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Community is a wonderful thing. There are times in life when we have to strike out on our own and explore, but it is a great feeling to have a group of friends or loved ones to which you can come home. Aside from any relief one gets from seeing a friendly face, there are a number of reasons why your child should learn to play with other musicians. Even if a young student is self-taught or receives instruction from a sole teacher, there are benefits to learning to play with a group. Here are some of the best reasons why a child should learn to play with other musicians.
Ways to Learn to Play with Other Musicians
Music students come into the game in a variety of ways. Some musicians are essentially raised from an early age to play violin, piano, or something similar. On the other hand, there are a large number of people who don’t begin playing a musical instrument until their teenage years or later. We say this simply to remind you that no two people are quite the same.
As for ways in which a person can learn to play with other musicians, one of the easiest is by attending some form of group class. Whether you play the guitar, a brass instrument, etc., there are plenty of classes out there for younger musicians to learn in a group setting. It could be at church or even a professional music school. If you’re really lucky, you know a local person who teaches lessons for groups and individuals. Another great way for a musician to get around some like-minded folks is to start or join a band. For those who aren’t quite that industrious, however, you can always hang around your local music shop or be on the lookout for local events where musicians meet up. No matter what age or skill level your child is at, you probably know some other people around his/her age who play music. Just by hanging out and making music with friends, your child is well on the way to reaping some of the benefits below.
Shared Goals When You Learn to Play with Other Musicians
Have you ever tried to plant a community garden all on your own? If you’ve got a rather large space, that is a lot of work for you to do on your own. A different way to go about it would be to have a few neighbors join in, planting in designated areas the vegetables they wish to grow. In the end, it’s less work with probably more benefit. Shared goals can be easier to complete than if we simply strike out on our own. That’s why companies often value retreats and seminars as a way to make employees bond. When your child learns to play with other musicians, he or she is joining a group of people with a shared goal. It’s wonderful for your child to have personal goals like writing original songs or conquering a difficult solo, but playing as part of a group with a single purpose is also pretty cool.
Accountability When You Learn to Play with Other Musicians
Not only can you develop a shared vision when you learn to play with other musicians, but merely having these friends around can help you stay accountable. Think of it like a weight loss plan. Dieting and working out can be pretty rough, but when you do it with a group of friends the process seems much easier. In fact, if you have a competitive nature it can almost be fun to try and one-up each other. Playing with fellow musicians will inspire you to work harder and not be lazy. The idea of accountability is great for people of any age and it can work especially well with kids who are having trouble staying focused. If you’re playing in a garage band or the school marching band, you’ll find out real quick if you’re the weak link in the group. It’s important to remember that accountability isn’t about shaming anyone, but rather holding everyone to a standard. This leads to self-discipline, an attribute to which everyone should aspire.
You Have Fun When You Learn to Play with Other Musicians
Let’s not forget that playing music with other musicians is fun. We don’t want to lose sight of that in the middle of talking about efficiency and discipline. There’s a reason why music, although highly personal at times, is an art form that yearns to be shared. You can sit alone in your room listening to music or playing a stringed instrument, but that’s not the full potential of music. When they learn to play with other musicians, students are becoming part of something bigger than themselves and it’s an awesome thing to behold. Music can be fun no matter where you are, but a group of musicians can explore and create sounds that a solo session is unable to accomodate.
Less Pressure When You Learn to Play with Other Musicians
For some kids the idea of being one on one with an instructor is terrifying. “What if I’m not good enough?” That’s a pretty scary question for a kid who’s seven or even 22. Most teachers are not that scary, but anxiety can still be an issue for students. Sadly this is an issue for all kinds of young musicians whether or not they receive private instruction, but group lessons may be a way to face their fears. As you watch other kids struggle with different maneuvers or conquer difficult parts, a young musician can relax and realize that they do belong.
You Set Yourself Up for the Future When You Learn to Play with Other Musicians
Unless he/she wants to remain in complete obscurity, a child’s journey through music will one day have him or her play in front of people or as part of a group. It is important to learn how to play with other musicians because figuring out timing and chemistry is vital to the music-making process. From the classroom to band practice to group lessons, playing music with others allows for the free flowing of ideas that will help a child understand more clearly the role they are playing. Just as we encourage our children to make friends and go out into the world, we should also wish for young musicians to learn to play with others and share their talents.
As we expressed at the beginning of this article, each child learns at their own rate. Perhaps yours isn’t quite ready for group lessons or being part of a rock band. That’s fine. The important thing for young musicians is that they continue to push forward and challenge themselves. When they’re ready, we believe that learning to play with other musicians is a decision that will unquestionably pay off in the long run.
Camp Electric is a summer music camp for kids who want to learn from today’s top Christian artists. By bringing in drummers, guitarists, vocalists, etc. from successful touring musicians, we allow for teens to learn from the best of the best. Find out how your child can be our next student by clicking on the link below.