Ms. Cheryl Housten, Director
Dear Parents and Students,
It is the parent's responsibility to provide an instrument in good working order. The school does not provide instruments. It is very important that you get a quality instrument for your child so that he or she does not become frustrated trying to play on an inferior instrument. I would avoid purchasing instruments off of ebay or from any store that is not a music specialty store since the quality of these instruments can be poor. Please see the enclosed list of reputable instrument brands. You may use an instrument that you have already if it is playable, you may purchase a new or used instrument, or you may rent an instrument. The easiest option, and I believe the best option, is to rent an instrument from NEMC (National Educational Music Company) by going to their website www.nemc.com. They are very reliable and stop at VES once a week all year long for service. NEMC works closely with the school and will give you the option of purchasing the lesson book and other accessories along with your rental. The lesson book, “Essential Elements for Band Book 1” is a required accessory for all instruments. If you do not purchase the book along with your rental you will need to purchase it either from a store or through the school in September. I also highly recommend purchasing the music stand because it helps students to practice with proper posture and positioning.
Percussion students will need a kit with bells and drum practice pad. You may opt to rent either the “Drum/Bell Kit” or the “Bell Kit”. Both kits include the bells and practice pad. I recommend renting the “Drum/Bell Kit”, because it also includes a small snare drum for practice at home. Students who rent this kit, will be able to leave the snare drum portion of the kit at home (while bringing the rest of the kit back and forth between home and school). Having that snare drum for home practice will help students to get used to the feel of a regular drum and give them a greater chance for success when playing snare parts with the full band. Please note that there are 2 required lesson books for percussion—“Essential Elements for Band Book 1 for percussion” AND “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” by Mark Wessels.
Clarinet and Saxophone students will need reeds. You may purchase them from the school throughout the year, however if you decide to purchase a box ahead of time, please request strength 2 ½. I suggest that you purchase one box of reeds with your rental, but no more than that since reed strength may change throughout the year.
Saxophone students should be renting an alto saxophone since that is the correct instrument to be played in 4th grade.
Baritone students will need to rent an instrument—The name of the instrument is Baritone or Euphonium (both names describe the same instrument). You should rent a Full Size instrument because they are easier to play with a good sound. Prior to your child’s first lesson, I will hand out information about using a school owned instrument during school. Students must have their own instrument (or rental) for home practice and for evening concerts. If you have your child’s baritone/euphonium delivered to the school, please plan on picking your child up from school on the day of the first lesson (or arrange to pick up the instrument from school beforehand), since the instrument is large. After that initial instrument pick up, your child may leave the instrument at home, only transporting the mouthpiece and book/folder back and forth between school and home.
Should you decide to rent from NEMC, please order the instrument and accessories online at www.nemc.com by August 31st to ensure that they will be able to deliver your instrument by September. Then your child will receive their instruments at their first lesson in September. If you are unable to order the instrument online, I have listed several other stores that you can rent from.
I am looking forward to an exciting year of instrumental music next year!
Ms. Cheryl Housten (firstname.lastname@example.org)