A musician definitely knows how much music means to them. Having a deep connection to your instrument and never wanting to put it down is one of the many benefits of being in an orchestra. I have been a violinist for about 10 years and throughout my time as a musician, I have enjoyed building upon my knowledge of music and performing upon what I have learned. Some of the most memorable events in my life were from the years in my school orchestra, especially through my experience.
Here are 13 benefits in which learning an instrument and being a part of an orchestra is something you should consider.
1. You understand how to both read and play music
Not only do you learn to understand how to read music, but you are taught to PLAY music. It is such a wonderful feeling to play amongst your peers in synchrony and to learn new pieces for each concert.
2. A way of expression
Music is a wonderful way of expressing yourself without having to say anything verbally. The music talks for you, and that's one of the most beautiful things. Whether you are playing something sad or happy, at times it is clearly shown what the music is trying to show the audience. In particular, the mood or tone of the music is expressed.
3. You gain experience
Meeting Mark Wood, 2014
Throughout my years as a violinist, I have gained many years of experience. I have also built upon my knowledge by challenging myself each year. My orchestra had the privilege of playing with the well-known famous violinist Mark Wood back in 2014. My school invited him to play with us as a guest performer, for one of our spring concerts.
I was so incredibly grateful for that opportunity because not many school districts have the resources they need to get in contact with someone well-known, including if they don't have what they need to host them. I was able to see how experienced he is and how much work he has put into what he does, and it was truly amazing to even be in the same room as him. Additionally, during the holidays, my orchestra traveled to all of the elementary schools in our district, and we performed for all of the students and staff. That was definitely one of my favorite and most memorable parts of the orchestra. Just seeing the joy and happiness expressed all over the children's faces as we performed, was always something that I cherished and loved experiencing each year.
As musicians, there are times when we get tired of playing the same pieces over and over — but when you see those young children light up and look eager to pick up and learn an instrument, your perspective about music is added to in such a good way.
4. You are given a creative outlet
Besides playing sports, being a musician is such a wonderful and creative outlet. Not many people can say that they've picked up an instrument around the fourth grade and stuck with it. Without a doubt, I always encourage people to take another attempt at trying to learn an instrument, because of how much you can learn from it.
5. Allows you to expand your knowledge of music
Each school year, the music I learned, increased in the challenge. Growing up, I have learned how to implement new styles and techniques of playing, which has increased my knowledge of the violin, along with my general understanding...
6. You have an additional family
Being an orchestra student, truly gave me the feeling of being a part of an additional family, while having something amazing in common. Each and every one of us was able to relate to each other, especially because of our passion for music. Entering the music room gave me a sense of peace and fulfillment — there was never something that didn't make me feel included and wanted.
7. Teaches discipline and responsibility
Another thing that being in orchestra has taught me throughout the years, was discipline and responsibility. It required knowing your part of the music by constantly practicing and perfecting certain parts that were being worked on, and in regard to your section in the orchestra, practicing your playing-test part, to eventually receive your seating in your section by the instrument. Not only in music but in life, it is important to know that there will always be obstacles to face, and it is the best choice to keep working hard on reaching the goal.
8. Constant eagerness
Each day after a long day of hard schoolwork, there was always something about orchestra that gave me a reason to go. Each time I went, it was always such a happy experience. Seeing my friends who were in my section, while learning how to play a piece that we all work on with all the effort we have, always made me eager to continue to learn.
9. Helps with collaboration and communication skills
Orchestra certainly helps with collaboration and communication skills among one another. When playing an instrument in your section, collaborating by working with one another and by communicating different techniques on how to play the music, is one of the strong benefits of being in orchestra.
10. You gain a sense of achievement
During my years as an orchestra student, I have gained a sense of achievement. Learning new pieces and perfecting new styles in which I perform, was always something I was proud of. Even the feeling after finishing a song during a concert that I knew I worked hard on, as well as everyone else. I was given a sense of achievement, knowing that all of my hard work each concert and year, truly paid off. This feeling also gave me the motivation to continue my work ethic in preparation for my next concert.
11. You can challenge yourself
Each year in orchestra presented a new challenge. This could be just trying to perfect a piece that is being currently worked on, or trying as hard as you can to be seated in the front of your section, becoming a section leader. Either way, being a violinist has always given me the opportunity to challenge myself in every way possible, and do the best I can to reach my goals. If I was struggling to play a certain part in a particular piece, I always thought of it as a way to keep at it, the next time I stepped into class.
12. An escape from everyday stress
Orchestra gave me a mental release from things that were stressing me out that day. After sitting through a long day of schoolwork, there was nothing better than going to that class at the end of the day. I was able to express my true passion for music each time.
13. You gain an overall confidence
Performing on stage was something that I never thought I would do. Particularly due to myself being pretty shy in high school. Without a doubt, the orchestra gave me a sense of confidence that I can never replace now. When performing on stage, it is nerve-racking at first, but I have gained the overall confidence I have always wanted.
Overall, music makes everyone happy. Why just listen to it, when you can be a part of it, and learn how to play some of your most favorite pieces? Pick up an instrument! Expand your knowledge and even build upon your curiosity.