In answering this question, the first thing that comes to mind is that music is something we play, share, and enjoy together. We enjoy listening to it during a concert, when playing your favorite instrument (in my case, the piano!), and of course when we perform on stage or elsewhere. But, enjoying and listening to music together are not the only benefits of a group performance. In fact, playing in an ensemble is essential for students to improve their understanding of music and playing skills.
What kind of ensembles are out there and how can we benefit from them? Being in a choir, chamber setting (duo, trio, quartet), school orchestra or jazz band, playing four-hand piano music, and playing with your family members in any combination of instruments are just a few examples of ensemble settings that music lesson students can relate to.
Students can play in an ensemble setting at an early age, and reap very significant benefits from the experience, by sharpening their listening skills, learning how to be a leader and a follower, and of course learning to be patient! After playing the piano for a few years, you will get to hear how your part interacts and fits musically and harmonically into the whole score. When you are learning bigger and more complex pieces, ensemble playing becomes a critical part of your musical growth. So, don’t wait to play in an ensemble until you are really good. Start exploring the wonderful world of making music together just as early as you can!