Band FAQ

Dear Parents,

Students enrolled in the M.U.S.E. Band Program are taught the basics of playing a band instrument in a full band setting.  Classes are designed to be fun and encouraging. There is no prior experience necessary. The instruments taught are flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone and percussion (bells and snare drum).

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. 

Students will be more apt to practice if they choose an instrument they want to play. If they are unsure, check out our webpage “How to Choose an Instrument”. We have examples of MUSE students and staff demonstrating all the instruments. 

For percussionists, they are required to play both Xylophone and snare drum. We start them off on Xylophone for the first 3 months so they learn how to read notes and play melodies. They then transition into snare drum. Snare drum and xylophone can come in a “Drum/Bell kit” in many stores.  If you can’t locate one, call the M.U.S.E. office. We can help you. 

It really comes down to practicing. All the instruments in band are about the same in terms of difficulty level. Flute can take a little more time to get the sound and fingering the notes but again, if they put the time in at home, they will do just fine. We also have help videos online that we direct the student/parents to. 

For percussionists, they are required to play both Xylophone and snare drum. We start them off on Xylophone for the first 3 months so they learn how to read notes and play melodies. They then transition into snare drum. 

A: We encourage students to commit for the school year. See deadlines in withdrawal policy above. 

We recommend that you sit and talk with your child to make sure they understand the commitment involved. We highly recommend that students make a year commitment to the program. It takes time to learn an instrument. Students will experience times when their lessons may be difficult. They need to practice and work through those times. Our teachers are there to guide them them and we ask for your help too in supporting and encouraging them along the way. These are life long lessons that help build a strong foundation in your child’s overall education. Discipline, teamwork, and commitment are benefits your child carries over into their school work from learning music.

We offer a 3 month trial period. 

See our Billing Policies for more details.

A: 3-4 days a week for 15-20 minutes a day minimum. Small amounts of concentrated practice are better than longer periods of unfocused practice time. This is very reasonable knowing how busy students lives are with extra curricular activities. Students need to come to class prepared.

A: Teachers take a lot of time in class showing students “How to Practice”. We teach them to recognize where they need to spend their time practicing. There is also a practice journal in their book where they write down their assignment and keep track of practicing.

We also offer FREE workshops in the fall for all Beginning Band students and Intermediate/Advanced students. Parents are not only encouraged to bring their child to these events but to stay and observe as well. For first-year students, Bryant takes the students through a series of fun “games” that help make every child feel comfortable followed by fun techniques on “How to Practice” and note reading exercises. Your child will benefit immensely by participating in these workshops. For Intermediate and Advanced students,  Bryant works with the students to better understand how important it is to be able to REALLY know and understand rhythms (not just guess). The goal of each session is to take a piece of music and explore all the details that, when executed properly, make the piece of music come alive and sound the way the composer intended it to.  Some of these details include dynamics, articulations, and phrasing. There is no extra cost to participate. It’s included in the tuition you pay.

A:  Best to catch this sooner than later. If the student has problems right away with producing the sound or feels awkward with the instrument, try to switch as soon as possible. Mid-year is too late unless you get some private lessons.

A. Our classes run on average between 6-10 students. 

A: Students have the opportunity to perform at school with their school band as well as participate in several multi-school concerts (February and May)

In addition, in San Francisco Bay area we have the St. Patricks day parade and an end-of-the-year performance at Great America Amusement park.

In Portland students play their end-of-the-year concert at Oaks Amusement Park. They are also invited to march in the Junior Rose Parade every other year. Our second year students have many other performance opportunities to choose from including playing the National Anthem at a Hops Baseball game and performing Christmas music at local Malls. 

We have classes for:

Beginners (Level 1), 2nd Year Students (Level 2), 3rd Year and on.. (Level 3)

The curriculum is designed so we can mix Level 2 & 3 together.  

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. 

A: We are currently updating our website so you can register for fall 2023.  We urge parents  to register as soon as possible to ensure a space for your student. To register go to the Registration Page

Please Note:

Fall Registration is open on June 1st 

  1. It is important that you register before classes start in order for us to process and be able to send you the proper information you will need for classes.
  2. Enrollment for fall classes closes September 30th for 9 month programs and October 31st for 8 month programs.

A: Schedule will be on the “School Page” Select your school for start up date, day of classes, and times. 

Go to our Registration Page to find the schedule of classes at your school. 

A: Many schools have an aftercare program. If the cost prohibits you, talk to the instructor. Each school has different arrangements. Some teachers will allow a small group of students to stay in band room and quietly do their homework.

A: It is really important to get their child to practice at home. Each child is different. Some will create their own time to practice.  Others need parent encouragement. If they don’t practice at home, they will likely fail and have a bad experience.

We suggest using practice as a study break between school work.  Playing their instrument uses the other side of the brain and helps them grow connections in developing motor skills and problem solving.

We have a huge library of help videos and teachers are available for one-on-one help if needed.  Sometimes a few private lessons is all it takes to get students back on track and motivated. 

A:  Classes will be held at school. Ask school office for room #

We do offer  private lessons through Zoom. Private students have the option to participate in group concerts during the year including parades. 

A: Your teachers name and email address will be listed under your school on the School Page of our website.

For Oregon teachers, click here

For California teachers, click here


A: Students should bring their instrument. If they don’t have their instrument yet, students should still come to class and observe how the other kids are putting their instruments together and getting started making sounds on their mouthpieces. Parents need to try to get an instrument by the second class, at very latest, so their child can join in with the rest of the beginner class and practice the assignments at home for their next class. A good strong start is important to support their enthusiasm!​

A: No. This is included in the materials fee. Instructors start using the books by the 2nd or 3rd week. Books will be handed out in class. 

Most of our schools focus on Band programs but we are beginning to expand to offer classes in Guitar/Ukulele and piano. To see what is offered at your school go to this link. Schools

A: The first day of beginning band is an “Open House” where parents can come and meet the instructor and ask questions. We understand that not all parents can make it.  If you have questions for the instructor, please email him or her. Teachers will introduce themselves and talk to the students about how the class will work and what students will need to be prepared for each online class. They will also tell students that they need to participate in the “Jump Start” Program, see Weekend Academy page. 

A: For Beginning Band Students they need to start at the beginning of the year with everyone else. If you have experience already, you can contact us anytime during the year and we can prorate your tuition. 

A: These are offered 2-3 times a year in the bay area and Portland. These usually take place on a weekend and run 60 minutes long. Parents are encouraged to come and watch. These workshops are VERY helpful for students and parents who can observe the “process” of learning an instrument. These events will be listed on our events page. These are very helpful for parents to know how to encourage their kids when they are practicing.

Register Now for Fall 2023: Click to learn more >>

Register Now for Fall 2023: Click to learn more >>