Beginning Band Information


This is everything you need to know to start your child off in the Ruth Musser Band program.

1. Instrument Trials.

  • Sign ups in the Class Notebook, Collaboration Space: “Instrument Trials” tab.
  • February 24-March 12. After school at the RMMS Lunch tables.
  • 1 parent may attend, please wear a facemask.

What is an instrument Trial?

This is a time for students to test out and discover which instrument best responds to their body. Each student will use an individual mouthpiece kit that has each type of mouthpiece in it. Students will be assessed and preferences will be marked down. This will help in the instrument distribution process.

2. Acquiring an Instrument

Option 1: Borrow an instrument from the school
  • We will assign instruments by Lottery. (probably after spring break)
  • There are a limited number of instruments of each kind.
  • For example: there are only 4 flutes available.
  • Student names will be placed in a “hat” and draw out for the students to claim their first or second choice instrument, and if those are not available, they can choose option 2.
Option 2: rent an instrument from the music store
  • There are several local stores with great rental pricing. These instruments are good quality and come with insurance options.
  • If a student would like to secure their instrument of choice before the lottery, they may rent as soon as they leave campus from trials.
  • If after the lottery an instrument of choice is not available, the student can rent from the store.
  • The store has a rent-to-own program. This allows to you work towards the owning of the instrument.
  • See attached page for store information.
Option 3: use a family owned instrument
  • Is there an instrument in the back of the closet or on a shelf somewhere not being used?
  • Get it assessed at the music store.
  • If it is outside of the instrument selections made with Mrs. Newland, ask if it can be used or not.
NOT RECOMENED: Purchasing an instrument
  • Your child is a beginner, they may change their mind.
  • Instruments are expensive.
  • Cheap instruments will break easily, and repairs are costly. Some brands are even refused by repair technicians to be worked on.
  • Do NOT purchase an instrument from Amazon.

3. Acquire supplies and materials.

Book: Essential Elements 2000 for instrument

Cleaning kit: instrument specific


  • Bb Clarinet Reed
    • Box of 3 size/strength 2
    • Box of 10 size/strength 2.5
  • Eb Alto Saxophone
    • Box of 3 size/strength 2
    • Box of 10 size/strength 2.5
  • Bb Tenor Saxophone
    • Box of 3 size/strength 2
    • Box of 10 size/strength 2.5

Music Stand: optional but highly suggested; there are wire stands and metal stands

Supplies can be purchased at the local music stores or online (but these may take several weeks to arrive.)

Very few books are available to borrow from the school. Most are being used by 7th grade students.

Instrument Storage at Home:

  • Students should store instruments in a safe place. Temperatures should be consistent.
  • Do not store instruments near the kitchen if possible, to avoid cases smelling like food.
  • Instruments should NEVER be left in a car for extended periods of time. The temperature changes can harm the instrument.
  • Keep instruments out of the pathways and where younger siblings could reach.
  • All maintenance needed on the instrument during distance learning is the responsibility of the student to take care of. If repairs are needed, please contact a music store for repairs.
  • Instruments are to be in full working order for every class session. Notify Mrs. Newland if there is an issue BEFORE class starts.
  • Follow all instrument care instruments for your instrument. Doing an improper cleaning can harm the instrument. Cleaning videos will be provided by Mrs. Newland, do NOT clean until you have been shown the correct way.
  • Alcohol wipes and swabs are okay on most parts of the instrument.
    • On Flutes, Clarinets, and Saxophones, please do NOT wet the pads on the underside of the keys.