5th Grade Band

First, sign up for 5th Grade Band. Next, contact one of the rental companies below to rent your instrument.

Lessons Schedule

Band students will have one 40-minute, group pull-out lesson, by class, per week.

Monday - Noyes

Tuesday - Haynes

Thursday - Nixon

Friday - Loring

**Lessons will begin the week of September 10 without instruments. We will begin with musical fundamentals before assembling the instruments**

**5th Grade students must choose between band and orchestra**

5th Grade Band Supplies

1. Instrument (rental information & recommended brands below)

2. Book: [Instrument] Home Helper: First Lessons at School and at Home by James Froseth.

3. Black 3 Ring Binder: 1/2 OR 1" with Plastic Sheet Protectors

Instruments can be rented from

David French Music (Westborough) https://www.davidfrenchmusic.com

Leonards Music (Bedford) https://www.leonardsmusic.com

Order online and both stores will deliver your child's instrument to their school before the first lesson!

Students should leave the instruments at school, untouched, until we go over proper care and assembly in class.

David French and Leonards Music both:

  • have an online rental form and will deliver instruments to school before the first lesson
  • rent high quality instruments (rent to own)
  • have convenient and guaranteed repair service. French's Music makes weekly visits to Sudbury. Leonards will make visits by appoint and often has a 24 hour repair turnaround. Both companies will provide a loaner instrument while yours is being serviced.
  • offer optional theft/damage insurance
  • offer trading up to a higher quality instrument as students advance
  • If ordering through Leonards be sure to check the box under "accessories" to order the book

*Please try to avoid ordering instruments from big box stores that are not name brands. While initially inexpensive, these instruments are not mechanically sound, are difficult to play, and break easily. Most music stores will not repair them due to the quality and availability of replacement parts.

If you prefer to purchase a new or used instrument in leu of a rent to own program, click here for recommended brands to consider.

How to Choose an Instrument:

Choose the instrument sound you are attracted to most. Each instrument has a unique sound and you should pick the tone you like best so you enjoy listening to it, playing it, and working on it.

Consider the playing characteristics of the instrument: playing position, how the instrument is held, and playing techniques.

Consider any physical attributes you have that may add an extra challenge to learning the instrument (for example, a large overbite or underbite, a teardrop lip, or smaller hands).

Watch this video to see students briefly talk about and

demonstrate all of the band instruments.

Check out this YouTube playlist of fun videos that showcase each instrument...




  • A woodwind instrument made of metal
  • Does not use a reed
  • Often play melody and high, decorative lines in Concert Band
  • Reads treble clef
  • A good choice if you prefer high sounds
  • Students with a large overbite or teardrop lip shape may have difficulty


  • A double reed woodwind instrument that produces a unique tone (snake charmer sound).
  • Often a small section in the band and a good choice if you like to work more independently.
  • It is highly recommended students take private lessons to supplement school group lessons due to the unique techniques of this instrument.
  • Often plays melody lines along with the flute in Concert Band
  • Reads treble clef
  • Option to switch to bassoon in middle school
  • Be prepared to purchase many reeds! Double reeds are fragile and expensive ($12-15 each!) and you will need several working reeds at a time.


  • A single reed instrument made of wood and produces a rich tone
  • Plays in all ensembles: Concert Band, Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra
  • Very large playing range -- 4 octaves!
    • Can play down low with the saxophones and up high with the flutes
  • Lots of opportunity to transfer skills to other woodwind instruments
    • Play bass clarinet (twice the size, pitched one octave lower, and plays the low parts in band!)
    • Double on saxophone and play in middle school jazz band
    • Switch to oboe (double reed instrument) in middle school
    • Switch to bassoon (double reed instrument) in middle school
  • Reads treble clef
  • A good choice if you prefer both high and low sounds

Alto Saxophone

  • A single reed instrument made of metal
  • Plays in Concert Band and Jazz Band
  • 3 octave playing range
  • Opportunities to switch to Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone in middle school.
  • Reeds treble clef



  • Highest pitched brass instrument
  • Uses a small mouthpiece
  • Plays in all ensembles: Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Symphony Orchestra
  • Very diverse sound -- can be bright and heroic or smooth and lyrical
  • Often plays melody lines in band
  • Reads treble clef
  • People with a large overbite or who have larger lips may consider Euphonium or Trombone

French Horn

  • Plays in Concert Band & Symphony Orchestra
  • Uses a small, funnel shaped mouthpiece
  • Very large playing range. Can play low with the trombones or high with the trumpets
  • Rotary valves are played with left hand (but you do not need to be left handed to play it!) The right hand is placed inside the bell and helps to change the sound of the instrument
  • Often plays interesting counter-melody lines in band
  • People with strong singing skills or piano skills may consider this instrument


  • Plays in Concert Band, Jazz Band, & Symphony Orchestra
  • Uses a large mouthpiece
  • Uses the slide to change pitch; the only brass instrument without valves!
  • Very diverse sound -- can play very boldly or with a very smooth tone
  • Often plays loud and low in Concert Band and great melodies in Jazz Band
  • Reads bass clef
  • A good choice if you prefer low sounds
  • Students who have difficulty with the trumpet mouth position may find success on trombone


  • Plays in Concert Band
  • Means “beautiful sound” in Greek
  • Small tuba - students who wish to play tuba in middle school should start on euphonium
  • Same playing range as trombone but the tone is less "edgy"; same large mouthpiece
  • Plays wonderful independent counter-melody lines and bass lines in Concert Band
  • Reads bass clef
  • Students who have difficulty with the trumpet mouth position may find success on euphonium


  • Students will start on percussion combo kit - includes Xylophone & snare drum
  • Students will play concurrently learn xylophone (a melodic instrument) & snare drum (a rhythmic instrument)
  • Xylophone is a pitched percussion instrument set up out like a piano
    • Played with mallets
    • Made of metal or wood
    • A piano background is helpful
    • Plays melody and rhythmic parts
    • Skills transfer directly to snare drum and other percussion instruments
  • Snare drum is a non-pitched rhythmic percussion instrument
    • Students should have strong rhythm skills
    • Opportunity to play drum set in middle school
    • Percussionists will learn all accessory percussion instruments in middle school including tambourine, triangle, and cymbals
  • People who have a background in playing piano may consider playing percussion