Recommended Equipment and Accessories
A high quality mouthpiece or headjoint is the first step towards achieving a more mature sound. If your student musician is playing on the mouthpiece they started beginning band, it is probably time for a step up. Often, the only thing keeping a student from really developing as a player is the instrument. The instruments a student plays on as a beginner are outgrown by high school. An intermediate or advanced instrument is designed with a more mature player in mind, helping them achieve a better tone, better sound in the higher and lower registers, and more ease in technical playing (of course, practicing is still important). There are several suggestions for instruments listed below, but there are obviously others. Be cautious of instruments that are priced very low, seem too good to be true, or are not brands easily recognized by music repair shop, private teacher, or band directors. In these cases, a new instrument can sometimes turn out to be a bigger challenge than they are worth! One of the most important things about purchasing a new instrument is knowing that it plays well. While surprising your student with a new instrument under the tree is a very thoughtful gesture, it may be better to let them try several out before purchasing or renting one.