Musical Instruments

  • updated 6/14/18
    * SEE UPDATE on Selecting PERCUSSION Below 
    Students in Fourth Grade will have the opportunity to select from the following concert band and string orchestra instruments.
    BAND: alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, percussion (bell kit w/drum pad), trombone, and trumpet
    ORCHESTRA: cello, viola, violin and at some schools the string bass
    Each spring our instrumental music teachers give a demonstration of all the instruments student's can select in 4th grade. The music teacher at your school will inform students of any additional instruments they may offer. We do not offer instruction on the piano, guitar, or the drum set. Some schools come equipped with a drum set that is introduced in 5th grade band for students taking private lessons.

    For students who have already learned to play an instrument outside of school, such as an orchestra instrument, guitar, piano, etc., we welcome those students to perform with their peers in either the band or orchestra at their school. Contact the instrumental music teacher at your school to discuss this option.

    Lesson Books: Please find the Lesson Book and Accessories link to the left to get the title of the instructional method book used by the instructor at your child's school. Lesson books should be available at all of the instrument vendors listed below.

    Instruments must be acquired by September 21, 2018

    OPTION ONE: The best option for acquiring a musical instrument is through a lease-to-own program available through most reputable instrument dealers. This option typically includes an insurance policy for loss/theft/damage and your monthly payments can often be applied to the purchase of the instrument.

    OPTION TWO: If one of the instruments listed above is available to you from a family member or friend, bring it to one of the vendors listed below to have it inspected and maintained for use by your son or daughter.

    Students receiving financial assistance will receive a SCHOLARSHIP INSTRUMENT (excluding string bass).  Some of the instrument dealers listed below may have quality used instruments for purchase at a reasonable, reduced price.

    As a general rule, avoid purchasing an instrument on the Internet or from a large discount store. In large discount or “Big Box” stores you may find many instruments available for a low price. Many of these instruments have a reputation for being poorly manufactured even though they might look perfectly fine. Similarly, instruments found on the internet can be risky and will not come with the protections available through a lease program.

    Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass: These instruments come in various sizes. You must bring your child to the instrument store to be measured for the correct size.
    Flute: The flute is a challenging instrument for petite children because of its length. If your child is petite, ask your instrument vendor for a “curved-head” mouthpiece. The curved-head shortens the length of the flute, making it easier to reach the flute keys.
    UPDATE: Percussion Kit/Bell Kit: Ask your vendor for a set of bells with drum pad and stand, includes mallets and sticks. Students will not be learning how to play the typical drum set common to rock-n-roll bands. The primary instruments they will learn to play are the 2 ½ octave xylophone and the snare drum. They will also receive instruction on a variety of other percussion instruments including, bass drum, wood blocks, and other hand-held percussion instruments. It is recommended that you only lease a xylophone with a drum pad.  Snare drums are available at the school and do not need to go home for practice. If you do chose a Combo Kit (bells and snare drum) you can leave the snare drum at home for practice. 
  • Instruments must be acquired by September 21, 2018


    Here are some instrument rental suggestions you might consider

    Acoustic Strings of New England: 1511 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02476, ph# 781-648-6355 (by appointment), 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143, ph# 617-547-8263 (M-Sat) (on-line lease application, school delivery, mobile repair service)

    Johnson String Instrument: 1029 & 1039 Chestnut Street, Newton Upper Falls, 02464, ph # 617-964-0954 (on-line lease application)

    Leonards Music: 128 The Great Road, Bedford, MA, 01730, ph# 781-271-1189 (on-line lease application, school delivery, mobile repair service, 24-hour rental repair)

    Music & Arts: 839 Beacon Street, Newton Center, 02459 ph# 617-332-3578 (on-line lease application, home/school delivery)

    Needham Music: 947 Great Plain Avenue, Needham, 02492, ph# 781-444-6429 (on-line lease application)

    Spencer Brook Strings: 9 Linden Street, Maynard, MA 01754, ph# 978-897-6382 (school delivery/pick up for rentals and maintenance)