The pleasure gained from the community spirit of ensemble performance is augmented by the satisfaction of creating high quality music, achievable only with group performance
Ensemble performance has always been an integral part of music - from the Native American chants, to Baroque chamber music, all the way to contemporary pop bands, the ability to 'lock in' with a group is arguably the most important skill a musician can possess. Playing music together builds a sense of community and forges lasting friendships. It also builds teamworking and communication skills, key areas that are invaluable assets for employability. These factors contribute to the immense satisfaction gained from group performance, making it a key motive for putting in the hours to improve.
Group performance is often much more rewarding for beginners; ten minds working together can achieve a much more complex performance than a solo performer, positively affecting the quality of the output. Learning an instrument requires hours of graft, and an energetic group morale – enhanced by the quality - ignites a lasting passion for music, driving each individual member to put in the time to excel at an instrument.
The importance of group tuition
Workshops teach theory by example, allowing pupils to see how each technique contributes to a whole. This makes for a much more intuitive understanding of key musical concepts. Building up polyrhythms in a group demonstrates a classic method of composition, sparking creativity and laying the groundwork of compositional techniques simultaniously. Call and response techniques mirror traditional oral teaching methods, and isolating each musical phrase in this way deepens pupils' understanding of how they link together when superimposed. Consolidating these ideas with group discussion cements the theories behind it, and further encourages individual contribution to group scenarios. Group performance is also brilliant for the more restless pupils: kinaesthetic learners often find performing an instrument to be a fantastic release of creativity and energy, and getting this out of their system can lead to dramatically improved behaviour.
Introducing workshops early on in the education process builds firm and intuitive theoretical foundations and the passion needed to develop as a musician. The ability to musically synchronise with other players is one of the most important skills in music, and is often overlooked in our current education system. Many teaching methods focus on breaking down and analysing existing songs; building musical material from scratch is a more viceral approach, stoking the imagination to engage pupils with key theoretical concepts. The pleasure gained from the community spirit of ensemble performance is augmented by the satisfaction of creating high quality music, achievable only with group performance. Capturing the enthusiasm of pupils' is a vital stage in helping them build the impetus to master an instrument, and ensemble lessons are a brilliant way of achieving this. Music wouldn't be what it is today without collaboration, and teaching the next generation of musicians to play along with each other could change the course of the art we know and love for the better.
Playing music together builds a strong sense of community and forges long-lasting friendships