Beginning Band Handbook Supplement

DMS Bands

Mandatory Parent Meeting


(Required attendance to participate in the beginning band 2016-2017)

When: Thursday, August 25

Where:  Discovery Middle School band room (room 300)

Time:  8:00pm-8:30 pm (immediately following Back to School Night)

Please plan to attend this meeting.  It is a very important parent informational meeting regarding financial obligation, physical characteristics, and commitment of playing a band instrument.  PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE AN INSTRUMENT AT THIS TIME.  Students will be exploring many of the band instruments during the first few weeks of school.

  If you are unable to attend please contact Mrs. Whelan to set up a time for a meeting.

Materials needed before we begin using band instruments:  3-ring binder (1-inch); recorder; pencil

Instrument Selection Process

Selection Guide to Instrument Brands and Accessories 

All students must purchase a wire music stand for proper practice at home and the “Essential Elements interactive” band method –book one.  Percussion must purchase a metronome and stick bag.


  Brand names include Gemeinhardt 52SP, Armstrong 102 (closed), Trevor James 10X (closed), Jupiter and Yamaha Advantage.  Ac­cessories include a pad-saver swab and a treated cloth.  Flutes should be made of silver plate, have rolled tone holes, and should be 1) open-holed with plugs or 2) closed holed.


  Brand names include Selmer 1492, Yamaha ob211, and Fox.  Accessories include a swab, cork grease, 1 plastic reed and 2 wooden reeds (medium soft.) Small water container to soak reeds. We strongly encourage all beginning oboe students to study privately be­cause of the intricacies involved in playing this instrument.  Music lessons strongly recommended.


  Accessories include a leather seat strap, cleaning swab set that includes drop swabs for the boot and wing joint, 1 plastic reed and 2 wooden reeds (medium soft.)  Small water container to soak reeds. We strongly encourage all beginning bassoon students to study privately because of the intricacies involved in playing this instrument.  Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage fee.  School-owned.  Music lessons strongly recommended.


  Brand names include Selmer CLSOL300, Yamaha Advantage, Vito 7214, Buffet B-12, Jupiter and the “Prelude” Michael Lomax or Vandoren 5RV Lyre Professional mouthpiece.  Accessories should include a silk swab, four Vandoren or Rico Royal # 2 ½- 3 reeds, Vandoren reed case, Claricord neck strap, cork grease, and a Rovner ligature + cap & one package of mouthpiece guards.

Bass Clarinet

  Accessories include a Generic Mouthpiece, Rovner ligature, four Vandoren Java tenor sax reeds # 2 ½, cork grease, one package of mouthpiece guards and a pull through swab.  Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage fee.  School-owned.

Saxophone (Alto Sax & Tenor Sax)

  Brand names include Conn, Vito, Yamaha, Jupiter and Selmer.  Accessories in­clude a pull through swab, wide padded neck strap, four #2 ½ or medium reeds, one package of mouthpiece guards, Vandoren reed case, cork grease, Rovner ligature + cap, and Selmer C* mouthpiece is strongly suggested.  A “Prelude” Michael Lomax alto sax or tenor sax mouthpiece is also acceptable.

Baritone Saxophone is School-owned accessories are the same as for alto and tenor.  Harness neck strap, Yamaha 5C Bari Mouthpiece with Rovner ligature + cap & one package of mouthpiece guards.  Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage fee. 

French Horn

Accessories include a Farkas medium deep cup or #11 mouthpiece, tuning slide grease, rotary valve oil, soft non-treated cleaning cloth and a mouthpiece brush.  The brand names we recommend for rent/purchase include Conn, Holton, King, Jupiter and Yamaha.  Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage fee. School-owned but, you can rent to own also.  Music lessons strongly recommended.


  Brand names include Bach TBSOL300, Jupiter or Yamaha Advantage.  Accessories include a #5C mouthpiece, a cleaning snake, tuning slide grease, valve oil, soft non-treated cleaning cloth and mouthpiece brush. 


  Brand names include Bach TBSOL300, King 606 ,  Jupiter and Yamaha Advantage.  Accessories include a #6 ½ AL mouthpiece, a cleaning snake, tuning slide grease, cream/water slide lubricant (Trombotine)with very small spray bottle OR the Slide-O-Mix slide lubricant, soft non-treated cleaning cloth, and a  mouth­piece brush

Euphonium/Baritone Horn

  Accessories include a #6 ½ AL, tuning slide grease, valve oil, soft non-treated cleaning cloth and a mouthpiece brush.  The brand names we recommend include Conn, Holton, King and Yamaha.  Do not purchase a “small sized” euphonium/baritone .Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage feeSchool-owned but, you can rent to own also.


