• I recommend renting an instrument for your child during their first few months or year of band since purchasing an instrument can be a big investment. I often find students wanting to try a different instrument the following year before deciding on the right one.

    It is your goal to borrow, rent or purchase a quality instrument. Please do not purchase an instrument from a big-box store. Although the low price is attractive, most are very low quality and will create a frustrating playing experience for your child.

    In general, the best instruments are made in the USA, Japan and/or Europe. You will see a wide range of pricing, which is often due to the quality of the instrument. Most instrument makers will have 3 different types of models: student, intermediate, and professional. Generally speaking, a quality student model instrument that is well taken care of should take you into high school. However, this should not deter you from purchasing an intermediate or professional instrument later on, especially for those who wish to continue improving.

    The following is a sample list of brands I'd look for. I know they may be more expensive, but even a used one will be better quality and last longer than a new off-brand one.

    Flute: Armstrong, Gemeinhardt, Jupiter, Yamaha

    Clarinet: Buffet, Selmer, Yamaha, Jupiter

    Saxophone: Yamaha, Selmer, King

    Trumpet: Bach, Yamaha, Conn, King

    Trombone: Blessing, Jupiter, Yamaha, King (*Students generally begin on a trombone without a F attachment.)

    Percussion: Yamaha, Pearl, Vic Firth (Student Bell Kit that comes with a bell rack, stand, and practice pad)

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