10 Lessons Your Child Will Learn in Marching Band

Marching band is more than just another after school activity- it’s an adventure in learning a different language and making new friends. Not only does marching band exercise the mind and body, but it encourages friendships, cultivates creativity, and provides students with a unique opportunity to grow as individuals. Its foundations and lessons make it an extremely valuable learning experience for children of all ages. From becoming more disciplined to understanding the complexities of working as a team, here are valuable life lessons your child will learn during their time in marching band.

1. Multi-Tasking

Marching while playing a musical instrument is challenging, but try marching at one tempo and playing at another. This complex task is performed day in and day out by each and every member of a marching band. This learned ability to multi-task will come in handy later in your child’s life when multi-tasking through college courses, enterprise-level meetings, and parenthood are crucial for day-to-day success.

2. Responsibility

When it comes to marching band, each member is held accountable for certain things. For example, a color guard member is responsible for memorizing their flag work, while a tuba player is responsible for ensuring their instrument is tuned and polished. In being held accountable for their own responsibilities, your child will become a more independent, self-reliant, and responsible member of society.

3. Discipline

If you’ve never spent time in a marching band, you might not realize exactly how disciplined marching band members are. Band leaders use phrases like “band ten hut” to instantaneously command the attention of the entire marching band. Additionally, the band and color guard are taught to respect each other in the same way they’d respect their band leader or parent. Being able to listen to and obey orders is not only critical in marching band, but critical in life.

4. Teamwork

One of the best things about marching band is the idea that each individual member is as important as the next. There’s no such thing as having too many people, as long as the members are able to work together as a team. While each member has their own responsibilities, it all comes together to form one thing: a marching band. In the process of learning each movement and memorizing each note, your child’s bond with the other marching band members will help the band accomplish their overall goals.

5. Endurance

Marching band is a time-consuming, all-weather sport. Your child will take part in uncomfortable summer rehearsals before school starts in the fall, and he or she will have to pile on winter coats and scarves during early winter performances. Even when the going gets tough, marching band members learn to encourage one another to keep going. This endurance can be translated to school projects, employee groups, and interpersonal relationships.

6. Time Management

Any marching band member can agree that being part of a marching band is a huge time commitment. Between two hour rehearsals two to three days a week, and performing at football games, high school exhibitions, and competitions, finding the time for homework, after-school jobs, and other activities can be difficult. But, in the end, your child will quickly learn how to manage their time- a skill many adults continue to have problems with later in life.

7. Losing Gracefully

While winning is the ultimate goal, marching band members will soon realize that winning isn’t everything. Marching up to salute the head judge at a competition only to receive an honorable mention award in front of an entire stadium of people is a lesson in humility, and one that will stick with your child through each and every loss they’ll experience in life. From break-ups to lost jobs, being able to accept loss and move on with life is a key lesson to learn.

8. Personal Growth

For students who are especially shy or afraid of performing in front of others, joining a marching band can help calm their fears and boost their self-confidence. Additionally, by sharing in the same experiences and downfalls with a group of like minded individuals, your child will have access to a built-in support system from which they can personally grow and develop. Each time your child takes the stage or gears up for a performance, they’ll gain a little bit more confidence.

9. Presentation

As a color guard or marching band member, your child will be expected to present themselves in a professional manner, including a clean, pressed uniform, and impeccable posture. By having to pay attention to how they present themselves to other people at an early age, they’ll feel more prepared for college consultations, job interviews, and any other instance where looking (and acting) their best is essential.

10. Leadership

If you think there aren’t any leadership opportunities in a marching band, think again. From ranked squad leaders to drum majors, there are plenty of ways your child can practice their leadership skills in a marching band environment. While leadership skills may come naturally to some, other children require the right platform and, for some, that platform is a high school marching band.

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25 Comments
  1. I hope everyone understands how hard the kids and adults work to perform . They are amazing! I just wish their performances were appreciated by more people. I for one appreciate how hard they work and the awesome job they always do.

  2. I agree! I was an educator in a local high school and saw first hand the caliber of students who were dedicated members of our marching band. My husband, both sons, my grandson and now my granddaughter have learned much more than music because of their being members of the band.

  3. My 2 sisters marched for high school. All 3 of my Children marched high school, one marched in college. Three of my granddaughters marched in high school, one just started, one is finishing and will march in college and the oldest is in her third year marching in college. You can say it’s in our blood. I cannot say enough about all of the positive benefits you receive from being in band. As a sibling, Mother and Grandmother of band kids it leaves a life long impact. They don’t get enough credit for all they do

  4. As a marching band mom for 8 consecutive years and a Parenr Board member for 7, these are only a few of the lessons presented to these students. My sons still pull from this experience for life situations. Some of the best years of all our lives.

  5. My name is Muhammed Tunkara, a trumpet player of regional scout band KMC, the Gambia. The appearance of this band put me into admiration . I’m currently living in the Gambia, West Africa. I’m free to join any marching band if I have admission.

