Your first reaction “MY KID WANTS TO DO WHAT?“ when that letter comes home saying that your child, that sweet little person you helped bring into this world wants to be in the band at school.
Where did this idea come from? How am I going to pay for it? Those are your first thoughts, especially if no one else in the family has ever been in band before.
Take a deep breath!
Listen to your child.
Listen to your child’s band director, even if you were in band in high school. Things have changed in those couple of years since then, instruments have improved and brands have changed.
Remember, the band director went to school a long time to become the expert in his/her field and keeps up with the most recent improvements in the industry. Listen to their recommendations.
As I have stated before, many more things other than music are taught in band.
Check out this YouTube video about some other people and where band has taken them.
Where Do I Get A Band Instrument?
The first place to start is with your band director. He/she can guide you to a reputable music store that has a rental program. They possibly know about good used instruments that former students have for sale.
Just remember, your child can not learn if the instrument does not work properly. Check with your repairman. Some brand can not be repaired. Instruments that are bought in the same place you buy milk and replacement lawn mower blades are examples of non-repairable instruments, band directors call them ISO (instrument shaped object).
Some schools have instruments the beginners can check out, for a small fee, for the first year so check with your band director. Remember the director is the expert and knows what services the school and community have to offer.
Do Not Say NO!
Please do not tell your child no. You don’t know where this opportunity may lead. Music educators are not out to turn everyone into a professional musician. We are here to create informed consumers and music appreciators.
Sure, I have former students who are working as band directors, church musicians, composers, and every other field you can think of in music. But I also have more students playing in community bands and church orchestras and working in other fields than working as musicians.
They thank me all the time for instilling a love of music that they are using well into adulthood.
Please, please, PLEASE, let your child explore music through band. It may be the best class they ever take.
If you have a positive experience in band you would like to share, please do so in the comments below. If you would like to just give a shout out to your favorite band director, feel free. Maybe we know him or her.