Over the last several years, a number of studies have been published about the many benefits of music education. For the most part, they have focused on how playing music makes students “smarter”; that these students gain a range of academic advantages in logical-mathematical intelligence, resulting in enhanced math and science abilities and increased scores on standardized testing. Recently, however, there seems to be more research and academic focus on the specific benefits of music education in the form of a group of musicians, or a band, highlighting the development of increased social and teamwork skills.
Perhaps one reason for more studies on the link between groups of musicians vs. individual music education is the proliferation of focus on teamwork in the workplace. Countless studies and articles have arisen that explore the importance of leadership vs. democracy; confrontation vs. compromise; and negotiation along with collaboration. These skills are much harder to measure academically, and yet, are shown to be equally critical in the success of employees in the workplace.
While our children explore teamwork and cooperation from the time they are toddlers throughout childhood (on sports teams and school group project work, for example), there is no more focused opportunity to practice and utilize teamwork skills than in the group dynamic of a band. Social and teamwork skills are inherently critical during the process of rehearsing a band. Every session together includes identifying goals (learning a song, preparing for a performance), prioritizing needs (what do we need to work on most), commitment (learning your part, showing up for practice), communication (letting others know what you like or don’t like in a constructive manner), role identification (what is my job for this song, how does my part fit with the whole), social support (complimenting your bandmates’ courage to try something new, or their mastering that tough section of the song), and band identity (the practice of knowing you got through it together and are presenting a united performance) – the building blocks of collaboration and teamwork.
At BandWorks, our sessions are specifically geared towards collaborative creativity resulting in increased social and teamwork skills. Our bands have the benefit of a trained instructor, who is a professional musician, to coach them through the process. Since 1993, BandWorks has been offering rock band workshops and summer camps for kids 8+, teens and adults looking to develop their musical skills in a fun and supportive environment. Our instructors are not only passionate about teaching and dedicated to helping students experience a greater enjoyment of playing music with others, but are also well-versed in the dynamics of creating positive social and teamwork skills. To learn more about BandWorks and upcoming summer programs, find us at www.bandworks.com.
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