Frequently Asked Questions





    What is expected of my child?

    Your child will be scheduled for a 30 minute weekly lesson. This lesson is scheduled on a rotating basis. It will always be on the same day, but at different times. During the lesson the students will learn new musical concepts, be given a chance to play with the other members of the lesson, and also a chance to play alone. Students will be encouraged to practice at home 20 minutes a day. As the students progress continues, they will be invited to join the band. This group rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00am and has concerts in December and May.

    What do I need to begin?

    An Instrument

    A music stand -- for home practice.    

    Is there a certain amount of players on each instrument that is preferable?

    One very important consideration in the selection of instruments is that of balanced instrumentation. I like to compare it to a batch of cookies. You can't add a bunch of baking soda and only a teaspoon of flour and still expect them to taste good. Likewise, it is not practical or desirable to have too many students on one instrument. Every effort was made to honor the students choices, but because of the need for proper balance within the group it is necessary to ask some students to play an instrument that was not one of their original choices. While instrument choice is important, I have found that once a student becomes involved in the program they realize that the specific instrument they want to play is not as important as they thought it was before they began. Often students are influenced by the instrument their best friend wants to play, or how big the case is, or other non-musical criteria. Please be sure your child understands this situation and seriously considers other instruments.

    How do I know which brand of instrument to buy?

    If you already have an instrument, please bring it to me at school so that I can check to see that it is in good working condition.

    If you are renting or buying, the music store brochures list the preferred brands. You are not required to have this brand name, but the school prefers it.

    Flute --Yamaha, Armstrong, Geimenhardt, Artley, DiZhao

    Clarinet -- Yamaha, Buffet, LeBlanc  

    Saxophone -- Yamaha, Selmer

    Trumpet -- Holton, Yamaha, King, Bach 

    Trombone -- Yamaha, Bach, King

    Percussion -- Yamaha

    All of the brands in the brochures are student model instruments and are very similar. If you get one of the preferred brand, with proper care and maintenance, it could last until your child graduates.

    How long should my child practice?

    20 minutes a day. Without regular practice, instructional time is not well utilized. There will be ups and downs to each week of practice. This is normal. I will be giving your child a PRACTICE CHART after we begin lessons. This chart will be used by the students to keep track of total minutes each day. The chart needs to be signed by the parent each week.

    Where do I get a Euphonium, Tuba or French Horn?

    The school provides these instruments for $25 per school year. Make the check out to Gates-Chili Central School. Your child will be given an instrument to play at home and an instrument to play at school. The student does not need to drag a heavy instrument back and forth. The student will need to bring just his/her mouthpiece and lesson book back and forth to school. Parents need to purchase the mouthpiece. You can get them at the music store.

    What do I need in addition to the items in the case?

    All students will need a handkerchief to wipe finger prints.

    Saxophone, Clarinet  --  Reeds. Buy a box of 10. Clarinets need Mitchell Lurie 2 1/2 in 4th grade September-January, from January-June use Mitchell Lurie 3's.   Saxophones need Vandoren 2 1/2. 

    Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, French horn --  An old towel, valve oil, Slide-eez.

    Which music store should I go to?

    The music stores listed below offer a monthly rent to own plan. This plan provides the students with an instrument at a specified cost per month . Even though each store offers other plans, I suggest you consider this plan, as it offers features such as the instrument can be returned with no further obligation, the instrument can be exchanged without losing money, and it can be rented until paid in full. I feel that this plan offers your child the best chance for a successful musical experience because he/she starts out with a high quality instrument, and generally experiences a greater sense of pride and accomplishment.

    Contact your local music store

    Cadence Music  -- (247-8690)  2109 Buffalo Road - Cadence Music sells accessories like reeds, books, and straps.

    Atlas Music  -- (671-2020)  1764 Empire Boulevard  - Atlas Music rents instruments, sells sheet music and accessories, and rents student instruments.

    Thomas Music --  (266-7751)  1908 Ridge Road -  Thomas Music is a repair shop for band instruments.

    Where do I take the instrument to be repaired?

    Atlas music store has a repair shop with well trained technicians who can repair almost anything. You can take it to the store yourself or leave it with me. I will give it to one of the Atlas representatives during their weekly visit. They will deliver it back to me when it is fixed. The store can also give you a loaner instrument, but you'll need to call in advance to set that up.

    Thomas Music is located at 1908 Ridge Road and I feel that this shop is the best place to repair an instrument that is not currently being rented from another store.  1908 Ridge Road is behind the tuxedo shop.  (266-4450)