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How to Combine Music Band and College

Have you ever wondered how to combine your passion for music and college? Well, you're not alone. Many students struggle with finding the balance between pursuing their musical interests and achieving academic success. Fortunately, there are options available that allow you to participate in music while still advancing your education. In this blog post, we'll explore the various ways you can combine your love for music and college, from joining curricular and club bands to auditioning for instrumental music programs. Let's dive in and see how you can make the most of your college experience while pursuing your musical dreams.


Combining music band and college can bring about numerous benefits. As stated by Hillje Music Centers, playing music aids in mental health and cognitive development, socialization, and emotional expression. Joining a school band or orchestra also yields academic benefits and can lead to scholarship opportunities (NEMC Parents Guide). Overall, being part of a musical community in college can enhance personal growth and skill development.

Combining a music band and college is an excellent idea for students. It provides them with a platform to hone their skills, network with industry professionals, and even earn scholarships. Joining a band in college can be beneficial as it offers opportunities to develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication. "Participating in musical groups offers ample opportunities to develop decision-making, teamwork, and leadership skills, all of which are useful in academic and future careers" (The National Association for Music Education). Different types of bands are available in college, including curricular and club bands, and students should choose the right one based on their skill level, time commitment, and musical interests. Successful students know how to balance their academic responsibilities with band commitments and usually stand out in their career trajectory. Minoring in music is an excellent way to further improve one's musical knowledge while in college. "Many students who participate in musical ensembles as part of their college experience elect to minor in music, where they can combine performance, ensemble experience with more traditional coursework in music theory and history" (The National Association for Music Education). Students should also learn how to prepare for college band auditions by finding private teachers and contacting music departments beforehand. To sum up, joining a music band in college is a wise decision that can reap multiple benefits.

Benefits of joining a band in college

Joining a band in college can offer numerous benefits that extend beyond just musical growth. According to BandLearners, "Joining the college marching band can also support you financially because 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." Additionally, participating in a band can provide opportunities for networking, skill development, and scholarship options. Marching band judge and operator of TriState Judging Association, John Weiss, notes that "Perhaps more than in classroom ensembles, marching band allows for students to gain skills in leadership and discipline. Servant leadership is a key component to student marching bands." Furthermore, being in a band can help students learn time-management and scheduling skills while still balancing academic responsibilities.

Joining a music band in college provides ample opportunities for networking, skill development, and scholarships. As stated by NAfME, there are various scholarships available for music students, including the Concerto Competition for High School Musicians and the Davidson Fellowship. Additionally, being in a band allows one to develop their musical abilities, collaborate with others, and expand their range of musical genres. As noted by What Can You Do with a Music Degree?, career opportunities include performing as a soloist or with a group, becoming a live sound engineer, or working as a music journalist.

Types of bands available

There are several types of bands that one can join in college, including marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, and rock bands. According to College Values Online, "participating in band opens up many doors for networking and skill development but also provides scholarship opportunities.". Additionally, there are both curricular and club bands, with club bands often being more casual and curricular bands requiring more commitment. When choosing a band to join, it's important to consider factors such as skill level, time commitment, and musical interests. As College Consensus notes, "Bands that met in college tend to be can make bands volatile too, like lots of family dynamics.” However, the benefits of joining a college band far outweigh any potential challenges.

Curricular bands are those that are offered as part of the music curriculum in a college or university, while club bands are typically student-run organizations that function outside of the academic program. According to CollegeVine Blog, "Curricular ensembles often involve regular rehearsals, graded performances, and are conducted by faculty members, while club bands are more flexible in terms of time commitment and performance expectations."

How to choose the right band

When choosing the right band to join, consider the following tips:

  • Evaluate your skill level and musical interests before joining a band.
  • Research the various types of bands available, including curricular and club bands.
  • Consider the time commitment required for each band.
  • Look for band members with similar goals and work ethic for a cohesive team dynamic.
  • Attend live performances or rehearsals to get a feel for the band's style and sound.
  • Communicate with current band members to ask questions and get a sense of the band's overall vibe.
  • Don't be afraid to audition for multiple bands before making a final decision.

As music industry expert Tom Hess advises, "Finding the right musicians for your band requires focus on their personalities and goals, not just their musical skills." By using these tips, you can identify a band that aligns with your musical passions and career aspirations.

