We hear it all the time

My child Is starting music in the fall -  What do I need to do?

If your child is starting band this fall, we know you will have a lot of questions such as:

  • How do we get an instrument?
  • What all will we need?
  • Will they like it?
  • Will they stick with it?
  • What should they play?

Take a deep breath, O’Malley Musical Instruments are here to help you!

Children love music class – everyone loves music, but they have to practice. We all want to be good, but we get discouraged and disinterested when we don’t make regular progress. The answer to progressing and succeeding as a musician is practice. Most beginning band students have to do about twenty minutes practice, at least five days a week. This not only gets your child used to the instrument but it builds on muscular development in playing an instrument and the psychomotor development to take place. The first few weeks are the hardest, not only for the child but the parents as well, hearing those off notes can wear thin, but after all, this is an academic, credit bearing class, and your child’s grade will be part of his GPA. Give it time and soon you and your child will have fun with music together.

Your band director at school may have made this choice for you based on your child and if so simply follow that advice. However, if you’re curious, or want help, we are happy to assist you. Choosing an instrument isn’t what looks cool or in trend, it’s actually a scientific process. The choice if instrument is more governed by your child’s features such as face, mouth, lips, jaw and teeth. We can evaluate what your child likes and what suits them along with their physical characteristics. That way, your child has the best chance for enjoyment and success. A student’s size and face structure may make some instruments easier than others. Mouthpiece testing can give you a lot of insight into what might work best, or what might present a little extra challenge to your child.

  • Keep an open mind. It’s hard to decide what you’d like to play if you’ve never played before. Almost 70% of the students we mouthpiece test end up playing something other than what they envisioned, and they leave happy, excited, and confidently succeed with their instrument.
  • A mouthpiece only is not enough. Your child should hold the instrument to see if it fits in their hands. Many 6th graders are too small to play saxophone comfortably, even if they can make a great sound on the mouthpiece. A student who is on the smaller side can start on clarinet and switch over to sax easily when it’s more comfortable and they will be a better sax player because of the time spent on clarinet. It’s an easy switch because clarinet and sax have similar mouthpieces and fingering.

What are my options in purchasing an instrument?
Just buying an instrument online is not a good option as many of these do not meet school standards, plus parts are not available should repairs be necessary. A quality beginning instruments can be rented for very reasonable rates, and will give your child a much better chance of success.

So which do I do, rent, lease or buy?
Every family that walks through our door has a different family budget, but be sure you understand the type of contract you’re considering. Beware of the ‘rent to rent’ or ‘lease to learn’ options which may not give you credit towards the final purchase. These could mean that you could be paying for years and never actually own an instrument. Also look carefully at the length of the contract. A contract that goes on and on for fifty, sixty or even a hundred months means you’re paying several times more for the instrument than you could elsewhere.

Flexibility is important. Our cash purchase plan offers parents discounts off list price and is the least expensive way to get an instrument. The good news is it’s also very flexible as we will buy the instrument back at any time, or if the bad director says another instrument would be better for your child, you get a like for like swap.

Our Rent to Own is also very flexible. Reasonable monthly payments with a return option any time, up to thirty-six months in most cases to own the instrument, or a huge discount for early payoff.

Whether you rent or purchase from O’Malley Musical Instruments, all of your monthly payments may be applied towards a step up or professional instrument of any brand we carry, at any time.

Other than getting a good quality, named brand beginning instrument, there are very few things your child should need.
  1. First, the textbook, or method book, of the band directors choice.
  2. Cleaning items, to keep your instrument free of bacteria and in optimum playing condition.
  3. A folding stand so your student can continue to use proper posture and playing position at home whilst practicing.
Additionally, if your student plays clarinet or saxophone, your band director will let you know how many reeds you should have plus what brand and what strength they prefer. If your child plays oboe or bassoon, we recommend at least three reeds (double reeds are very weather reactive and it’s best not to use a reed on a day it just doesn’t want to work well). We also recommend a reed soaker, as reeds should be soaked in water for a full 5 minutes before playing. This will make them last longer. Above all, your child needs your support and enthusiasm. The first few weeks, before playing their instrument becomes a reward in itself, your child will need your encouragement – overseeing their practice and instrument care, helping them develop good habits, and reassuring them that their hard work will bring years of enjoyment.

If your child is entering middle school, congratulations, these are wonderful years. Problem is that there are so many choices to make, including what classes to take. By choosing a music class such as band, you are making a decision that will benefit your child tremendously, not only in middle school, but throughout their school career, and even beyond. Here are just a few of the many research studies that show you just how important studying music is.

Increase in academic performance
One year of music participation show an 11% increase in academic performance
Two years show an increase of 14%
Three years show an increase of 17%
Four years of music participation show an average increase of 23%.

Students studying arts coursework
Students in music classes scored, on average, 50 to 100 points higher than students with no arts coursework. The difference in scores becomes more dramatic as the years of music participation increase.

Significantly higher levels of mathematical proficiency
Students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematical proficiency by 12th grade. In addition, differences in mathematics proficiency between students consistently involved versus not involved in instrumental music grew significantly over time.

Music is frequently described as a force for building character
When teenagers were asked to express the life benefits of their music study, the most frequently mentioned skill was self-discipline, with students acknowledging that the hard work and dedication that are essential to participation in school music groups teach the valuable lesson that if ‘you stick with something and practice,’ the rewards will be many. Other students conceded that the concentration required for learning music and the process of memorizing music pieces had honed those skills in other areas of their schoolwork. Music was frequently described as a force for building one’s character, and many students expressed their belief that music was capable of directing them in shaping their broader sense of self, who they were becoming, and how they might succeed in the world. The students highlighted confidence, responsibility, compassion, pride, patience, and respect as aspects of their character they feel they owe, at least in part, to music.

Music will benefit your child in ways that no other academic subject will.

Beginning Band Rental

A simple & affordable rental program

We have an educational rep & specialist who visits the school weekly to ensure our instruments are in top playing condition.
more info

What Instrument?

Would you like to Play

If you make the right choice now, you’ll get the best from this exciting world of band music.
Help is here

Parents Guide

You probably have a lot of questions

O’Malley instruments are here to help not only your child but make sure you, the parent is happy as well.
Find answers here

Beginning Band Lease Purchase

O’Malley Musical Instrument Lease

Simply follow the steps & complete the form and we will be back in touch with you as soon as possible.
Start here