• 6th Grade Band:  Frequently Asked Questions


     What instruments can I choose from?

    All students will select flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone to begin the 6th grade year.


     What instruments can I play other than flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and percussion?

    Woodwind instruments include: oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet and alto saxophone. Brass instruments include horn, euphonium and tuba.


     When and how can I switch to a different instrument?

    Your child’s director will let you know when instrument switches are available, and will also communicate the requirements and procedures for switching. 


     How much does it cost to participate in band?

    Rental costs can range from $25.00 to $50.00 per month depending on the type of instrument, brand, and condition. AISD approved vendors offer rent-to-own programs, whereby at the end of the rental agreement, the family owns the instrument (rental payments can also typically be transferred when upgrading to a higher-quality model). Some recurring costs are involved (reeds, lubricants, school-owned instrument rental fees, method books, etc.), as well as the purchase of start-up supplies (varies per instrument); but this is a one-time cost for many items.


     Can we use any instrument we want?

    For quality control, it is important that parents be willing to rent or purchase a director-approved instrument. Ask your child’s director for assistance if looking at an instrument not shown on the AISD approved list.


     What are the practice expectations?

    Please remember that band is a graded class, and home practice is required. Students are expected to practice 20 minutes or more at least 5 days a week (number of minutes practiced = weekly practice grade). Consistent, disciplined practice is the key to success in band.


     Are private lessons offered?

    Yes. AISD contracts an outstanding group of professionals who specialize in the instruction of your child’s instrument. Lessons are strongly encouraged, and may be arranged at any point during a student’s band experience, for a reasonable price.


     When is a good time to upgrade my student’s instrument?

    Sometimes late in 6th grade, but more typically in 7th or 8th, depending on your student’s interest and skill level. Please consult your child’s director for help in this process.