As you grow and gain experience, your equipment should grow too! Your needs as a beginning player in middle school were different than what they are now. Think of your instrument like a bike. When you first learn to ride, you need something simple and forgiving, but as you grow, you want to get more options, and more importantly, equipment that FITS. With that in mind, please consider upgrading your band equipment:
- upgrading to a higher level instrument. These produce sound easier, sound better, and often have better range than the student level instruments you started out on. Because this is usually a major purchase, it should be tailored to your individual needs. Please talk to Mr. Rom about options for your instrument and budget!
- Upgrading your mouthpiece. If you aren’t ready for a whole new instrument, often upgrading to a better mouthpiece can make almost as much difference! In fact, it is often said that you are really just playing the mouthpiece- the rest of the horn is just an amplifier. There are two general rules- 1. By high school, you have outgrown the mouthpiece you started on. Brass players especially NEED a larger sized mouthpiece. 2. The mouthpiece you use for marching band should be different than what you use for concert band. Different sounds, different equipment.
So what should you do? the best solution is to go to a music store and get fitted for a new mouthpiece. Brass players have a great resource in our backyard- Thompson Music in Elkhorn stocks a huge selection of mouthpieces, and specialize in getting the right one for each person. If that isn’t a possibility, here is a list of general purpose mouthpiece upgrades appropriate for high school level. (Link in progress- coming soon)
A high school music department is like the family doctors office. We strive to be able to provide a solid foundation for a large variety of instruments and student needs. However, there comes a time where we need to refer you to a specialist. For band students, that means a private teacher who plays your particular instrument, and can model the details that you need to work on. In the Omaha area, we are fortunate to have some extremely high quality private teachers available. Area music stores including Dietze Music and Thompson music often have private instructors on staff and can be a good place to start your search. There are also a number of individuals who have home studios around the area. Below is a list of some possible instructors in the area. Please be advised that this is not an endorsement of any particular instructor, nor is this list comprehensive. It is meant only as a springboard, and representative of instructors that past EHS students have utilized.
Christine Beard- UNO instructor