Choosing An Instrument & Band Fitting Info






STUDENT’S NAME: ____________________________________________________



Dear Parent(s):


Your sixth grader has been fitted to the following instrument:


                        Flute                                        Trumpet


                        Oboe                                       French horn


                        Clarinet                                   Trombone


                        Bassoon                                   Percussion


                        Alto Saxophone


This is a choice in which we hope is both appropriate and agreeable to you and your child.  The most important thing is that the student begins on an instrument on which they can get a good sound with ease.  Considerable time has been spent in the fitting process, and we hope that if there are any questions, that you will not hesitate to call or email one of us.


Band Books – Students will use 2 different band books throughout 6th grade band that they will keep at the end of the year. The cost for BOTH books is $20.00. Percussion books are $35.00 for both books. Please make checks payable to: Meyer Music. Book money needs to be turned in to your student’s director by Friday September 7, 2012.


French Horn Supplies – Please send the money for the supplies for French Horn with your book money. 


Instruction on the instruments will begin on September 10, 2012.  Please be sure to have the child’s instrument by the date specified by your child’s band director.  Also, please do not allow your student to assemble or play their instrument until in-class instruction on them has begun.  This helps avoid the formation of bad habits.  Thank you for your help in this important matter.


Thank you for your support.





Rebecca Kilgore-Longtin        Cullen McCarthy                    Brian Phillips

East Middle School                North Middle School              High School

Office: 863-6141 ext. 1252    Office: 863-6301 ext. 1762    Office: 863-6031 ext. 7079

In order to assist you in your investment, we have provided some guidelines for each instrument. These recommended models have proven, for Rockford, to be the best beginning-level instruments you can purchase based on reliability, retention of value, mechanical workmanship, and most importantly, the quality of sound your student will be able to create. We have spent considerable time studying and investigating this topic. There are however many brands of instruments, some will work and others can turn out to be unacceptable. If you choose not to go with our recommendations of instruments, please be cautious in your purchase. Never buy off the internet sight-unseen. There have been many parents burned by trying to save a little, but ended up spending much more in the long run with multiple repair issues. To increase your child’s opportunity for success, please refer to the following choices:



INSTRUMENT          MODELS                               MOUTHPIECES/ACCESSORIES



Flute                           -Yamaha 221/200                    -Silk Swab Required



Clarinet                      -Yamaha 34 or 450 (wood)     -Yamaha 4C mouthpiece Required

-Yamaha 20 (plastic)               -Van Doren B-45 mouthpiece

 Yamaha 200 (plastic)             recommended, but optional                                       
 Yamaha 250 (plastic)                -Box of La Voz Medium Hard reeds Required          



Alto Saxophone         -Yamaha 23 or 200 or 26        -Yamaha 4C mouthpiece Required

- Cannonball - Alcazar            -Selmer C* mouthpiece

                                                                                    recommended, but optional

                                                                                    -Box of Rico Royal 2 ½ reeds Required



French Horn              Instrument loaned from RPS  - Schilke Slide Grease $ 3.95

Yamaha/Holton Double Horn - Mouthpiece Brush    $ 2.95

- Yamaha Rotor Oil    $ 10.50

                                                                                                Supplies total $ 18.40

                                                                                    All required –send check with book $


Trumpet                     -Bach 1530 or 300                  -Bach 7c mouthpiece Required

                                    -Yamaha 2335 or 200              - Al Cass Valve Oil Required



Trombone                  -Bach 300 or 301                    -Bach 12c mouthpiece Required

                                    -Yamaha 354 or 200               -Slide-O-Mix Required

                                    -King 606



Percussion                  -CB 700/8674                         -Vic Firth SD2 Bolero Sticks

