Choosing an Instrument

    Welcome to concert band!  Thank you for expressing interest in signing up for concert band.  Your child can look forward to many hours of enjoyment and challenge as he or she learns or continues to learn one of the concert band instruments. 

    Please look over the information below with some details about each instrument.  Further information about what accessories and books are needed for each instrument can be found on the Instrument and Accessories Information page.

    A PDF of the form to sign your child up for band is here.  Please email me with any questions or comments at cmissett@scarsdaleschools.org.

    Woodwind Instruments:

    B-flat Clarinet

    All third graders have had some experience trying the clarinet.

    Alto Saxophone

    This instrument is usually the easiest for beginning woodwind player  The alto saxophone can be heavy for children who are smaller than average 4th graders and can be challenging to get the whole left hand around.  If your child is interested in alto saxophone, but small for his or her age, he or she can play clarinet in the 4th grade and then switch to alto saxophone in the 5th grade (or even play clarinet in 4th and 5th and then switch to alto saxophone in 6th). 


    Flute is a very popular instrument and the lightest of all the band instruments.  It can be very challenging in the beginning to get a clear sound out of this instrument - sometimes it takes most of the 4th grade year to get the notes to sound clearly and consistently.  Holding the flute correctly and learning the finger placement and memorization of finger positions on the flute is also more challenging than learning these skills on the clarinet or alto saxophone.  Flute requires daily playing to keep the connection between the player and the head joint solid and consistent.


    By far the most challenging woodwind instrument.  Requires dedication, real physical effort to get a sound and a good musical ear.

    Brass Instruments:


    This instruments is usually the easiest for the beginning brass player.  Trumpet requires daily playing to keep the embouchure muscles in good enough shape to hit the higher notes we will be learning.

    Baritone Horn

    All third graders have had at least a bit of experience trying the baritone horn.

    Horn in F (French Horn)

    By far the most challenging brass instrument.  Requires real attention to intonation. 


    Most of the percussion curriculum in 4th and 5th grade focuses on snare drum  technique and basic drum skills (rudiments).  We do not play drum set in concert band.  We also learn to play the bell set and to read music for the bell set.

    Percussion is sometimes limited to three students per grade per year.  Tryouts are held the second or third week of June.  Results will be announced shortly thereafter.  Please put down a second choice instrument if your child"s first choice is percussion.


    String Instruments:

    String instruments are part of the orchestra.  Please go to Mr. Orengo"s page for details about the strings program.