Instruments

Getting an Instrument

MPS School Instruments

To request a school instrument, simply check that box when filling out the online registration form (click the "Join" tab to find that form). Because the number of requests greatly exceeds the number of instruments that the district owns, not all students who requested a school instrument will get one. First priority goes to students who qualify for certain financial need requirements. After those students are matched to an instrument, any remaining instruments are randomly assigned to the remaining students who have turned in requests, through a lottery system. Students who have been matched to a MPS school instrument will be notified via US POSTAL MAIL before the start of the school year.

Renting or Buying Instruments

Most students rent a string instrument from one of the local music stores in Omaha. Because string instruments come in various sizes to fit your student, the instrument size they need will change as they grow. For this reason, many families choose to rent until their student is big enough to play a full size instrument. Many of the music stores have various rent-to-own programs that allow for trading up sizes as your student grows. Ask the salesmen about these programs as each store is different.

I always caution parents about purchasing a cheap instrument online. Some really cheap instruments do not hold pitch (strings constantly slip out of tune), or are physically painful to play (strings are too high off the fingerboard). It is a good idea to physically touch, hold, and play (if possible) an instrument before purchasing it so you can see what you're getting. Some families have had good luck purchasing an instrument through sites like Craig's List (for example, from a family selling an instrument that their child no longer plays, but is still in good shape). Online instrument purchasing can be a gamble. If you have questions, please email Mrs. Rom.

Instrument Display Nights

Two display nights will be held which will provide you with the opportunity to gather information about rental programs from area music dealers (Ann's Music World, Dietze Music, Schmitt Music, Violins of Omaha). You will have the opportunity to meet your orchestra teacher (Mrs. Rom), rent an instrument from an area music store, and purchase any instrument accessories. Those instrument display nights are:

  • Tuesday August 21, 2018 @ Andersen Middle School Gym (15404 Adams St.) from 6-8pm
  • Thursday August 23, 2018 @ Kiewit Middle School Gym (15650 Howard St.) from 6-8pm

If you are unable to attend either of the display nights, you may rent or purchase an instrument at your convenience from a music store.

Instrument Care

To avoid damage to instruments, students should NOT turn the tuning pegs. Mrs. Rom will tune the strings at each lesson, so please help your student fight the urge to "fix" a loose string. It takes a very small turn of the peg to break a string (very different than guitar tuning pegs). Also, avoid touching the hair of the bow with the skin. Oils on our skin ruin the bow's ability to pull sound from the string. In class, students will learn the safe way to handle, tighten and loosen the bow without damaging the hair.

Broken String?

You can purchase an individual string from a music store. Let the salesman know the pitch of the string (E, A, D, G, C) and size of the instrument to ensure the string will fit. Send the new string with your student to their orchestra lesson, and Mrs. Rom can put the new string on the instrument quickly and free of charge.