Initial Beginning Band instruction is offered in the 6th grade year.
- 6th Grade Beginning Band: Sixth grade beginning band classes meet daily for the full year. Sixth grade beginning band classes meet by instrument groupings (brass, woodwind and percussion).
Initial Beginning Strings instruction is offered at the beginning of the fifth grade year with a second opportunity to enroll in the sixth grade year. Students who complete 5th grade strings can continue string instruction by enrolling in 6th Grade Strings in middle school.
- 5th Grade Beginning Strings: Each week, students will have strings four days per week, two days per week before school and two days per week during the instructional day.
- 6th Grade Beginning Strings: Sixth grade beginning strings classes meet daily for the full year.
- 6th Grade Strings: Sixth grade strings classes meet daily for the full year. This course is designed for students in their second year of string instruction. Completion of 5th Grade Strings is required to enroll in this course.
Getting to know the instruments
In the year prior to the beginning level classes (fourth grade for strings and fifth grade for band), pre-initiation activities are scheduled to build increased interest in these experiences and better prepare students for their first full year of band and strings instruction. These activities are designed to give a thorough introduction to instruments, allow students time to try them out and build excitement around the band and orchestra programs.
Instrument selection process
Band and strings instructors work with students to select an instrument prior to enrollment in beginning band or strings.
To learn more about the beginning band and strings instruments and the benefits of band and strings, click here.
Acquiring an instrument
There are different ways to acquire an instrument. You’ll learn more about these options from your teacher.
- Rent: You can rent an instrument from a local music store and often build equity toward the eventual purchase.
- Purchase: If you choose to buy a used instrument, please let your teacher know. They can assist with the selection of a high quality instrument to help avoid poor choices.
- Borrow: Collaboratively with the Blue Valley Educational Foundation, there are a limited number of instruments for students who demonstrate need. Contact your teacher for more information.
The following listing of instrument brands has been compiled by the Blue Valley Schools band and orchestra staff to assist parents in selecting an instrument to rent or purchase. In addition, the accessories needed for each instrument are listed.
Beginning Band Instrument Specifications
Beginning String Instrument Specifications
There is no need to obtain an instrument until school begins in the fall. It is recommended that students wait to begin playing the instrument they select until classes begin to prevent establishing incorrect playing habits.