Flute

The flute is the smallest of the beginner instruments. It is a very popular selection each year. Flute reads music in Treble clef.

Physical CharacteristicsFlute players should have a slight "frown" to the upper lip with NO tear drop shape in the middle. Flute tones are produced by being able to focus an extremely small airstream to an exact location on the tone hole. The teardrop-shaped lip will make it difficult to direct the air so precisely. Flute players should also have agile fingers for moving this multi-keyed instrument through a fast musical passage. Students with extreme overbites should avoid choosing flute as this makes it difficult to produce quality sounds. Flute players should have a large lung capacity.

Other Considerations: Student with double-jointed fingers should avoid selecting flute as double-jointedness can cause lack of agility in the fingers. 

 

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15% of students will be selected for FLUTE

FLUTE PERSONALITY: Conscientious

 

Clarinet

The clarinet uses a "single reed" and a mouthpiece to produce the sound. Willingness to purchase or rent a director-recommended clarinet is a MUST! Unfortunately, there are some clarinets on the market whose poor design and craftsmanship make it next to impossible to succeed. Mr. Needleman can help you avoid that pitfall. Clarinet reads music in Treble clef.

Physical Characteristics: One necessity of clarinet tone production is the ability to make the chin flat. Orthodontia is okay, but if a student has an extremely rounded bottom row of teeth the mouthpiece will be hard to place in the proper position for tone production.

Other Considerations: Instruction on clarinet can be meticulous. Students who are able to focus and perform a detailed series of instructions could do well on clarinet. Students who have difficulty remembering a series of instructions should avoid playing clarinet. Clarinet players are responsible for maintaining a working stock of 2-4 quality reeds (Rico 2.5/LaVoz Med. Soft/ Vandoren 2) . Clarinet students will have the opportunity after their first year of instruction to audition for Bass Clarinet (based on their own proven musical and behavioral abilities while learning clarinet).

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24% of students will be selected for CLARINET

CLARINET PERSONALITY: Focused

 
 

Alto Saxophone

The alto saxophone gives the impression of being both a brass AND woodwind instrument, however it is indeed considered a woodwind instrument. The alto saxophone (which uses a single reed like the clarinet) is a very popular instrument like flute and only a few students will be chosen to play it. All saxophones read music in treble clef.

Physical Characteristics: Since the balance of the saxophone is maintained by the use of a neck strap, it is extremely important that students be able to sit up completely straight when asked to.

Other Considerations: Saxophone players are responsible for maintaining a working stock of 2-4 quality reeds (Rico 2.5/LaVoz Med. Soft/ Vandoren 2). Alto Saxophone students will have the opportunity after their first year of instruction to audition for Tenor Sax or Baritone Sax (based on their own proven musical and behavioral abilities while learning alto saxophone).

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10% of students will be selected for SAXOPHONE

SAXOPHONE PERSONALITY: Mellow

 
 

Trumpet 

The trumpet is the smallest member of the brass family. The sound on trumpet is produced by buzzing into a small mouthpiece. Trumpet reads music in treble clef.

Physical CharacteristicsWhile orthodontia is somewhat troublesome at first to a trumpet player, it is not impossible to make good sounds with braces. A slight overbite is okay, but an underbite can severely hinder progress on trumpet. Trumpet players come in all shapes and sizes.

Other ConsiderationsTrumpet parts usually have the melody, therefore students who choose and are selected for trumpet should exhibit a confident demeanor, strong personality, and demonstrate a high level of self-motivation. Trumpet players, like all musicians (especially brass), should be able to match pitches vocally.

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13% of students will be selected for TRUMPET

TRUMPET PERSONALITY: Confident

 
 

French Horn

The French Horn is also a member of the brass family. Its sound is produced by buzzing into a small mouthpiece similar to a trumpet. Students will be tested on ability to match pitch through singing; only the top scores will be selected to play French Horn. Students with good “musical ears” should consider French Horn. French Horn reads music in Treble clef.