  Accessories include a Conn-Selmer 120S Helleberg 120 Standard Tuba Mouthpiece, tuning slide grease, valve oil, soft non-treated cleaning cloth and a mouthpiece brush.  A bank deposit pouch or small make-up bag works well for storing/transporting accessories.  Students will need to pay LPS $150.00 for the yearly usage fee.  School-owned.


  Percussionists will be expected to rent/purchase the “Ross” R 409 three octave marimba which comes with a stick caddy.  This is a large instrument which will stay at home and only come to school when there are band concerts or performances.  The school will provide the Ross marimba instruments at school for rehearsals.  This instrument rents for about $75.00 a month (similar cost for those playing the saxophone).  In addition, students will need to purchase the “Remo” tunable drum practice pad with stand, one pair of Vic Firth SD1General drum sticks, stick bag, one pair of medium marimba mallets and a metronome.  Music lessons strongly recommended because they are learning two instruments

Instrument Rental Week

Beginning Band 2016--2017

Liberty Public Schools –Middle Level Band

Monday September 26 thru Sunday, October 2

Meyer Music in Liberty (Price Chopper, 896 MO-291) 816-746-0500

Palen Music (112 N Water St) 816-792-8301,

Musician’s Choice(1520 N Church Rd) 816-781-9700

(Come and go when you can)

Representatives from Meyer Music, Palen Music, and Musician’s Choice will be available to sell or rent instruments.  The rental program is a “rent to own” system.  The band staff will also be available to answer any questions you might have through e-mail or phone.

These three companies have been approved to rent to you by the Liberty Public Schools.  They are going to rent to you the instruments the band staff has approved.  The criteria for approval are based on a positive experience with these brands and models.  Each company sends a representative to the buildings weekly.  If your instrument requires maintenance, they will come to your child’s building, pick up the instrument, have it fixed at their store, and return it to the building.  Unless the repair is major, it usually takes about a week.  You are certainly welcome to shop around for a better deal but, it must be an approved instrument from our supplies list or recommended brand.  If a repair is needed on an instrument purchased elsewhere, you will have to take it to the store for the repair and then pick it up.

If you already own an instrument that your child intends to use, bring it by or send it to school with your child so it can be checked.  Instruments do need some routine maintenance.  If it is in need of a checkup, now is the time.  If you send it in now for repair, your child will miss little or no instruction.  An instrument that doesn’t work properly is as frustrating for your child as your car breaking down is for you!

Beginning band method books will also be available for purchase.  We are using “Essential Elements Interactive”, Book 1.  If you already own an instrument but need the book and a music stand, please feel free to drop by one of the stores to make your purchase.  All percussionists are required to purchase a metronome.

If you have any questions, please call your teacher at school.


We strongly advise you not to purchase instruments from department stores or discount stores.  Buying an instrument that is not a recognized brand will cost you less money – much less money – in the short term but will cause you nothing but headaches down the road.

Experience is showing us that these instruments:

-- are of inferior workmanship.  Trumpet valves stick and can’t be fixed.  Woodwind keys don’t line up with the appropriate opening causing leaks that can’t be fixed.  Trombone slides are made of such poor quality material that dents become holes and can’t be fixed.

--are constructed of inferior metal content.  Metal content in brass instruments and saxophones is what makes their characteristic sound.  If an instrument doesn’t have the characteristic sound because of construction, nothing the teacher does can fix it – no matter how hard the teacher or student tries.

--have tone holes which are not drawn – they are drilled (While this makes no sense to most of you, it is devastating to the sound of the instrument.  Cheaper by far but the player can’t play in tune so therefore can’t blend with anyone else.)

--are not built to withstand any accidental bumps.  Instruments get bumped.  Name brand companies know that and build their equipment to withstand it.  Inferior brands can’t take any bumps, even the ones that are normal to a 6th grader.

Many parents are hesitant to purchase an instrument until they know if the student is going to remain interested or show any aptitude.  Our vendors and teachers understand completely.  Because of that, all our vendors will cheerfully accept an instrument that is returned and you stop payment immediately.  What you have lost is the rent on the number of months you have had the instrument.

In the meantime, your student has gotten a fair evaluation of their ability because the instrument hasn’t held them back.  Buying an inferior instrument will not give them this opportunity.

One other major consideration is repair.  Department and discount stores do not offer you any type of maintenance or repair.  Our vendors will not repair the instruments if there is a problem because they can’t guarantee the repair will hold.  In this case, no one is happy, the instrument doesn’t work, and the student is out of luck.

As you shop, please consider the following brands.  They are tried and true and won’t hold your student back.

Gemeinhardt, Armstrong, Trevor James,  Selmer, Jupiter, Buffet, Bundy, Fox, LeBlanc, Yamaha, Vito, Bach, Conn, King, Getzen, Blessing, Holton, Benge, Besson, Miraphone, Musser, Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, Rogers, Vic Firth.

This is a case where you truly “get what you pay for”.