Mention considerations such as skill level, time commitment, and musical interests When considering joining a music band in college, it's important to take into account various considerations. These may include one's skill level on their chosen instrument or voice, the time commitment required for rehearsals and performances, and their musical interests. As noted by music education researcher Sharon M. Gault, "Factors inhibiting music participation are primarily student perceptions of time commitments and conflicts followed by perceived musical ability declining interest, and availability of opportunity." Therefore, it's important to prioritize and balance one's academic responsibilities with their band commitments, as well as choose a band that aligns with their interests and skill level.

Balancing academics and music band

Offer practical tips on how to balance academic responsibilities with band commitments To balance academic responsibilities with band commitments, it's important to prioritize and manage time effectively. Consider these practical tips:

  • Use a planner or calendar to schedule study time and band rehearsals.
  • Communicate with professors and bandmates about your schedule and commitments.
  • Take advantage of downtime to study, such as during breaks or on the bus to performances.
  • Focus on quality over quantity - prioritize studying efficiently and effectively, rather than trying to do too much.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help or support from professors, advisors, or fellow band members.

As the University of Nebraska Omaha states, "Remember to take care of yourself." Prioritizing self-care, seeking help when needed, and balancing responsibilities can help students successfully combine a music band and college.

Effective time management is crucial when combining music band and college. It helps in balancing academic responsibilities with band commitments and allows for personal time. According to Berklee Online, Managing your time is essential to avoid overworking and burnout. "During my first semester at Berklee, I had no schedule or plan, and it nearly drove me mad." It's helpful to schedule time for homework, practicing, and social media management. With a good calendar app, you can lay out your day on paper, smartphone, or tablet to have a better grasp of what needs to be done and when. To achieve specific goals, create a schedule that will enable you to reach those goals successfully. Allot time for classes, studying, personal care, eating, sleeping, recreation, etc. By planning how you will use all the hours in each day of your week, you can program your time effectively.

The value of a music minor

Minoring in music in college allows students to deepen their understanding and enjoyment of music while pursuing another field of study. It requires 20-21 hours, including credit for performing in ensembles, attending music performances, and studio lessons. As the Department of Music at University of Michigan states, "Continuing a study of music history and theory deepens understanding and enjoyment of music no matter what genre of music you like." A minor in music can also make a student more well-rounded and enhance their career prospects. As violinist and neuroscience major Daisy Wu said, "I think minoring in music has helped me develop discipline, focus, and a deeper appreciation for the arts. It has also been a valuable outlet to destress from the rigors of my major."

Joining a music band in college offers numerous opportunities for performance and education-based coursework. Students can gain valuable experience through participating in concerts, music festivals, and performances. Additionally, they can expand their knowledge through coursework in music theory, history, and performance techniques. As one student notes, "Being in a band in college not only improves your musical skills, but it also allows you to gain experience in networking, organizing events, and collaborating with others." Moreover, students can take advantage of scholarship options and future career opportunities in the music industry.

Auditioning for college bands

Preparing for a college band audition can be challenging, but there are some tips that can help make the process smoother. According to professional horn player and College Prep for Musicians™ consultant Dr. Annie Bosler, one should "organize and assimilate all of the material into one place" and "practice your repertoire in a variety of ways" so that you feel comfortable with any order. Furthermore, it is recommended to "use a paper calendar" to keep track of all audition dates and "utilize a secret weapon: mock auditions" to prepare before the actual audition.

To find private teachers or contact music departments, one can start by researching online, asking for recommendations from fellow musicians, or reaching out to local music associations. According to Professor Christopher M. Johnson: “The first step for any prospective student is to learn as much about the instruments and teachers (private and college-based) in their area as possible. Make contact with like-minded musicians and explore opportunities presented to you.” Private music teacher job profiles on also provide helpful insights on how to establish networks and collaborations with others working in music education in the area.

Combining music bands and college can offer numerous benefits that can enhance your college experience and set you up for success beyond graduation. From networking opportunities to skill development and scholarship options, joining a band in college provides a range of valuable experiences. "Playing music has been scientifically proven to aid mental health and overall well-being," and it offers opportunities for socialization, collaboration, and self-expression. Additionally, one can consider minoring in music to make the most of educational opportunities and performance-based course work. In essence, combining music, band and college can provide an enriching experience that can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.

Author: Joel Perkins

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