Trends in Middle School Band Student Practice

Zach Williams, Georgia College & State University


Practice is a concept that usually goes without explanation but is considered to be a key element in the development and improvement of any athlete or musician. In terms of developing musicians, practice outside of the band room is equally, if not more, important to the overall process of becoming proficient on a given instrument. Even with all the evidence that practice is beneficial, there still appears to be a lack of participation among middle school band students. This research sought to identify and explore student practice habits and determine the rationale for student practice or lack thereof. By investigating these habits and trends of student practice times, modifications can be made to enhance understanding of the importance of practice and implement effective strategies to improve the quality of the practice sessions. This study was conducted with a sample of approximately 100 middle school band students. Surveys were used to get a better understanding of when and how students practice and to develop a plan to encourage and enhance student practice outside of the band room.