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Joined: Jun 2008
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I've done marching band for 3 years and learned a ton from it, as a drummer (tenor drums). All of my friends are in band. But wow, marching band is A BIG commitment. I just dont know if I want to give up piano for 3 months again. Especially with college auditions and submissions coming about a month after band ends.

But band camp is on monday O.O, I can still quit, but it'd be pretty last minute and dirty, as I am the best drummer we have, but damn, I just feel like I could be practicing piano and not wasting 3 hours a day at band practice playing stupid drums.

Advice? Even if my parents agreed, my friends would be angry/confused/upset. It'd be a sacrifice, not being "in the loop" with my friends anymore (with band trips and practices), but is the time restraint really worth it? Just thought I'd get some opinions here.

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I was in Marching Band for one year in high school, I decided to quit after 1 year. The time commitment was too much. You just need to prioritize.

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I marched 4 years. I enjoyed it, but I do nothing with tuba now and don't talk to but one person from high school (point being that it's unlikely you'll stay in touch long after high school, and if they're that good of friends, they'll understand if you drop.) I decided not to march in college and enjoyed the stress relief. If you feel like you're going to be crunched for time and are worried about your future, you might just have to have to make sacrifices. On the plus side, you could still show up to games, attend some competitions, and have fun. You'll just skip the several hours of practice a day and take a spectators' seat instead.

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I did three years, on clarinet. Extremely fond of Sousa and all that rousing stuff...did me a world of good because I use a lot of that stuff on The Job...

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Hey Will,

I don't think anyone can really tell you definitively what you should or shouldn't do. I do think this type of thing (how to prioritize your interests and committments so that you can accomplish what you want in the very limited time we have each day!) is something that will always be a challenge. I'm struggling with it now (way past high school wink )

You mention upcoming college auditions. I'm just starting out with piano as an adult, so I have no personal experience with college auditions - but it seems like it would be a pretty important thing that would affect the course of your life (uh, no pressure wink )

So, even though I can see the value of keeping your committments (to the band) and having a fun activity that lets you bond with your friends, I also think that the time requirements might be a bit much - considering auditions are coming so quickly after band ends.

(Oh and I did marching band for 1 quarter in college! Loved the people, but hated the football games and decided it was WAY too much time - so ditched it. Kept the friends though wink )

I guess that means - if it were me, and if I were planning on doing piano in college, I'd ditch band and focus on preparing for the auditions. But that's with all my personal biases. 3 hours a day seems like a LOT of time to me... especially on top of normal class time...

Good luck with everything!

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For me playing in orchestra is a lot more fun than marching band.

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Considering the fact that you have auditions to prepare for, I would say quitting it probably the best choice. Better to quit now than have to quit later when you actually are in the midst of trying to prepare and realize that you don't have enough time. Explain this to the director, and they will just have to understand. Unless your professional goals in the future involve playing in a band, you will have to make this sacrifice.


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We were required to march if we wanted to play in the orchestra after football season. I ended up marching 6 years (high school and college). I never really liked it and never developed a taste for football. You're lucky if it only takes up three hours of your life for band camp! We had ten hours a day for band camp, then about 3 hours during school. In College it was about 2.5 hours a day for only 1/2 a credit hour. Totally not worth it if you aren't required to do it and if you have other things you want to do with your time IMHO. But - it's up to you.


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I hated marching band. But a band scholarship (the only kind of purely music scholarship my college offered) paid for me to go to college.

If you are a good drummer, you should keep that in mind...


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Its difficult for a balance but dont quit both. Piano playing is for your individual soul while playing on a marching band is not just playing music. The gist of it is to bring together all music enthusiast from different spectrum of instruments to produce that very wonderful pieces where normally cant be accomplished alone. As years goes and you look back, you will be glad the good times you had with your peers. The utmost important "instructor" in the marching band is the drummer. Dont quit so soon yet. smile

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Will,
of course it's your choice, but your comparing a piano practice which you obviously like with what you call "stupid drums" makes the thing pretty easy in my eyes.

