Imagine this. The concert hall is packed. The lights of the hall are dimmed as the conductor prepares to start the next piece. The audience silent, anticipating with bated breath. Such is the silence that if you so much as cough, it can be heard clearly. The orchestra members waiting eagerly, smiling yet focused as they prepare to showcase their next piece for the concert which they have practised diligently many times. With the wave of the conductor’s baton, the music begins. If you have no prior experience in an orchestra, read on as I share with you 5 reasons why you should join an orchestra!
1) You can learn a new instrument!
Joining an orchestra gives you an opportunity to learn an instrument, especially in primary school to junior college/polytechnic level orchestras. Many people are interested in learning a new instrument but they are weighed down by the thought of the fees for lessons. In many schools, instructors who specialise in the instrument section of the orchestra (for e.g. woodwind section which consists of flutes etc) are hired and offer guidance to beginners/new members of the orchestra who have no prior experience in the instrument they are interested in. Did I mention that the lessons are completely free for the student! The teachers are paid by the school. There will not be any extra costs unless you would like to purchase a personal instrument or you decide to further your interest in the instrument by going for more lessons as many of the instructors offer private lessons as well or they work at a music school. Furthermore, in polytechnic orchestras, you can try out the instruments as well to get a taste of what the instrument is like!
2) Improve your musical knowledge and skills!
By joining an orchestra, you will have to learn to play and make music with the other members. An orchestra consists of many instruments, you will learn to listen to the other instruments and know how the different instruments contribute and fuse together to ensure that the enthralling music comes out seamlessly. There are weekly practices for the orchestra and sectional practices whereby you practise with your section members and improve your individual skills at the instrument such as technique and sight reading etc. Oftentimes there will be additional practices to ensure that the conductor is satisfied with the sound and quality of the music. You will also be exposed to many different types of pieces as well thereby improving your musical knowledge! For example, if you join a Chinese orchestra, you will be exposed to more Chinese music. Nowadays, there are Chinese orchestra covers of popular pop songs and Korean songs etc!
3) Meeting new people/new connections
You can meet many new people when you join an orchestra! Can you imagine how exciting it is when you get to meet new people from different walks of life who have joined the orchestra as they are interested in making music! You will meet other people bonding over something all of you love! Meeting new people will also expand your social circle and connections.
Imagine after a long day at work/school, and you know you can get to meet your orchestra mates and practise/play some good ol’ music together in the evening. Joining an orchestra and playing music can be a form of relaxation/ stress relief as you enjoy the music made and have fun in the orchestra, knowing that you helped contribute to the overall sound of the orchestra and music as everybody is important in an orchestra. Sometimes the orchestra will practise and perform some pieces which you already know or your favourite songs and it will just feel so euphoric just doing something you love.
5) You love music
Last but not least, you should join an orchestra if you love music! You will get to experience something completely refreshingly different compared to playing music or performing by yourself. You will be able to be part of the magic as you are at the center of where the magic happens, as you perform and listen to the music at the same time!
Xuan Yu is an avid music enthusiast. He regularly hunts for music to play, ranging from classical pieces to modern day pop song covers. In addition to piano, he plays the cello too. Xuan Yu started learning piano since young and fell in love with the cello when he joined an orchestra in his secondary school days.
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