America is a nation of music-makers. More than 150,000 Americans work as professional musicians, and this statistic accounts for a fraction of the people who play instruments every day.
Many people start their relationship with music in the school band. Yet there is no guarantee that your students will commit to music their whole lives. You need to find school band instruments that your students will love and practice with.
How can you determine what instruments your students will like? How can your students develop their musical education over time? How can you receive funding for instruments?
Answer these questions and you can have a happy and successful school band in no time. Here is your quick guide.
You can start the process of getting a school band instrument by looking at your students. You can match students to instruments based on their physical characteristics and the skills needed to perform with each instrument.
Before you give your students instruments, talk to them. They should have a desire to learn with the instrument and time to practice.
Brass instruments are good for students who want to perform in the marching band or in a jazz band. Most students can play the trumpet or the French horn, as long as they can coordinate their fingers and blow air properly.
Trombones are more difficult to play because of their long slides. You should assign trombones to tall children with long arms. Some trombones can be heavy, so try to go for lighter instruments like the baritone trombone.
As your students gain experience, they can progress to bass instruments. They should know how to coordinate their hands and use full breaths to play notes before they start performing on the tuba. After bass instruments, your students can try out double brass instruments.
Woodwind instruments are also good for marching bands and jazz bands. Your students can perform in orchestras and concert bands, though orchestras may not allow certain woodwinds.
Woodwind instruments come in many sizes, so you can give small flutes and clarinets to your younger students. However, you should avoid giving elementary or middle school students bassoons and oboes because they may struggle with fingering. If one student excels at fingering, you can have them try out the bassoon in private lessons.
Most string players perform in orchestras, though any ensemble can rely on stringed instruments. Very young children can try the violin and cello as long as they can hold the bow and press down on the strings. Once they have developed experience, they can try out the viola and double bass.
A child can play multiple stringed instruments in an orchestra. They can focus their attention on the violin and then perform on the viola when necessary.
Though a student can start learning the guitar when they are very young, it's usually a good idea to wait a few years. Learning other instruments allows a child to learn more about finger coordination, timing, and paying attention to cues.
A student can learn the electric guitar once they are in middle or high school. Make sure to give these students beginner electric guitar pedals so they can adjust their sounds properly.
Students with lung or breathing issues can perform percussion instruments because they don't need to blow air. All ensembles rely on percussion instruments, though many school bands focus on snare drums or bass drums.
Percussion instruments are very large, so your school may already provide them for you. You just need to find students who are willing to practice with them at home.
Keep in mind that percussion requires the use of the hands and feet. A student should have good dexterity and know when to press the pedals.
When in doubt, you can assign your students to the piano. Many musicians start their education on the piano or keyboard and then go from there.
If you are working with preschool children, you can have them handle the xylophone. Students interested in experimenting with other keyboard instruments can try out synthesizers and organs.
Once you've found the instruments you want to buy, you should go to a store and find the particular products you want to purchase. Take a note of how much each instrument costs.
In order to receive funding from your school, you need to file a proposal with school administrators. Describe why each instrument is important and how your students can use them over time.
You should include the sticker price, but also the cost of repairs and accessories. Most instruments need cases, cleaning supplies, and other tools.
Your class may expand through time, so you can write about instruments you will need to buy in the next five years. This will help school administrators plan future budgets.
If you're looking to save money, you can rent your high school band instruments. But buying instruments can give your students more freedom to practice with them at home. You can also maintain the instruments yourself, keeping the quality high over the years.
Building a great school band requires buying great instruments. Very young students can start with the trumpet, flute, and piano.
As they build experience, they can try out percussion instruments and woodwinds. High school students can play the electric guitar and bulky instruments like tubas.
Visit an instrument store and find the particular instruments you want to apply. Then submit a budget proposal to school administrators, explaining the factors that go into the cost of your school band.
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