Larissa Maguire » FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions about Band

(In no particular order)


How much does it cost?

Instrumental music instruction is absolutely FREE! Your only expense will be to provide your child with an instrument in good working order and the Measures of Success Book 1. (Clarinet and saxophone players will also need reeds on occasion in order for the instrument to work.)


How does Band work into the School Day?

The way Band works is that there be one Lesson day during the week, where they have a rotating lesson schedule. So for example, let’s say your child has their Band Lesson period 1 the first week, the next week they will have their Band Lesson period 2, the following week 3 will be period 3, etc. Lessons will never take place the same period 2 weeks in a row. The non-Band members go about their regular schedule.


Once a week, we have Big Band Rehearsals where the entire Band rehearses together. Rehearsals are the same time every week and Homeroom Teachers usually do not teach new material during that time so Band students do not miss out. In the end, your child will only be seeing me for 2 periods a week. 


What instruments do you offer?

Howell Township offers instruction in Flute, Clarinet, ALTO Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion.


What is the name of the book used in school?

4th graders & 5th graders both use Measures of Success Book 1.


My child needs more reeds. What size do I get? Where can I get them?

All clarinet & alto saxophone players should use a 2.5 strength reed.  


Reeds can be bought in any Music Store around town or online. Rico (orange box) is the perfect brand and usually the most inexpensive.


How do I get an instrument for my child?

 You may buy, rent or borrow from any source. Please note that not all instruments available for purchase are QUALITY products. 


 If you choose to rent an instrument, I have rental information for you consideration. After you have made your selection, please fill out the form completely, including payment and either mail it to the company or, register online. All rental fees are to be paid directly to the store. Please do not send payments to the school. 


If you intend to purchase an instrument from another source, (i.e. internet, etc.) 
please consult me first so I can assist you in finding a good, working instrument for your student. 


I have an instrument from {insert name of family member/friend/neighbor}. Could my child use that for Band?

Absolutely! If you have a question of whether it is in proper working order, please email me and we’ll schedule a time when your child can bring it to school and I can look it over to determine if any repairs need to be made. 


What are some examples of QUALITY instrument brand names?

  • Flute- Gemeinhardt, Yamaha, Bundy, Armstrong
  • Clarinet- Bundy, Yamaha, Buffet, Artley, Selmer, LeBlanc
  • Saxophone- Yamaha, Selmer, Bundy, King, Conn
  • Trumpet- Jupiter, Yamaha, King, Conn, Bundy
  • Trombone- Jupiter, Yamaha, King, Conn, Selmer
  • Percussion- Pearl, Yamaha, Evans, Tama

***Please email me if you need more assistance.***


Do you have any tips for buying an instrument?

I apologize in advance for my rant. When shopping on the Internet, Amazon, and eBay, I find that over 90% of the instruments for sale are low quality, without a known brand name, and a horrible choice.  Even brand name instruments are somewhat risky if you aren’t experienced at knowing what to look for.  DO NOT buy anything without a return policy.  


For starters, always avoid instruments that do not list a brand name.  Also, beware of all of the instruments that come in a variety of colors- I have never seen one that is of good quality. 


Other enticing titles to avoid are: “Band Certified”  “Educator Approved”  “80% Off”   “90% Off”  “Professional Silver Trumpet” (but no recognizable brand listed) “Concert Quality”  “Bankruptcy Sale”  “New 2022 model”  “College Pro”.

If a band instrument claiming to be new has a buy-it-now price of $99.95…... I don’t need to say more! Instruments are like buying cars. You get what you pay for.


PLEASE contact me if you have questions 
or need further information. 


My child is interested in playing Percussion. What is the drum test?

For Percussion ONLY, I ask students to see me to take a test. The Percussion Test is very simple. Students will come in and play a few examples on the drum. It will be call and response style, so I will play a little and then I will ask the student to play it back for me. It truly is no experience necessary. Usually, I will speak with students before the end of the day with my results.

***Students must have a second choice on their permission slip.***


My child wants to play the flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, or trombone; do they need a second choice?

No, only those interested in playing percussion need a second choice.


My child is in 5th grade and did not play a Band instrument in 4th grade. Can they still join the 5th Band? 

Yes they can! If a "new to Band" 5th grader would like to join the Band, there will be a Beginner lesson group made into the schedule. We go back to the basics and work to catch with everyone else. 


My 5th grade student wants to switch to a different instrument. Is that possible?

5th graders are more than welcome to switch to another woodwind or brass instrument. These 2nd year Band members would still join the Beginner lesson group. *5th grade percussion is available to only a 4th grade percussion student who has completed a full year in a school band.


We own our child's instrument and it needs repair. Can you recommend a place?

             Yes I can! Please email me for details.


My child has expressed interest in private lessons. Can you recommend someone?

            Why, yes- I can! Please email me for details.


I would like to speak with you, what is your phone number/extension?

It is very hard to give an exact time of when I am available. My schedule changes daily and hourly of what building I go to and how long I am there for. Some days I travel to BOTH schools in one day! Therefore, if you need to have a phone conversation with me- please email me with a time and number to contact you and I will do my best to contact you in a timely manner. My email is: [email protected]