say that many scholarship providers set some criteria for getting the scholarships. Some providers set the criteria that “A Student must have participated in school marching band,” while some other colleges provide merit-based music scholarships. So, the scholarship status depends on colleges to colleges; you have to check out that.
#3 Physical Benefits
If you are physically lazy, you must join the marching band. It will help you overcome your laziness and be in perfect body shape because marching band members do lots of exercise and activities.
A Marching Band participant always does lots of workouts like cardio and aerobic exercises during their practice sessions; besides that; they also march for more than 5000 to 7000 steps in a day.
If you are an instrument player in the band, it’s another great advantage because it’s a good exercise for muscular development. As a music member, you have to carry several heavy instruments like drums, trumpets, etc., which will help you become physically strong.
#4 Several Positions
Many students give up their dreams because they think that a lot of musical instrument knowledge will be required to make a place in their college marching band groups, but it’s not true.
A marching band has different positions like the Assistant director, director, captions, leaders, guard captain, uniform manager, equipment manager, color guard, band members, and various other positions.
So, there is no need to worry about how to play an instrument because you can work in several other positions as an honor guard, color guard, manager, etc. Moreover, you also have the freedom to diversify your position, which is great.
Marching Band also teaches the students how to collaborate with the other band members. When you join the band, you will get many friends depending on the band size.
In a marching band, all the peoples do hard work for a common purpose which is helpful for collaboration, and it gives enjoyment and such a positive experience.
Moreover, the Marching band also teaches the members to develop deep self-respect and respect for the other members of the group. You will understand that each member in his section plays a crucial role.
#6 Free Travel
If you love to travel, then the Marching band is the best band where you can enter to fill your traveling dreams. Some students never traveled to any city or place due to some causes like financial or other constraints.
As a marching band member, you must travel to several cities and states to perform in cultural programs, football games, or other sports activities. So, you will get sponsorships, allowing you to experience all the places.
#7 Make You Smarter
Marching band not just helps you to build your physical strength; moreover, it will also make you smarter. Besides that, it also teaches you how to do multitasking work at the same time.
During the practice sessions, you have to march and play the instrument simultaneously, which also has a distinct neurological benefit.
Downsides of Joining Marching Band In College
All things have their pros & cons, and a similar thing is with the Marching Band. Here we will explore some of the difficulties you will face if you join the college marching band groups. So, let’s take a look-
#1 Time Taking Activity
Marching band activities are not something that you can learn in quick time, specifically if you are a beginner and don’t have prior knowledge about music & instruments.
It’s such a time taking activity to learn marching band skills. In football session, the marching band members practices around 25 to 30 hours per week, which means 4 to 5 hours in a day except for Sundays.
So, you can see that being a marching band member is a time taking activity, and you have to devote lots of time to it to learn the necessary skills and become a good member of your group.
#2 Time Managing During Classes
Another challenging task for the college marching band members is to manage their time or schedule. Most colleges don’t have extra classes for extracurricular activities, while some have additional classes for a concise period.
So, before joining the College Marching band, you must be sure that you can take multiple classes while doing extracurricular activities like Marchin Band because, as a member, you at least have to practice for 1 to 2 hours.
But, if you are that kind of student who did marching band in school, then it will be an extra advantage for you because you already have prior knowledge about instruments and positions, and you can devote less time than the other members in the group.
#3 Stressful Activity
Marching band is such a stressful activity, and you have become physically and mentally strong to do your studies and extracurricular activities like a Marching band at the same time.
Suppose you have a class on an important subject after the Marching Band period, then I can guarantee that you will be unable to attend the vital class because you will be physically destroyed after attending the Marching Band class. So, you must be physically and mentally strong to survive in the marching band.
Is It Ok To Be in Marching Band in Your Senior Years?
Yes! It’s absolutely fine to join your college Marching band in senior years; in fact, the majority of people do this. Some students do not intend to join the Marching band, but when they realize the benefits of watching their friends, they show their willingness to be a part of the band.
In fact, I know several students who joined the band in their senior years to get fine arts credits, and after joining the band, they regret that they did not join it earlier.
So, if you are in your senior year and willing to join your college marching band, then you can do that without hesitation. But, if you are doing so, you must devote extra time to learning the required skills.
Do You Have To Be a Music Major to Join College Marching Band?
No! You do not have to be a music major to join the college Marching Band group because there are Band members and Band Boosters positions where you can establish yourself.
Other positions in Marching Band include Directors, Drum Major, Uniform managers, equipment manger, section leaders, etc. So, you can notice how diversified the Marching Band positions are; approximately half or two-thirds of the members have music knowledge, but the others don’t.
Moreover, if you like to dance, you can also consider the position of Colorguard.
Can You Quit Marching Band During College?
Doing Marching band in college is an extracurricular activity, and yes, you can quit the marching band during college, especially if you are not enjoying this or cannot handle the stress.
One of my friends has been performing Marching Band since his school days, but due to excessive study pressure, he is unable to attend the classes and has decided to leave the band; but he is leaving the band with a lot of negative emotions.
So, my suggestion is that if you love the activity, then you should stick to it, but if you notice that it is snatching your valuable time, then you should leave it because your career should always be your first priority.
Audition for College Marching Band
Some colleges don’t take any auditions for the Marching band, while most colleges take auditions to join the Marching Band. The audition may vary from college to college or university to university.
Within some colleges, you have to talk with the director for a few minutes, then play your piece and leave; then, the band informs you whether you have selected or not. At the same time, some other colleges take two-day auditions (First a musical audition and then the Marching audition).
Some sections like trumpets and clarinets are competitive for the audition, while the sections like sousaphone is pretty easy.
To know more about the auditions and how to be prepared for the audition, you can read the comprehensive guide about the College Marching Band Audition.
Like all other things, the Marching band also has some pros and cons. But instead of cons, we can term this as difficulties; if you are physically and mentally capable enough to do the Marching band and study at a similar time, then you should do both.
Moreover, joining Marching Band also gives you a lot of benefits like- free travel, scholarships, physical strength, and a lot of other things. So, it’s better to focus on the positive side and go ahead.
I hope this article clears all your doubts about whether joining the college Marching Band groups is good for you or not? Keep following this blog regularly to know more about the Marching Bands, Other Bands, and Musical Instruments.