March 27, 2017


School Band: Great for improving Musical Ability, Physical Fitness, and Interpersonal Skills

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Originally Posted in The Charlotte Observer in 2014)

Ready or not, high school class registration for next year is about to begin. Elective courses range from automotive services to yoga to oodles of other classes to consider– including marching band. 

This isn’t yesteryear’s stereotype of geeky kids playing the school fight song. Band today is a melting pot of kids with a myriad of interests. It’s camaraderie, friendship and a place to fit in. 

Marching band, a combination of athleticism, dance moves, and musical ability, is a huge commitment but well worth it. Stamina, fitness, memorization, organization and, yes, socialization skills are honed.

The Providence High School kids highlighted below have participated in one or more of the following activities: Track and field, JROTC, Chorus, Firefighter Safety, Jazz Band, and Theater Orchestra Pit. They also play multiple instruments in multiple ensembles at Providence and maintain excellent GPAs.

Emily Lucero, senior and four year band student, said, “When I run track it’s all about competition, where in band it’s all about working together. We’re only as good as our weakest link. We try to build each other up and make each other feel good about ourselves.” Emily plans to major in biology at Appalachian State University and looks forward to playing clarinet as a Marching Mountaineer in the fall. “I’ll already have a connection with band people.”

Brothers, Joe and Sam Kunkleman, are juniors at Providence. They have been in marching band for three years, and plan to make it four. 

Joe said, “Imagine carrying a sleeping St. Bernard on your left shoulder, while doing math homework in your head, while dashing through a maze. That’s what it’s like to play tuba in a marching band.” 

He does it because of the friends. “Starting my freshman year with a group of people to sit with at lunch made my transition to high school a lot easier. The band room is like a second home.” 

Sam agreed and said, “Band camp and rehearsals require a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end to be part of a great production and entertain.” 

Eric Belongea, a junior and third year band student said, “Band provides you with a good group of friends that guide you in the right direction through high school. It’s just all around goodness.”

Marching band is certainly a class worth considering at registration time. 

What’s better than making friends, getting exercise, and having mental challenges?

11 thoughts on “School Band: Great for improving Musical Ability, Physical Fitness, and Interpersonal Skills

  1. My two sons were in marching band for 4 years. We all enjoyed the experience.

  2. All the students quoted in this article are well into their college experiences and doing extremely well. I give some major cudos to the numerous life lessons they learned in Marching Band.

  3. Great article, Lisa! Our high school didn’t have a marching band…not sure why. I did play the clarinet from the fifth grade up until my junior year of high school. It was a great experience, even though I really wanted to play the flute. For some reason, my mother insisted on the clarinet. 🙂

  4. My husband was a high school band director and retired in June of 2016. I didn’t think I would but I really miss that world we used to be part of!

  5. I loved being in a marching band with over 150 students between the players, drill team, flags, and riflers (wooden). We were award winners and I will never look at parades without noticing whether or not they march at the same pace. I learned not to lock my knees while standing at attention as well as how to do two things at once. My offspring don’t participate, they do the tech things. Schools need a variety of choices.

    • I did band too. I was a majorette during marching/football/parade times and played flute in concerts. It was a highlight of my junior high and high school years. We definitely need more tech classes and life skills and… Oh I could go on and on about that. Thanks for sharing.

  6. My adult daughters were in band from jr high all the way through college! Band teaches math, history, social studies and foreign language too! Both of my daughters graduated with honors and one was homecoming queen at her university Jacksonville State in Borth Alabama-they traveled- met so many – I completely agree with you and love this post!!

  7. My aunt was on a drill team when I was young and oh I just loved watching her practice and listening to the band. She twirled a rifle, with such precision too and the hats they wore with the band just at the chin and it had a feather on it. One of my favorite movies is Drumline!! I love the vibration of the band it really gets inside of you! Oh yes Band is a great class to join and it does offer and teach so much. Great story.

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