It's that time of year again when students start getting ready to go back to school and parents are equally stressed and excited about sending their child back to school. This time of year means a lot of shopping for new outfits and supplies for the upcoming school year, for many students enrolled in band or orchestra classes for the school year that includes a whole new list of supplies that many parents may not even be aware of. This post is a comprehensive list of all band and orchestra supplies your student will need to make this school year the best one yet!
Woodwind instruments are any instruments that are played using a reed. This includes saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. If your student is playing one of these instruments the following items are necessities for them to be able to play their instruments and succeed this school year.
Woodwind instruments require a reed to produce sound. Reeds are specific to each instrument and come in various thicknesses. The thinner the reed is, the easier it is to play on; however, thicker reeds produce a better tone when played. So which thickness is best for a student to play on? We recommend starting on a 2.0 size reed, they are thin enough that students are able to play on them but thick enough that they will still produce a great tone. Reeds can be bought in 3, 5 or 10 packs.
Without a mouthpiece, how can you even play your instrument?
Reeds are really just thin, fragile little things. When they are first learning, students will go through a fair number of reeds while they are learning the proper way to hold them in their mouths without biting them and cracking them. Aside from biting, reeds can be broken by any type impact or from warping due to moisture (I mean, those things get super wet after sitting in someones mouth while being played). One way to protect your reeds and extend their life by a lot is by using a reed guard. Simply slip your reeds into one of the slots while you're not playing.
Putting a little bit of cork grease on the joints of your instrument will make it SO. MUCH. EASIER. to put it together.
A care kit is an affordable way to get all the care supplies you need in one shot!
Brass instruments are all mouth blown instruments that are not played using a reed.
You really can't play any music without a mouthpiece... Just stay away from the plastic ones, they may seem like a good deal but they just don't sound good.
You know how you have to oil the hinges on your door to keep them moving smoothly? The same goes for the valves on your brass instrument. Without proper oiling brass instrument valves will become stiff or even get stuck which will result in needing repairs.
These will keep your instrument looking nice and shiny. It will also help the lacquer which covers the instrument last a lifetime!
The most affordable way to get all the supplies you need all at once!
Rosin is what makes Orchestral Instruments produce sound. Essentially hardened tree sap, rosin is used by rubbing it onto the bow of your instrument which will then cause the bow hairs to be slightly sticky which results in the bow pulling on the strings as it is moved across the strings, producing sound. Good rosin is necessary in order to play an orchestral instrument well. We recommend using a dark rosin in Utah's dry climate as it withstands the dry climate better and is stickier than the light rosins.
Shoulder Rests are used on violins and violas to ensure comfort and a proper hold on the instrument while also preventing the instrument from slipping off of the player's shoulder.
Every student is going to need a method book for them to learn out of as well as to practice with. There are many different method books, the most popular ones we see are Standard of Excellence and Essential Elements, but it is best to check with your student's school to verify which one their teacher uses.
Every student will need to have an instrument that they will bring back and forth between class and home. We offer many different options for how to acquire an instrument for the school year. Rentals are a great option for parents who are unsure of whether or not their child is going to commit to an instrument or not. Our rentals are done in partnership with Veritas Instrument Rentals and can be done from the comfort of your own home. All rentals are on a rent to own basis, so if your student falls in love with their instrument you can just keep making payments until it is yours. Info on rentals can be found here.
We also offer affordable options for purchasing new and used instruments for the school year. While rentals are a great option, they often end up being much more expensive in the long run than outright buying to begin with. Used instruments can be a great way to get a higher quality instrument at a great price, but we have also found affordable new instruments that will play fantastically.