Beginning Band Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need previous experience?

  • No experience required! We'll start everyone right from the beginning starting with basics of each student's instrument as well as reading music.

How do I choose an instrument?

  • Students will get the opportunity to try a few and the teacher will make recommendations based on physical fit (some mouth structures work better on certain instruments) sound production, interest, and balanced instrumentation for the band (it's hard to make music if the whole band only plays flute or saxophone!).  Check out the instrument demonstrations in this link to learn more about each one!

My student has food allergies, is it safe for them to try an instrument on fitting day?

  • Make sure your student informs the teacher prior to trying anything out. All mouthpieces are sprayed with an alcohol based solution between students. They also bring additional mouthpieces and reeds to help keep students safe.

What instruments can I start out on?

  • Students can start on pretty much anything as long as it works for them. If there's an interest in something like a tenor saxophone or bass clarinet, most will start on an alto sax or regular Bb clarinet though before switching, especially because many sixth grade students aren't quite big enough to play some of the bigger instruments yet.  Students may also start on instruments like oboe, bassoon, French horn, and tuba but please keep in mind that there is an extremely limited number of these instruments available from the school and they are  among the more expensive ones to rent.

Considering buying an instrument rather than renting?

  • Click here to see a list of brands that we recommend so your family can make a quality, reliable instrument purchase. Some instruments are better than others, as they are able to be fixed unlike some brands that parts are not available.

Can I play drums?

  • Joining the percussion section can be a lot of fun, but there's more to it than just playing drums! Percussionists will start the first half of the school year on bells before playing any kind of drum. Also, percussion students don't just learn one instrument like their friends; they learn many! Eventually they'll have to learn: bells, xylophone, marimba, snare drum, bass drum, timpani, cymbals, accessory percussion, etc. Many pieces only call for four or five percussionists and even then they may not have much to do for that song.  

Will I have homework and tests?

  • There is homework and there will also be tests in band, but it's not that bad! Homework usually consists of short (about a minute) practice reflection videos/recording each week or small written reflections. Tests almost always involve playing a short section of music.

Does the school have an instrument I can use?

  • Students are encouraged to rent an instrument from one of our local vendors such as Lincoln County Music Supply, Fazio's Music, or Palen Music Store. We do have instruments available, however students using a school instrument may not get their first choice. Most students who use school instruments are borrowing large ones like euphonium/baritone, tuba, tenor saxophone. Instruments that are borrowed from the school will be charged a $25 maintenance fee to help keep the instruments in working condition.