Many parents of children who participate in M.U.S.E. need more information about instrument rental. Please review the following frequently asked questions. Just click the question to see the answer open below.
A: Here are demonstrations of each instrument created by M.U.S.E. students so you can get an idea of how each instrument sounds and is played.
Percussion Demonstration (Xylophone and Snare drum) (coming soon)
A: The best recommendation we can make is to choose the instrument your child is excited about. It’s important to focus on what they feel good about playing because they’re the ones who will have to practice the instrument and they are more likely to do this if it’s the instrument they choose! If your child is not sure what to play, take your child to a local store to browse and have the store personnel help you. We also offer Instrument Petting Zoos in September and private appts. in August to help kids find the instrument that fits them best (more info on this below).
A common question asked by students and parents is ” What is the easiest or hardest instrument to play?” The simple answer is practice. Each instrument has it’s challenges but nothing too hard that cannot be overcome with practice.
A: No experience needed. All the other students in the beginning band class have never played their instrument of choice. A piano background always helps but is not necessary for these classes.
A: No. Instruments are separate from class tuition. We HIGHLY recommend you rent an instrument first to see how your child does. Do not buy online unless you really know what to look for. There are a lot of new instruments that look like good deals but usually turn out to be cheaply made. Most importantly, we want your child to get a great start on an instrument that works well consistently so they get the best possible experience. If the instrument is struggling, your child will also be struggling to get a sound and play notes easily.
If you have an instrument in the family or friends, please have it looked at a local music store in your area to make sure it is in good working order.
Before investing in any instrument, you’ll want to make sure your child will make a commitment to his or her lessons. Avoid purchasing instruments online unless you really know what you are doing. There are a lot of cheaply made instruments out there and many repair shops will not work on these when something breaks or it needs maintenance because they cannot get parts that fit correctly. Especially beware of Craig’s List used instruments or garage sales, etc. Sometimes a great instrument is a lucky and inexpensive find but more often than not there is lots of repair that has to be done before the instrument is in proper playing condition, ie: corks and pads replaced, sticky valves and slides, missing pieces, instruments made with plastic parts which are not replaceable, etc.
Most importantly, we want your child to get a great start on an instrument that works well consistently so they get the best possible experience. If the instrument is struggling, your child will also be struggling to get a sound and play notes easily. We also don’t want our parents to lose money in a poor investment. Once you know your student is into the instrument and enjoying playing, then we do recommend buying. We can help you find a used instrument or direct you where to find a new well made instrument from local shops we’ve worked with for years. There are lots of options!
Each fall in early to mid September, we offer a couple weekend days where students can actually hold and make a sound with any or all of the instruments we teach. However, due to Covid-19, we are not going to be able to offer this in the fall. We highly recommend you watch the instrument demonstrations we mentioned earlier under “What instruments are available to choose from for band and what if my child doesn’t know what instrument they want to play?”
A: Drummers have to rent a bell/drum kit. This kit includes a snare drum, a practice pad and tuned bells with music stand. These bells are played with mallets and teach the students how to read melodies. Percussionists, which we like to call our drummers, start the year with bells and then transition to snare drum in Nov/Dec We also offer workshops during the school year and we require drummers to attend at least two of these which will be online.
A. Yes. But right now it is very limited. We have a few schools with programs for Guitar/Ukulele, and piano classes. These instruments are taught separately from band for many reasons.