A high quality instrument makes a tremendous difference in the success of the musician. During the initial years, students are placed on beginning instruments that were manufactured to withstand the punishment of a young, inexperienced student while maintaining an ease of sound production. Typically these instruments do not produce adequate tone and intonation for a more experienced musician due to the materials and construction.
Purchasing an instrument is much like purchasing a car. Some manufacturers produce quality instruments with a wide range of models; however, some manufacturers produce poor quality instruments that will hinder the student’s performance and require consistent repairs even if they are labeled as “Professional Instruments”.
Many times the decision of the purchase should be based on personal preference on how it plays rather than how it looks. If the instrument is known to be of quality construction, comfortable when you play it, produces a good tone quality, and plays well in tune then you should consider that instrument. The problem is most high school students do not have the experience or resources of playing many different instruments in order to form an opinion. For this reason, we would like to provide guidance for the student to consider; however, we recommend the student try the recommended equipment to insure it will be something that will satisfy their needs. Remember, this is an investment as well as a personal decision.
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The following list of equipment contains models we have found to be of high quality. It is not the ONLY instruments we recommend but a solid start to someone looking to upgrade their instrument. Feel free to contact the directors if you have questions about other brands or models that are not listed below.
The list below will constantly be updated with new information. You may notice some sections being incomplete.
- Vandoren AL3 and TL3
- Selmer C*
- Schilke (51D for tenor)