New Student Info

This information is primarily geared for students who are in 6th grade or are 7th or 8th graders who desire to start band or orchestra for the first time. Players with one or more years of experience on an instrument should contact Mr. Allen so that he can work out the proper musical placement for them.

Obtaining Instruments & Supplies

Students are responsible for obtaining their own instruments. A list of local music dealers who can provide suitable instruments is attached for you convenience.

Renting instruments: The best way for a new student to obtain an instrument is to rent one from a reputable music dealer. The instrument will either be new or reconditioned by a competent repairperson. Most dealers offer a plan, which allows you to “rent to buy”, where any rental payments you have made will apply to the purchase cost if you decide to purchase the instrument outright.

Buying new or used instruments: If you decide to buy an instrument the best place to do so is again from a reputable music dealer. It is okay to buy a used instrument but please check with Mr. Allen first about acceptable brands and instruments. If possible please ask to bring the instrument to me so that I can check it over to make sure that it is in good playing condition. Beware of buying new instruments at stores that do not specialize in musical instruments. These may not be usable in a band or orchestra, as you have no guarantee that they can be tuned with the other instruments. It can also be very difficult to get them repaired.

What if I already own or can borrow an instrument: Of course this is acceptable but again please have Mr. Allen check over the instrument to make sure that it is in good playing condition.

What will I Need?


(Flute, Clarinet, Alto or Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Snare Drum)

  1. An instrument in a case.
  2. A music stand to use when practicing at home.
  3. Supplies for maintaining and cleaning your instrument.
  4. Beginners need the following book: Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method – Book 1
  5. Clarinets and saxophones need supply of at least 3 Or 4 reeds. (I recommend that beginners start with strength 2 &1/2.)
  6. Brass players need valve or slide oil.

String Orchestra

(Violin, Viola, ‘Cello, Bass)

1.An instrument in a case. (I strongly recommend instruments with “perfection pegs.” These allow students to learn more quickly and cut down on instrument repairs.)

2.Violins and violas will need a shoulder rest

3.A music stand to use when practicing at home.

4.Supplies for maintaining and cleaning your instrument.

5.Essential Elements for Strings Book 1 (includes cd)


Area Music Dealers

High Strung Violins & Guitars

1805 W. Markham Ave Durham NC 27705

(919) 286-3801

Monday - Wednesday, Noon - 5 p.m.

Thursday - Saturday, 10 - 5 p.m.

Closed Sundays

Music & Arts

3603 Witherspoon Blvd #112, Durham, NC 27707

(919) 402-9270

Monday-Friday,10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday,10:00 am – 6:00pm

Sunday, 12:00–5:00 pm

John Allen 2014