I think it might help if you would completely forget the musical part of the drum playing and would start considering it a *purely social activity with no musical added value (anymore)*.

After that, you'll be able to decide whether to you the piano or the free time with your buddies is more valuable.

Best wishes to you anyway


"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

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One of my favorite piano students is also joining marching band because "all of his friends are in it." He doesn't even play a band instrument! confused Being the selfish piano teacher that I am, I immediately told the parent that marching band will eat up hours and hours of homework time and, on game nights, don't expect to get home until 10 PM. In reality, this student is just beginning to get good at piano, so marching band will simply destroy his "future" in piano, especially since time will become a scarce commodity in high school.

So, yeah, quit while you're ahead. That's my completely biased opinion. cool


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When I first saw the title of your thread, I thought, "How can you play the piano and march?" ;-p

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I used to be in band as well, and also agree that it does not begin to compare with the piano. Piano is so much more rewarding in many ways.

Don't worry about your friends think, they're not the ones who are going to audition you when you get to college and they sure as heck will not be the ones who will have to support you.

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Well, back in the Jurassic, when I was in HS...if you were in the band, you marched. Kinda the hot, sweaty, annoying price to pay for the rest of it...

But I wouldn't trade the experience.

Though, as a chemistry major, I didn't 'do' band in college. I did have some piano classes(one-on-one lessons really) along the way, though.


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If you are going to major in piano, then you might want to consider dropping the band. It's going to be difficult for your friends to understand but surely they will come to a point to realize that your keyboard scholarship depends on your piano skills not hitting drums.
You got to hit that fact into their brains.

Another option is to check on your own daily schedule, see if you are managing your time effectively.

I have never played in band, but yes, my students are involved and commitment is extraordinary high even in this part of the world. Holiday breaks are no holiday breaks...they have band camps that spans almost the whole break (esp a one week school break).


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Quote
Originally posted by cherub_rocker1979:
it does not begin to compare with the piano. Piano is so much more rewarding in many ways.

I would argue the reverse. While piano is rewarding or we wouldn't be here, it is also an individual soloistic approach to music.

Band on the other hand teaches you to play with ensembles, to match external time and pitch, to achieve shared expression, to listen to others, to submerge your ego for the good of the overall results - in short a host of musical components that you miss totally if you are only a pianist. And then of course there is the social component.

It may very well be that after three years the OP has all the benefit he will get, and the smart decision might be to drop. I'm not arguing he should stay with band - just trying to address this inherent superiority assertion. Piano is really not MORE rewarding, it is merely differently rewarding. And it has some deficits as well.


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Quote
Originally posted by TimR:
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Originally posted by cherub_rocker1979:
[b] it does not begin to compare with the piano. Piano is so much more rewarding in many ways.

I would argue the reverse. While piano is rewarding or we wouldn't be here, it is also an individual soloistic approach to music.

Band on the other hand teaches you to play with ensembles, to match external time and pitch, to achieve shared expression, to listen to others, to submerge your ego for the good of the overall results - in short a host of musical components that you miss totally if you are only a pianist. And then of course there is the social component.

It may very well be that after three years the OP has all the benefit he will get, and the smart decision might be to drop. I'm not arguing he should stay with band - just trying to address this inherent superiority assertion. Piano is really not MORE rewarding, it is merely differently rewarding. And it has some deficits as well. [/b]
Yes, learning to play with other musicians is very important, however--pianists are always being asked to accompany instrumentalists and vocalists through out high school and college. In college, they usually have some sort of ensemble requirements.

The piano repertoire requires a lot of work to learn to play well. It takes a tremendous amount of work to be able to play at a high level. You're talking the wrong the guy here. I played in band through out middle school and in orchestra through out high school. In college I was the pianist for the wind ensemble, as well as the jazz ensemble.

As I said before, his friends may think Will is already an amazing pianist and doesn't need to practice so much, blah, blah--but they're not the ones who are going to be auditioning him when he tries to get into college.


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