                                    -Ludwig Musser- 650             -Keyboard Mallets

                                    -Vic Firth 8806                       -8” Drum Pad

Bell & Drum Pad Kit              All of the above are required



“Off-Brand” Instrument Hazards


More “new” brand names have appeared in the marketplace in the last five years than in many previous decades of musical instrument manufacture. This is due to the prevalence of mass-market catalogs, the internet, and increasing willingness of third-world manufactures without musical experience to provide “cosmetic” copies of reputable and trusted brands. The intention is to tempt the unwary consumer on a “price-only” basis, without providing basic standards of quality, serviceability, and musical sensitivity. Here is a list of dangers which “off-brand” instruments provide the unwary consumer:


  1. Repair is often extremely difficult on “off-brand” instruments. Parts are generally unavailable, or the original manufacturer cannot be reached or is no longer in business. Even small parts such as valve guides cannot be obtained, rendering the instrument unrepairable.


  1. Sometimes certain portions or sections of the instrument (such as keys and pads) are manufactured in such a way that they are forever non-adjustable or non-repairable.


  1. Often the configuration of tone holes, bore size and taper, valve slide configuration, etc., is so poorly designed that the instrument has serious intonation problems and will never play in tune, regardless of any adjustment.


  1. Many of these instruments are made of inferior woods or metals more prone to such problems as cracking, red rot or corrosion. Posts and screws may be of non-standard configuration and seams and solder joints of poor quality.


  1. Instruments purchased through non-school music dealer sources are generally not returnable, despite catalog/internet claims. There is no local reputable dealer who will back the instrument.


  1. Instruments purchased without the benefit of an evaluation by the music teacher or reputable repair shop may need more repairs than the value of the instrument. Even standard brands, purchased through non-reputable or internet sources are often not warranted, not shop-adjusted or tested in any way (no repair technicians), and may be configured improperly.


Respected brands of instruments rented or purchased through a reputable school music dealer will have none of the above problems.  They come with full exchange and return privileges, are adjustable and repairable by qualified on-site repair technicians, covered by all warranties, and backed by the guarantee of experienced school music specialists.





North Central Accredited School Since 2000
8615 Nine Mile Rd
Rockford, Michigan 49341
Telephone:  (616) 863-6140 - Fax:  (616) 863-6565

Visit our website at


          Mike Ramm                                                                   Kelly Amshey                                                      Kevin O’Rourke

         Principal                                                  Assistant Principal                              Activities Coordinator



Welcome to Rockford Band Program, we are excited to have your student as a part of an excellent program for many years. The Rockford Bands are recognized throughout the state and nation as truly outstanding performing organizations. It is our hope that the Rockford Music Program will continue to grow in quality and quantity with your student as an intricate part.


For the convenience of our beginning band parents, we will be holding an

Instrument Rental Night on Thursday September 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the Rockford HS Cafeteria, hosted by Meyer Music of Grand Rapids.  This optional meeting is for any family interested in renting an instrument for their beginning band student. At this meeting the instruments will be on display for your viewing. You will also be able to rent your student’s instrument and select appropriate supplies and accessories. Your instrument will be delivered to your student’s school ready for the first day of playing. This meeting will save you a trip to the music store. We hope many families take advantage of this meeting, as we understand how hectic the beginning of the school year can be.


If you decide to shop on your own, please refer to the “Recommended Instrument List” as a guideline. ALL of the instruments on our recommended instrument list will be available at the meeting. Greater Grand Rapids music stores are listed below alphabetically should you desire to shop on your own:


Marshall Music                                      Meyer Music

545 28th Street SW                                 2855 Lake Eastbrook Blvd

Wyoming  MI                                        Kentwood  MI

(616) 530-7700                                      (616) 975-1122


RIT Music

3870 Plainfield N.E.

Grand Rapids  MI

(616) 243-7867


We are pleased to offer this convenient opportunity and look forward to working to with your student this fall. If you have any questions feel free to contact any of us.





Rebecca Kilgore-Longtin                   Cullen McCarthy                                 Brian Phillips

East Rockford Middle                        North Rockford Middle                      Rockford High School

 School: 863-6140 ext 1252              School: 863-6300 ext. 1762              School: 863-6030