I joined choir/theater in high school after another season of sitting on the sidelines at games. Don't get me wrong, I loved my teammates and watching them play, but it really didn't feel as if I was part of the team. I wanted to contribute in a way that involved more than just scorekeeping and playing water boy. Turns out, getting involved in the arts was one of the best decisions of my high school career.
1. Every voice matters.
In choir, there are many voices combining to make one sound. Even someone who is just a little off on pitch can make the biggest difference in the quality of the sound. Every voice, every breath, every pronunciation counts.
2. Practice = confidence
From sitting on the sidelines to having a solo in a choir concert and performing at All-State Speech competitions, I had plenty of time to doubt myself. "What if I don't hit that high note? Will my acting be believable?" However, the more I practiced and really stretched beyond my comfort zone, the better I got. I know this is the same in sports, but it's different when it's actually something you are passionate about. My confidence soared in those few years and I did things I never, ever would have considered otherwise.
3. Eye contact is synonymous with trust.
Whether I needed a cue from my conductor, speech coach, or teammates, eye contact and chemistry go hand in hand. When I trust my coach to give me my cues, when I allow the conductor to let the music lead us, instead of forcing things myself, the entire performance ran much more smoothly. It's hard to give up that trust sometimes, but this taught me that I don't always have to be in control.
4. Details matter.
Written into the music or script, small details that don't seem very significant actually make the biggest difference. Ignoring these details will definitely make you stand out in a big ensemble.
5. Create, not compete.
I learned a lot of valuable lessons from playing sports, but participating in music and speech taught me how to create things rather than compete for things. There wasn't a constant battle trying to get a starting position. Instead, everyone worked coherently to create something for the audience and ourselves to enjoy.