Five Tips for Playing in the School Marching Band

If you’ve recently rented an instrument so your child can join the school band, there’s every chance that you’ll have something big looming on the horizon: Marching Band Season. As we move towards summer, you’ll face the round of band camps, sporting activities, and maybe competitions. It’s exciting. It’s exhausting. And if you’re doing it all for the first time, it can even be a little daunting. For some kids, it’ll be the first time that they really get to play in public. And there’s so much more to learn – like how to march while keeping track of your place in the music. For wind instruments, like trumpets, clarinets, and trombones, even learning how to control your breathing enough to make a sound while marching is harder than you might expect. So, how can you help your child prepare for their first school marching band experience?

Five Pointers to Help You Flourish in the School Marching Band Season

1. Keep studying

Marching band season can be all-consuming. You’ve got so much to do and so little time. Taking a break from your music lessons can seem like a sensible idea. But it’s actually quite detrimental. Your music teacher is perfectly positioned to help you get through marching band season in style. They’ll have hints and tips to help you manage the areas you’re struggling with. And possibly most importantly of all, you’ll keep learning. And that can only ever improve your performance. (As a side note – don’t forget your school studies too. It’s really important not to let your core subjects slide).

2. Warmup physically and musically

When you’re busy, it’s always tempting to cut corners. And the idea of skipping your musical warmup can seem very appealing. The thing is, your warmup is there to prepare your body for the task of playing. It also helps you build to optimum performance. If you skip your warmup, not only will your performance suffer, but your body will suffer too. Playing will not be a comfortable experience. In short, if you skip your warmup, you’ll probably regret it.

Warming up physically is also a good idea. Marching band is as much a sport as it is a musical recreation. You use your body in ways you probably never will have before. So, ease it in gently.

3. Practice marching

OK, so this one sounds obvious. But marching is a physical activity. It takes a lot of effort. Even if you’re sporty, marching for a mile or more while maintaining the right playing posture, playing an instrument, and keeping time with everyone else, can be really exhausting. If you go into it cold, you’ll never manage it. So, start practicing marching now. Right now. Today! Start off with a short distance, then increase it incrementally. And do it every day. Try adding in some cardio too. Your body will thank you for it!

4. Play in the moment

When you’re playing a lot – which you will be in marching band season – it’s easy to let your mind wander while you play. But you’ll get much more from the experience, if you focus on the music. It can be a kind of mindful experience, helping you to grow, relax, and learn all at the same time. Enjoy the moment while it’s happening.

5. Eat and drink well

Throughout marching band season you’ll be using up way more calories than you’re used to. So, it pays to plan a healthy diet that can give you the energy you need to thrive. But it’s also important that you remember to drink much more water than you usually do. Because nothing will impact your performance – or your enjoyment of the experience – more than dehydration.

Marching band season can be intense. You’ll find yourself being yelled at for all kinds of reasons. You’ll be tired. You’ll be stressed. But the thing to remember is that everyone else is going through the same thing. Despite the effort – maybe because of it – playing in the school marching band should be fun! For many people, it’s a place to make lifelong friends, and to learn important life lessons. So, enjoy yourself, and make the most of the experience.

If you are looking for an educator-approved musical instrument to rent for your child, find out how Rent From Home can help.