    1. The article, 10 Lessons Your Child……., is presented well. I was a marching band member in Jr. High as well as High School. The thrill of performing never leaves you. I look forward to performing with the Alumni marching band every year at Homecoming Halftime, community parades and performances. It gives you opportunities to renew old friendships, keep your musical skills sharp, community involvement and a positive attitude in general. Music is the universal language. I know it’s hard not to move some body part when you are in the presence of a Mzrching Band. The 10 Lessons stay with you lifelong.

  6. I was in band throughout school. My kids were both in band growing up and the oldest decided when he was 12 that he wanted to be a high school band director. He is now 29 and living his dream. He worked his butt off through high school and college. And made some amazing life long friends. It truly makes me sad thinking about some schools are ending the music programs.

  7. Every student should spend at least 2 years in a High School Band. They learn so many things, plus performing in front of an audience. Tim and I were both in IHS Band of Gold. Wouldnt take anyting for those years.

  8. Yes this is all true about the marching band, but I would like to say:: you parents can work along side your band kids and grow yourself. You as a parent will sheaf tears of joy watching each child blossom into it’s not about 1, it’s about the band as a whole.its something bigger than oneself.

  9. How very true this post is and so excellently written. I started out with my love for band watching parades and footnpball games in Durham NC.
    Never dreaming I could ever be a member but was given that chance in Jr High. From there to Durham High School.
    It made my HS years and taught me all the qualities stated here.
    On to Nursing I lost any chance of belonging to a Marching Band. I married and moved to Ky.
    Then I was asked to organize and teach a Medical Class at our local high school.
    A few years into teaching a group of girls came into my classroom almost begging me to help organize
    a Flag Unit with the Band. WOW a dream coming true again. We did this together. I was a part of a Marching Band again.
    For 30 out of my 36 years there I not only did the Flags but became an assistant to the HS Director.
    Naturally that included being the RN for them, helped with planning the role of the Flags in the halftime show and Band Trips.
    My two children followed in our footsteps. Their Dad was the Drum Major of his HS Band. Both were Field Commanders of our band, My daughter went on to March with the University of Kentucky Band. She still comes back for Alumni Band Day. After she married
    They moved to MA. She became a teacher if the Hearing Impaired. She used her French Hirn to let the students feel the music
    With their hands placed in the horn. Another use of her band teaching.
    My love has never ceased even after retirement. i have so many wonderful memories and long time friends.

  10. 3 of our 5 sons were in marching band from 7th grade through graduation. All his article says is true. 2 of them went to Ithaca College, in NY, for music, and earned their masters. they ar both professional teachers and performers, one teaches near Schenectady, has a winning marching band, color guards, and performs himself in musical productions outside of school. The other son i]has a music production Company “Imagine Music” and has orders throughout the world. he also directs 2 choral groups in western NY and an orchestra near Rochester. Also is the music director of 2 churches. His eldest son graduated from Ithaca, also and does sound engineering for companies in New York City. Our other 3 sons all graduated college, and are very successful, also. This family is blessed.

  11. Been there did that Played a flute for 6 yrs in band and 4 yrs marching band Loved doing formation marching Hard to memorized music when others read from sheet music Too bad people sitting in the stands couldn’t make out what formation s we were making on the field I always like seeing marching bands in the street and at half time Yes marching is a good type of exercise

  12. Cohesion. When a fight breaks out, the guys with the uniforms that look like yours are the ones you don’t hit or dismember.

    This is a lesson that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

  13. Absolutely true. My boys marched over a period of 15 years. Oldest-7 year. Youngest 8 years. They are both now successful adults using and applying those life skills learned in marching band. I was in marching band as well. Wonderful memories from all our years of marching band.

  14. The high school band was tougher than football for me. I had to be more disciplined and practicing was hard. I never appreciated the experience until years after it was over.

  15. This is EXCELLENT!! I agree with all of these points.
    I have nothing but wonderful memories of my involvement in my junior high and high school bands; including marching in a full WOOL uniform in Wisconsin’s freezing winter’s, hot, humid summers, rainy spring and fall.
    Friends passed out due to heat, but they ALWAYS came back!
    Thank you for this article.

  16. I must agree with everything stated. My daughter was in marching band all through high school, and drum major in her senior year. She continued concert band in college, and two American legion bands while in schoo she is currently working for a degree in nursing. We are very proud of all her accomplishments, and we attribute it all to her intelligence and discipline while in marching band. The best thing for all kids to do.

  17. Learned so many things that still apply today.It made me so much stronger.Physically,mentally and
    emotionaly.It also gave me friends that even though
    its been many many years if needed would be there
    ASAP just as I would be for them. When your walking down the halls 9f your school, you. can be more
    confident knowing your safe because there are more
    than 100 of your band family that have your back.and
    each one will be there for you if needed

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