It is a common misconception that any student can play any instrument if they just work hard enough. While a strong work ethic is definitely a requirement for any successful musician, every student has physical characteristics that make them better suited for some instruments and less suited for others. Therefore, it is important to match students with instruments on which they will have the greatest chance of success.
A concert band must have a precise balance of instruments to create a good sound; much like a good cake recipe must contain a perfect balance of ingredients to taste good. No instrument is necessarily easier or more difficult than any other, but each instrument will present its own challenges over time. Weekly private lessons for all band students are encouraged, but not required.
At the beginning level, Norwood band students study one of four basic wind instruments: flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone. All beginning band students will be required to play a wind instrument in fifth grade and all students will be introduced to percussion instruments. At the end of the first year of study, those students who have made significant progress on their wind instrument and ensemble skills will have the opportunity to audition to move to oboe, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, or percussion for the next level of study in sixth grade. Students will have the opportunity to try-out each instrument before making their selections. Parents and students are asked to make a commitment for at least a full year so students can develop basic skills, and the director can make an adequate evaluation.
Please read the information below to help guide your student in the selection of an instrument best suited for them.