School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

Band Instruments

ABOUT BAND INSTRUMENTS (If you came here for information about other instruments used in our school programs you should speak directly to your child’s music teacher as each school has its own way of doing things.)

WHICH INSTRUMENTS? Beginning Band students are generally given the opportunity to select either Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet or Trombone. These wind instruments share a number of aspects of technique and lead to further study on both themselves and on the wider selection of instruments represented in a Concert Band. This wider selection includes such instruments as Piccolo, Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone, French Horn, Bass Trombone, Tuba and a few more. Percussionists are often needed but generally borrowed from the wind section players. While Middle and Secondary School Jazz Bands require Guitar, Bass, Piano and Drum Set players, those instruments do not share the tone production challenges of beginning wind instrument technique. This leads us to recommend that all students in a beginning band class learn on Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet or Trombone.

WHERE TO GET ONE: If you are considering the purchase of a used or new instrument you will want to be sure that you are getting good value. That is a good quality instrument in good working order for a fair price.  Any of the dealers on the Music Stores page should be able to offer those. If you plan to purchase from a smaller, less specialized business or privately you might want to have at least a rough appraisal by someone who knows what instruments are worth and what it might cost to put them in good working order. This would be particularly important if you find a bargain at a pawn shop, thrift store or similar business. OMUS Band Instrument Repair (1-800-681-8666) in Kelowna; Valley Wind and Reed (860-7879) in Kelowna; and the repair department of Wentworth in Kelowna are all qualified repair businesses with trained technicians who could estimate any necessary repair work.  Make sure that at the very least you have a more advanced student play the instrument to see if it works.

Borrowing an instrument is often a good way to get one. Before you do that you should determine whether the instrument is in playable condition and come to an agreement with its owner about maintenance and possible related costs.

If your family cannot afford to purchase an instrument the District Music program can make one of its instruments available through your school music teacher.

If you’re planning on renting or buying for a course starting in September, its a good idea to get an early start – particularly if you have a particular quality or price in mind.

WHERE TO SELL ONE: If you have an instrument to sell the best time to do so would be the end of August or the beginning of September. That’s when students beginning in band – your best potential buyers – are looking and are most likely to respond to your advertisements.