February 2016 Posts

Which Instrument Is Right For My Student? – FAQs

Beginner band season is right around the corner! As we prepare for the summer time rush, we begin to hear a lot of concerns from parents regarding which instrument their student should choose. Since many are first-time band parents, there are many questions regarding how to choose an instrument their child is going to enjoy learning while not being so difficult the student becomes discouraged. We at Paige’s are here to say, “Fear not!” We can give you a few helpful tips to quell your worries.

1. First things first – Try them out!

Like many aspects of playing any musical instrument, one of the best ways to find how you like something is to is get it physically in your hands. Several of our schools in Indiana have try-out periods during the 5th grade year where Paige’s will deliver a test set with at least one of every instrument we sell or rent. Typically, the student will get a chance to try the instruments during class with a teacher to get a sense of what each instrument sounds and feels like. If your student is still not sure of a definite instrument or did not get a chance to try instruments with their teacher, you are always welcome to try instruments in our store. There is no appointment necessary; feel free to come in during regular business hours and our sales staff will help you. Please note the student’s teacher can also help the student make a decision at try-out time.

2. “Is ______ difficult in general to play?”

We often hear this concern from parents of new band students. They do not want their child to struggle with an instrument that is too hard to play. The answer to this question is really, “It depends on the player.” For example, when I was trying instruments in the 5th grade to prepare for middle school band I tried all the woodwind instruments. I made a small amount of sound on a couple of them, but I was really not sure which woodwind I wanted to play. Before this, I had never really considered the brass section, but for a change of pace I decided to give trumpet a shot. Turns out, brass was perfect for me! I was able to produce a trumpet sound after only a couple of tries.
There are many musicians who could tell similar stories. Where I have always struggled with woodwind instruments, I have friends who are the complete opposite (they struggled with brass, but excelled at woodwinds). Which instrument is right for one student may not work for another. Attitude, and physical aspects like embouchure and the player’s lips, can make a difference for the student and what feels best. And, as always, the best way to improve on ANY instrument is to Practice, Practice, Practice!

3. Paige’s Music Rental Easy Exchange Policy

Even after your student has tried the instruments and made a decision, your student or teacher may feel like different instrument is better. Maybe they find the sound of another instrument is more to their liking or that their instrument is a little more difficult than they anticipated. Don’t worry! Paige’s Music has an Easy Exchange Policy. If you are renting from us and need to exchange to a different instrument, we can take up to 18 months of rental payments and put them towards the cost of a different instrument. We can even send the new instrument to your student’s school and pick up your first instrument for return.

It can be nerve-wracking thinking of choosing just the right instrument to play, but Paige’s Music is committed to making the decision making process as painless and worry-free as possible. We hope the tips above have helped you and your beginning music student as they begin trying instruments. If you ever have further questions or concerns, please feel free to visit our store, email, or call toll free at 1-800-382-1099 and we will be happy to help you!

Students Who Participate In Music Classes Show Improved Brain Processes

Researchers found that after two years, children who not only regularly attended music classes, but also actively participated in the class, showed larger improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers.
~ Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, quoted in Melissa Locker, “This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain,” Time, December 16, 2014.

Music Students Report Lowest Lifetime Use Of All Students

Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse).
~ Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998

Music Education Lays Foundation For Individual Excellence

Music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving, and flexibility in work situations
~ July 2014 Harris Poll

Music Education Provides Discipline

Two-thirds (67%) of Americans say music education provides people with a disciplined approach to solving problems.
~ July 2014 Harris Poll

Tuning An Instrument With Pegs

Tuning an instrument equipped with pegs instead of tuning machines can be a frustrating task when problems are present.

First of all the strings must be in good condition. Worn or frayed strings cannot be tuned well.

It is essential that the pegs be fitted well, and lightly lubricated if needed. Use peg dope or peg compound when the pegs squeak when turned. No lubrication is preferable to too much. “Peg Drops” is a useful product for a quick, temporary fix to slipping pegs.

When the peg is first turned, it is good to feel and/or hear a click.  This tells us that the peg will stick correctly after tuning.  After the click, the peg should turn smoothly.

 

The peg is fitted on a taper with the thicker end toward the peg head. It is the nature of this tapered peg to push its way out.  The string will quickly unwind if this is allowed to happen.  It is also essential that the pegs be held in while tuning.  If you have to hold the instrument with both hands and push the peg in very hard in order to get them to stick, or if your pegs are constantly slipping, consider taking the instrument to our shop for correction and adjustment.  Firmly holding the pegs in while turning should suffice.

If the string is just a half step or less off, just use the fine tuners.  

Pegs whose string holes are too far to the wrong side of the peg box can and will keep the pegs from being held in.  These pegs must have new string holes drilled in order to function correctly.  This is a delicate process best handled by a luthier/string technician.   

 Paige’s stringed instrument repair shop is here to help you keep your instrument in its best condition.  Play well and enjoy!

Music Education Equips People To Be Better Team Players

Seven in ten Americans (71%) say that the learnings and habits from music education equip people to be better team players in their careers.
~ July 2014 Harris Poll

Music Education Is A Quality Component

Eight in 10 teachers and more than seven in 10 parents believe the number of minutes of music education required every week is an important quality component.
~ NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC (2015). Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015.