FAQ's for Band Parents

It can be a daunting task for parents that are new to the world of school band and orchestra to know where to begin to get information about their child's musical needs. The best place to start is with their band or orchestra director. They will help with some of the questions that parents have regarding which instrument is best fitted to their child and how to go about acquiring the instrument. The following are some of the more common questions that parents ask us after their child has received their instrument:

Q. What does the teacher mean when they tell me to purchase #2 reeds? Do they come in inches?

A. What the teacher is referring to is the strength of the reed. The lower the number the softer the reed is and the easier it is to get a tone. The higher the number the harder the reed is, the harder it is to get a tone but the fuller and stronger the sound becomes. The progression is at the directors or teachers recommendation.

Q. What do you mean I have to give the trumpet a bath?

A. As your student plays their trumpet it will acquire a build up in the valve casings, inside the trumpet and slides. When you give the trumpet a "bath" you soak all the pieces (except the valves themselves) in tepid water to release the "gunk" and using the snake, clean out all the slides and the inside of the trumpet. See your instructor or your local music store for more details.

Q. My son/daughter got their mouthpiece stuck. Can I use pliers to remove it?

A. Only if you want to pay us to re-solder all the broken braces and joints. Bring the instrument to us and we will pull the mouthpiece at no cost.

Q. What instruments do you rent?

A. Baum's rental or rent to own program is for students in public or private band or orchestra program or who are studying with one of our private teachers. The instruments that are available to rent are student level-both new and used-flutes, oboes, clarinets, bass clarinets, soprano/alto/tenor saxophones, trumpets, trombones, horns, baritones, bell kits and snare drum kits.

Q. What is the advantage of renting a student instrument over buying?

A.  For most beginning band students, the decision of what instrument to play can be confusing and sometimes the wrong instrument is chosen. Instead of having a closet full of unwanted instruments the rent to own program allows the student to find the right instrument and as payments are made, the full amount goes towards the purchase of the instrument. Parents can always pay off the contract early with a discount.

Q. Can I change instruments during the rental program?

A.  You can change instruments at any time during the rental program as long as the contract is current and the instrument is in good working order. However, the second instrument starts over with a new agreement. All payments made on each contract apply only to that instrument. The instrument belongs to Baum's Music until it is completely paid off.

Q. Why does a woodwind instrument need adjustments?

A.  All instruments are delicate; however, woodwind instruments have pads and small springs that can cause the instrument to develop leaks. Talk to your band director or your local music store for the best ways to maintain the instrument.

Q. How often should we have our instrument in for a "tune-up"?

A.  This depends on the instrument and how well it is taken care of. A brass instrument that is given a bath regularly only needs work if it is bumped or dropped. A woodwind instrument may need more regular care because of bent keys or pads drying out. Usually, we recommend having a check-up if the student is having problems playing. It could be the fault of the instrument being out of adjustment instead of the student not being able to play properly.