Physical Characteristics: A slight overbite is okay, but an underbite can severely hinder progress on French Horn. Because the bell of the French Horn rests on the knees of the player while playing, it is imperative that a student's upper torso be long enough to accommodate the size of the French Horn to make good sounds and that players be able to demonstrate sitting straight up when asked to do so. The French Horn's keys are played with the LEFT hand, while the right hand cups inside the bell.
Other ConsiderationsBecause of the difficult nature of French Horn notes, students should exhibit GREAT ability to match sung or played pitches by humming and singing. Perhaps this is a good instrument choice for students who have participated in piano lessons or choir groups. Students with a history of academic or behavioral problems will NOT be selected for French Horn. 

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8% of students will be selected for FRENCH HORN

FRENCH HORN PERSONALITY: Academic

 

Trombone

Trombone players should also have good "musical ears.” The trombone is played like the other brass instruments (buzzing into a cup-shaped mouthpiece), but uses a slide instead of valves. The slide is not marked or notched and players rely on their memory and hearing to tell if they are in the EXACT proper location. Trombone reads music in bass clef.

Physical Characteristics: While some might think that trombone players must have long arms, the truth is there are numerous accommodations that make it possible for students of all shapes and sizes to play. A slight overbite is acceptable, while an extreme under bite would hinder success. Trombone players should have slightly fuller lips than average.
 
Other Considerations:  Great trombone playing takes good concentration and study. Many quiet academically-minded students have excelled at trombone.
 

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8% of students will be selected for TROMBONE

TROMBONE PERSONALITY: Analytical

 

 

Euphonium / Baritone Horn

The euphonium is a member of the brass family and looks like a small version of a tuba. Its sound is similar to that of a trombone, but it uses valves like a trumpet instead of a slide like trombone. Euphonium reads music in bass clef.

Physical Characteristics: Euphonium players should have moderately full lips, but not too full. A SLIGHT overbite is okay, but an underbite would hinder a good sound. The euphonium requires a medium-sized hand span to reach the valves and students should have an above average lung capacity.

Other Considerations: Students with an above average amount of orthodontia will find the mouthpiece of the euphonium a bit more comfortable than trumpet or French Horn. 

 
 

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4% of students will be selected for EUPHONIUM

EUPHONIUM PERSONALITY: Artistic

Tuba

While many believe the tuba is the largest instrument in band and would be hard to physically manage, the tubas used for beginners are smaller in size and somewhat easier to handle. Tuba reads music in bass clef.

Physical Characteristics: Tuba players need to have full lips and a large lung capacity. While the size of the student doesn't matter TOO much, a long torso helps a student reach the mouthpiece of the tuba while resting the bottom of the tuba on the edge of their chair or across their lap.

Other Considerations: The tuba provides the musical foundation for the band and requires players that are self-motivated over-achievers. Students with a history of academic and behavior trouble should not consider the tuba as the ability of the tuba players to be consistently study their own part is heavily relied upon by the entire band.

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1% of students will be selected for TUBA

TUBA PERSONALITY: Unique

Percussion

Just because you are always tapping on things does not mean that you are a natural percussionist. In fact, the percussion section is the most select, hand-picked section in the band. Only students with the most focus, background of success in other music lessons lessons, and extremely high gross and fine motor skills will be considered for percussion. Percussion reads music in Treble, Bass and Percussion clefs.

Physical Characteristics: Students should exhibit a great deal of coordination in gross and fine motor skills. The ability to have hands and feet tapping consistently at different rates is essential.

Other Considerations: The study of percussion includes pitched percussion: bells, xylophone, marimba, and timpani drums as well as un-pitched instruments such as: triangle, tambourine, maracas, claves and many other instruments.

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ONLY 5-6 students will be selected for PERCUSSION

PERCUSSION PERSONALITY: Coordinated