Who Are The Independence Bands?
Joining the Independence Bands is possible at any grade level. The key to learning a musical instrument is simple: start. Whether you are a beginning musician in the fifth or twelfth grades, or at any level in-between, the Independence Bands use music as a conduit to personal expression, creativity, and so much more. As our web domain name advocates, we are "More Than A Class."
You have only to Google "benefits of instrumental music" or "why should I learn to play an instrument" to see just how much has been written on why people should learn to play an instrument (or two). Here are some of the reasons that we feel are most important to our lives:
- Refines your time management and organizational skills
- Teaches you perseverance
- Enhances your coordination
- Sharpens your concentration
- Fosters your self-expression and relieves stress
- Creates a sense of achievement
- Promotes social skills
- Boosts your listening skills
- Teaches you discipline
* Borrowed with permission from http://www.effectivemusicteaching.com/articles/directors/18-benefits-of-playing-a-musical-instrument/
Learning an instrument in the 21st Century
In a time when schools are often criticized for diminishing student creativity, students are castigated for lacking focus or for being lazy, and contemporary music is singularly considered "pop(ular)", learning an instrument offers an opportunity to build important skills needed for future employment, human wellness, and overall life satisfaction. Furthermore, we broaden our worldview and enrich our life course in ways not measured by traditional assessment methods.
If we look at just one aspect of contemporary educational goals, often referred to as the "6 C's" of educating a student in the 21st century, it takes little thought to realize, "yes, we do that".
- Creativity - Making music is all about exercising one's ability to make artistic choices in the moment, so, yes, we do that.
- Collaboration - Our program ensures that students have the opportunity to work in groups of all sizes throughout the class period (and the year), so, yes, we do that.
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - Few activities require members to set goals, engage in action, and evaluate one's performance as often as music performance, so, yes, we do that.
- Communication - The ability to communicate with one another, not only through words and writing, but also aurally through music, is enhanced by our study of music, so, yes, we do that.
- Citizenship - As the largest co- and extra-curricular activity in Independence, our students are the very best, not only at what they do, but also in the way they conduct themselves in life. We promote professionalism and discipline, where appropriate, and a light-hearted approach to life in all other instances. In combination with the acceptance of music as a universal language demonstrated by all cultures on Earth, we strive to experience and explore humanity. Through school, community, and regional service, we prepare our members for wholesome lives, so, yes, we do that.
- Character Education - Discipline, focus, and attention to detail are all part of the instrumental music experience, so, yes we do that.
Often, there are many misconceptions and inaccurate preconceived ideas about participation in an instrumental music program; some of these are patently false. If you are interested in our Myths and Facts sheet, please email us on the "Contact Us" page for the PDF. Now, to some general concerns:
- Instrument: Contact us for details on using a school instrument, renting an instrument from a local music store, or some assistance in what to look for in purchasing an instrument of your own.
- Fees: There is no direct cost associated with participation in any of the Independence Bands. The IHS Bands, however, hold a two-week camp each summer for the last two weeks of July. One of these weeks is an overnight, away camp, so there is a weekly cost due to the camp for food and lodging for this experience. Scholarships to defray or eliminate the cost of this camp are available.
- Practicing: How good you would like to be and how much of a positive contribution you would like to make in the group are your personal choices. Instrumental music study is similar to other physical activities where you are engaging, building, and maintaining muscle tone, repetitiously coordinating muscle groups, and voluntarily (and involuntarily) controlling your respiration. Effort expended is individual to the musician based upon their goals and intentions.
- Rehearsals: As curricular classes, all Independence Bands meet during the school day. The amount of time differs by the ensemble. The IHS Marching Band meets outside the school day on Wednesday evenings for 90-minutes, and attends community events and varsity football games, as appropriate, for the duration of the fall season. All afternoon or evening rehearsals and performances are found on the "Calendar" page of this site.