Band? Really? Over the years I have taught many students that began lessons after playing a few years in band. It has been interesting to notice the different levels they come from. I have noticed that these students have learned some things from band that help them as they continue learning how to play the flute. Here are a couple of ideas for why playing in band is good for you.
Band students tend to be really good at sight reading. In a band setting it is often required for students to perform something after only playing through it a couple of times.
Play with a group and work as a team.
Because of this, my band students were able to notice more ‘little things’ about a piece when they play it for the first time. Things like dynamics, slurs, and accidentals are noticed quickly.
Many band students are also very good with rhythm. Some of this is because of the need to learn things quickly, but also many band teachers spend a lot of time teaching correct rhythms to make sure that all the different instrument parts fit together how they are supposed to.
Another thing that most band students learn is how to play with a group and work as a team.
Whether they are playing a duet, a song with a flute choir, or playing with other instruments, band students grasp what they need to do to help the group sound its best.
Occasionally I like to teach my entire flute studio the same tunes for a performance so we can have music played together. It surprised me the first few times how easily my new band students were able to fit right in and blend their sound with the rest of the group.
All this being said, I would recommend taking private lessons while you are participating in band. Most band teachers do not specialize in flute and so they don’t know all the right tips and tricks to help you become the very best flutist you can be.
Have you had any experiences playing in a band? I would love to hear about them. Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment on this page to share with all of us.
Good luck in all your flute endeavors today!