There are many details that must come together in unison for a marching band to present a stellar performance. At the core of any music program, however, is how the instruments sound together. Therefore, band directors and other leaders should know a few time-tested methods for getting the best out of every musician.

Emphasize Proper Breathing

Whether in practice or just before a performance, it is vital for players to practice breathing techniques. These exercises will help brass and wind players create robust notes while giving everyone in the band more breath control while marching across the field.

Prioritize Practice Time

Any accomplished musician understands the importance of practicing the craft, but it is also vital for bands to properly prepare as a unit. When a marching band emphasizes the marching aspect more than the music, the overall performance can easily suffer. Instead of putting too much time and effort into creating the perfect look, it might be more advantageous to make sound the priority during periods of practice.

Identify Effective Techniques

Almost every band relies on playing scales and other methods of building proficiency, but there are likely other ways that a marching band director can help encourage musicians to reach their peak potential. For example, mouthpiece buzzing can help brass instrument players develop the muscle memory and confidence necessary to properly play notes of all types. 

Focus on Major Moments

Every great composition includes some key sections that will immediately resonate with audiences. Although it is important to make sure the band is comfortable playing all parts of the show, it could be beneficial to expend some additional time practicing the most memorable moments of a piece. Whether it’s a huge crescendo or an attention-grabbing chord, smart band directors isolate these sections and ensure everyone is working toward the same goal. It might not always be necessary to always perform the piece as written, but allowing musicians to become comfortable with creating the most pleasing sounds possible during practice will likely translate to a more optimal exhibition during the actual show.