Competition. Is there anything more magical than going up on stage and performing for your peers and a panel of judges?
In sports, competition is a give, however, in the arts, the jury of public opinion is still conflicted.
As we watch ten collegiate groups compete for one of the most coveted prizes in a cappella this weekend, here are a few reasons why singing competitively can be good for you:
It Forces You To Improve
By putting in the extra hours and focusing on improvement, there's no way you don't come out a better singer, performer, or even all around person at the end of the process. There's something about the focus of working on the goal of winning that can bring out the best in people - making them dig deep, find ways to improve, and work towards a better self.
It Highlights Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The best way to win a competition is to showcase your strengths and diminish your weaknesses. To do this, each singer and group must have an honest conversation with themselves about what exactly those strengths and weaknesses those are so you can put together a plan to make them work for you.
It Advances the Art Form
Competition draws out innovation, inspiration, and creativity - all things that make everyone better. The stakes get higher every year - so much so that groups that won several years back may not even place in today's lineup. When a top group raises the bar, it doesn't take long for other groups to start working towards the new standard for excellence.
You Learn From Your Competition
You've seen the football locker room scenes where they analyze the game tapes, right? It's not uncommon for competing a cappella groups to do the same. Following other groups that are working towards being their best in turn makes more groups inspired to be their best.
It Fights Complacency
Maybe you do just want to sing for fun - and that's okay. But pushing yourself to compete makes you less willing to settle for just "good enough."
It Prepares You For Challenges in Life
Learning to work together towards a goal, overcoming obstacles, solving problems, accepting responsibility, taking risks, and facing fears are all part of everyday life. Isn't nice that you can learn these skills just by singing with your friends?