John Adams

Middle School

Renting instruments incoming 6th Graders

The right tools and equipment can make all the difference in the world! It doesn't matter if you're talking wrenches, computers, or industrial diagnostic equipment, the wrong tools/equipment will only provide difficulty and frustration. It is no different in the music world.

We want your child to succeed in band. Having an instrument that works consistently will help immensely. We have put together a list of instrument brands that have been of high quality and consistent durability and have proven themselves for decades of music education. It doesn't matter where you get these instruments, they are carried by local music stores, internet stores, and many are even available on ebay (ALWAYS have a used instrument checked by a repair person before taking it to school--it is tough on kids to miss the first week or two of class because the instrument is in the repair shop). When looking for instruments, we do recommend parents check with the local music stores first. We think it is always good to support local businesses and they have great trial plans that keep your costs down and provide you with lots of options.

A note about cost:
"I don't want to spend too much on an instrument since I don't know if my student will stick with it." This is why we recommend the local music stores' trial plans versus going with a poor quality instrument. Here's how it breaks down using a trumpet as an example:

Buying a poor quality trumpet for 6th grade band:
Your student may be frustrated by poor quality of the instrument. The instrument is not durable so it is in the repair shop often, causing more frustration and repair costs.
*If student quits band: cost is about $200 (for example) plus repair bills, and you're stuck with an instrument that will be worth very little and hard to sell.
*If student stays in band: cost is the same, and you now own a poor quality instrument that the student has to play on.

Renting an instrument from a music store for 6th grade band:
Your student will have a quality instrument that will give many years of reliable service and will be durable.
*If student quits band: cost is about $200 in rental fees (roughly the same cost as purchasing in the example above!!!), and you can just return the instrument to the music store and be done with it.
*If student stays in band: you've put about $200 toward the purchase of a high quality instrument.

Recommended instrument brands

FLUTE: Yamaha, Gemeinhardt, Armstrong, Selmer, Bundy, Artley
CLARINET: Vito, Yamaha, Selmer, Artley, Conn, LeBlanc, Jupiter, Bundy
ALTO SAXOPHONE: Yamaha, Selmer, Vito, Conn, Leblanc, Jupiter, Bundy
TRUMPET and TROMBONE: Yamaha, Bach, Getzen, Holton, LeBlanc, Conn, King, Benge, Jupiter
PERCUSSION KITS: Vic Firth, Pearl, Ludwig, Percussion Plus

Please also look at the "necessary supplies" article.

Renting or purchasing an instrument from a music store:

Instruments which must be rented or purchased from a music store include:

 Flute – Oboe - Clarinet – Alto Sax – Trumpet – Trombone – Percussion Kit

If you have been selected to play one of these instruments, please contact a local music store in the summer to set up a rental, rent-to-own, or to purchase.  (Students should bring their instrument to school on the second music day next year.)  The Rochester area has two main music stores where instruments can be obtained.  Each business can answer any questions regarding instrument quality, price, renting/rent-to-own/ buying, as well as instrument repair insurance. 


Welhaven Music Co.

15 N. Broadway

Rochester, MN


Schmitt Music

1765 Hwy 52N

Rochester, MN




*Please do not purchase a “budget” or “off brand” instrument since the music stores may not have the parts necessary to fix them if they break. Also, shopping on ebay, Amazon, or Craiglist can be risky.  We do not recommend that process at this time.  If you do acquire an instrument through an alternative source, please have a music store service it before school begins. This may involve dent removal, chemical flush (brass), or regulation (woodwinds).

* It is VERY easy to damage your instrument during assembly without proper instruction.  To ensure safety for your new instrument, students should not handle rental instruments until the first week of band class. 

JA school rentals:

Instruments which are rented from John Adams Middle School include:

French Horn – Baritone – Tuba - Bassoon (grade 7)

Students will receive these instruments when school starts for a rental fee of $90 for the year. When available, a secondary instrument can be rented for an additional fee ($45) to be kept at home for practice.


Additional information:

*Rochester Schools will provide the band book (next September) to students free of charge. 

*Each band student will need to carry their instrument to and from school 2-3 days per week (band meets every-other-day) in order to keep a healthy practice routine at home. 

Music stand: It is recommended that everyone has a music stand of some kind.  Music stores have inexpensive wire music stands for sale.

*Percussion students will pay the school instrument fee ($90) for use of school owned percussion equipment in 7th and 8th grade in addition to continuing to use the family provided percussion kit for home practice.

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