Parent's Start Guide

Before the First Lesson:

To be ready for the first lesson, students must get an instrument and method book(s). Please check my "Supply List" tab on the left of this screen to see what you need for your child's selected instrument.

Renting an instrument:

The easiest way to do this is to click on this link, "" to go to the National Educational Music Company website, and have the instrument and lesson book sent to the school. You can also go to the local Music & Arts store in Manalapan and pick up a rental instrument and book. You can access their website by clicking on this link:" Music & Arts, Manalapan" . Please check the my “Supply” tab to find out what to get for your child’s instrument. We highly recommend NEMC and Music & Arts because they rent instruments that have been selected for both quality and economy by our school district’s instrumental music teachers and support our program. Both of these companies supply your student with either a new, or fully renewed, cleaned, sterilized, recent and gently used instrument. Beware of rental instruments from suppliers that are old and dirty. They can be unhealthy for your child.

It would be a good idea to get a music stand, if you do not have one. Although not absolutely necessary, there is some economy to buying the starter kit, especially if you need a music stand, since there is one in the kit. If your child chose the clarinet or alto saxophone, it would be a good idea to get a box of 10 Rico #2 reeds for their instrument, as well. Young students often damage a few reeds learning to handle them in the first couple of weeks and they usually only have one or two in the case.

Getting an instrument from a friend or relative:

If you are lucky, and you have a friend or relative that can loan you a good instrument, you may use it instead of renting. Please let us know, and we will check to make sure the instrument is appropriate and in good playing condition.

Purchasing an instrument:

We usually don’t recommend purchasing an instrument for beginners. They may need to change instruments early in the process or quit in the first year. If we need to change instruments, NEMC & Music & Arts allows for one change of instrument during the rental period.

Please beware of inexpensive new instruments that seem like a great deal. There are many low priced instruments that are advertised with meaningless and misleading slogans such as “teacher approved”. Many of these instruments look good but are difficult to impossible for a student to learn to play. Many do not work properly and fall apart and become unrepairable during the first year. Many can't be adjusted without breaking and replacement parts may be unavailable. Most repair technicians will not touch these instruments for that reason. Many cannot match the pitches that the rest of the band or orchestra is playing, and are not useable in a group. Most of these instruments end up creating problems for the student, parents, and teacher. This usually ends up not being an economically sound choice.

Good instruments are built to last a lifetime. If you are ready to purchase, and need to save money, it is better to get a well made instrument in a gently used condition than a poorly made new one. Please ask us for advice if you are thinking about purchasing an instrument.

Borrowing an instrument from the school:

If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch, we will see if we can loan you one of our limited supply of school owned instruments. We will contact you before the first lesson if you requested one on your application.

Beginner Bands start after-school rehearsals in February