How to Prepare for Band Camp

Summer is finally here, but for a band student the work is not yet over. Band camp is coming soon.  For those who will be going to camp for the first time, they might not be sure how to prepare. Here are some tips to help you survive the trials of band camp.

Know your music

You should already know most of your music. This goes beyond being able to play the music. This summer you will be learning how to march and play at the same time, and this is hard to do if you are trying to read it in the glare of the sun and with heavily blowing wind. Do yourself a favor and memorize the tunes. You will find that memorizing the tunes makes learning the marching show that much easier.

Know your responsibilities

One of the hardest things to get used to at band camp is learning when to lead and when to follow. Band camp can be miserable for students who do not know how to follow leaders and their instructions. Arguments break out, emotions run high, and few things get done when the band is made of all leadership. But if there are no leaders, then the band can fall apart. Know your place in the hierarchy that is established to avoid conflict and to avoid getting your feelings hurt.

Be confident

Even if this is your first time at band camp, be confident. You will be learning tons of new skills, but so will the rest of your classmates. Taking a shy step forward doesn’t help you learn, and you won’t get very far. If you move with confidence, even if you make mistakes, you will learn the marching show and become a better player. Make your mistakes but fix them, too, and always be confident in how you are performing.

Know when to lay low

Confidence is important, but so is knowing when to keep low. You will have to take orders from older students that may not be very patient with your mistakes. Try to understand that they want the band to do its best. Do not step on any toes, if at all possible. Avoid conflict with those in charge of you and with other band students, because the whole band must work as a team in order to perform well. Be polite and respectful and you will have a fun time working with your leaders to improve the sound and appearance of your marching band.

Band camp can be a frightening new challenge, but you can rise to meet it. Surviving band camp is simple if you are respectful and work hard. Keep up the work, have fun, and band camp will be over in no time.