Join Concert Band
As your band teacher, it is my goal to help you find success and fall in love with your instrument. When you pick out an instrument for the first time, there are a lot of things to consider. This page will help you figure out where a good place to start might be for you. Just follow the steps as you scroll down!

Step 1: Meet the Instruments

Instruments that are taught at Bethlehem Township include the flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, snare drum and percussion accessories, and keyboard and mallet percussion. (I know - so many choices!) I want to help you find the instrument that is the best fit for you. Click the following link to learn about the instruments that you can find in our band, and to listen to a playlist to see what each instrument looks and sounds like: Meet the Instruments. 

As you watch, think about which ones sound the best to you, or just look like the most fun! At the end of the playlist, think about which three instruments were your favorites. Then come back here to look at the next step.

Step 2: Find a Match

Do you have your top three in mind? Next, we'll try to narrow it down a little bit more by learning about which instrument you will feel the most comfortable on from the very start. It can be a huge help if you already have something in common with an instrument. Below are some descriptions of each instrument that you can find in our band. Are you a good match for any of your top three instruments?

Instrument characteristics:

Flute - good hand-eye-coordination. The flute is held to the side of your head, so you must feel comfortable playing while you cannot see your fingers. It is also good to have a bit of patience when learning the flute!

Clarinet - good finger dexterity. This instrument has holes that need to be plugged up with your fingers, like a recorder, so your fingers should feel comfortable being stretched out.

Alto saxophone - good posture. This instrument uses a neck strap to help you hold it up, since it is a bit heavy. You will get the best sound when you sit with a good playing posture.

French horn - a good ear. This instrument is best for students who have a great pitch-matching ability, and good breath control as well.

Trumpet - good breath control. Students who play this instrument, as well as any brass instrument, do best when they are able to control how fast or slow their breath is.

Trombone - good breath support (and long arms!). Being able to take big, deep breaths, or hold your breath for a long time is a good sign that you will be successful at this instrument.

Baritone - good breath support (like trombone). The low brass instruments do best when you have a lot of air power!

Snare drum and percussion accessories (triangle, tambourine, etc) - a good sense of rhythm. Percussionists are able to play on tempo and count rhythms accurately.

Keyboard (piano) and mallet percussion (bell set) - good peripheral vision and hand-eye-coordination. Students do well with this instrument when they can move their hands to play while they are looking up at their music. I also highly recommend you select this only if you have a piano, keyboard, or bell set at home!

Step 3: Make a Plan

Now that you may have your top choice in mind, there are a few things you should start thinking about. 
1. How do I get an instrument?
- You may already own one, or have a hand-me-down instrument from a family member. If this is the case, you're all set! Just make sure it is in good playing condition. Try bringing it to a music store and ask if someone can look at it.
- You might think about buying an instrument online. Be careful with this option, because you do get the quality you pay for. Low quality instruments can present lots of problems, and can make a beginner instrumentalist feel especially frustrated. 
- You may choose to rent an instrument from a music store. I do highly recommend this option! This way, you know it will be a good quality, and you have a way to send it in for repairs if you need it. A lot of music stores also have rent-to-own options or different rental packages that you can choose. You can't go wrong with a music store rental! Click the following link to see rental plan options and prices for music stores in our area: Useful Links

2. Am I ready to carry this instrument with me to school and take good care of it?
- Musical instruments come in all shapes and sizes. Some may fit in your backpack, but some can be very large and clunky. There's nothing wrong with playing a large instrument, but just be prepared to carry it around school and on the bus!
- Each musical instrument has its own cleaning needs. Some have a lot of parts, and some have very few. Once we start lessons, you'll learn how to clean and care for your instrument so that it stays looking like new the whole year. 
- Different musical instruments require different materials and accessories, such as reeds, valve oil, slide oil, cleaning kits, or practice pads. Click the following link to learn about what materials your top choice instruments need: Meet the Instruments

3. When will I practice my instrument at home? 
- Practicing at home is something that I expect from each of my students. I greatly encourage you to find time every day after school to practice your instrument. Find 15 minutes you can dedicate to practicing in your regular after-school routine!
- It is important to understand that if the only time you play your instrument is in lessons at school, you will have more trouble remembering the lessons each week, and you will feel frustrated. Remember, everyone has the ability to feel confident on their instrument!
- When you practice at home, you come into your lesson feeling confident and excited to take on the new music! I want to help you feel this way every day!

Sign Up Here!

Hopefully those three steps have helped you narrow down your top choice for an instrument! The next step will be to complete the sign-up form. Click the link below to sign up! After you submit your form, I will be in touch with you to send you more information on materials you need. You can also click the tab on the left side of my page titled "Meet the Instruments" to learn about materials you need!

If you ever have any questions, you can always email me using the "Contact Me" tab here on my teacher website. I also try to put up as much info as I can on this website, so try having a look around and you just might find your answer! 

Band Sign-Up Form '21-'22