The excitement new students joining the school band may be quickly tempered by concerns about immediate and long-term costs. Purchasing an instrument and accessories and worrying about potential repair fees and other unforeseen expenses can be stressful.

However, don’t fall into the trap of buying the cheapest instrument – this approach is likely to come back to bite you. A low-quality instrument may have poor intonation and might be very difficult to get and keep in tune. No matter the level of skill, a player cannot sound any better than the instrument will allow. You want your students' musical adventure to be a success! With a cheap instrument that is hard to play and care for, they may get frustrated and want to give up playing altogether.

You can see it’s important to invest in a good quality instrument, but don’t worry, there are many brands out there that provide a great value without breaking the budget. We’ll go through major band instrument categories and give a few suggestions for great beginner models for each. Also, be on the lookout for quality used instruments (sometimes called Open Box) – you can find great brands at much lower prices.

Student Saxophones

Etude EAS-100 Student Alto Saxophone - the perfect instrument for starting out on the alto saxophone – solid, reliable and available for a great price

Yamaha YAS-26 - an entry-level instrument that delivers the response, intonation and tone needed to help developing musicians achieve success

Jupiter JAS700 Student Eb Alto Saxophone - a beginner instrument with a rich sound and advanced features that is built to withstand the rigors of student ownership

Saxophone accessories –  students will want to have accessories such as cork grease, swabs, additional mouthpieces, ligatures and caps

Saxophone reeds - Rico Royal or Vandoren are great reeds for beginners


Student Trumpets

Etude ETR-100 Student Bb Trumpet – an easy-to-hold and play instrument, students will be able to pay attention to tone  and learning notes

Prelude by Conn-Selmer TR711 Student Bb Trumpet – Prelude student trumpets are well-made instruments that sound great – perfect for getting your student excited to play

Kanstul 700 Series Bb Trumpet – this horn provides great playability and will deliver years of trouble-free enjoyment

Trumpet accessories: young trumpet players may also need mouthpieces, slide grease, valve oil, mouthpiece brush, polishing cloth and a cleaning snake


Student Trombones

Allora Student B Flat Trombone AATB-102 – quick response, excellent tone and extremely durable

Blessing BTB-1280 Series Student Trombone – allows young musicians to achieve excellent tonal quality and superior sound projection in all registers

Yamaha YSL-354 Series Student Trombone – quick response, accurate intonation and a rich and full sound

Trombone accessories – student trombonists may want to stock up on mouthpieces, slide grease, slide cream, mouthpiece brush and polishing cloth


Student Tubas

Allora AATU-105P – an all-purpose, economy priced tuba for the beginner – includes case and mouthpiece

Yamaha YBB-105WC – the smaller size of the 105 makes it an ideal instrument for beginners

Jupiter JTU700 – made with a durable construction that is perfect for the classroom and a compact size that is great for younger players

Tuba accessories - slide grease, valve oil, mouthpiece brush, polishing cloth


Student clarinets

Etude ECL-100 – sturdy construction provides easy tone production and high durability for student use  

Yamaha YCL-255 – an outstanding entry-level instrument that delivers a warm, resonant tone that sounds like a wood clarinet

Buffet Crampon Premium Student Clarinet – wonderful for beginners on a budget, this instrument stresses accessibility and reliability

Clarinet accessories – student clarinetists will need a mouthpiece, swabs and cork grease

Clarinet reeds - Vandoren and D’Addario are well-known brands of reeds


Student flutes

Gemeinhardt Alto Flute – an excellent selection for school band programs in that it plays well, sounds good, and is affordable

Allora AAFL-229 Student Series Flute – expertly crafted to provide great value – easy-to-play for young students with small hands

Pearl Flutes PF500 Series Student Flute – Pearl quality at an affordable price for beginners   

Flute accessories – new flutists will need a swab, cleaning rod and polishing cloth


Student violins and student cellos

Bellafina Sonata Violin Outfit – this violin produces an extremely warm, rich sound and is an outstanding choice for beginners

Knilling Perfection I Violin Outfit – Knilling violins feature Perfection Pegs which practically eliminate the need to tune every day

Cremona SC-130 Premier Novice Series Cello Outfit – a great-sounding and reliable instrument

Etude Student Series Cello Outfit – constructed to endure the rigors of student treatment, but also beautiful enough to inspire pride of ownership

Orchestral string accessories – young string players will want to have extra strings and bows, plus resin and care & cleaning items


Band music and method books

Woodwind & Brasswind has a huge selection of music for every ensemble type and playing level! Check out our pieces for your band or orchestra, or encourage your students to find some solos or playalong music to practice at home.



Your new band students are beginning a great musical adventure. Prepare them for success by investing in quality instruments and accessories. The lower maintenance requirements will reduce your stress and the great sound will inspire your student to keep up with their playing. Good luck!