Instrument Selection Considerations

During the recruiting process, a student may prove to be better suited for one instrument over another. There are several factors that should be considered before final instrument selection is made. While it is not mandatory that a student wishing to play a specific instrument possess each characteristic listed, the chances of student success on a particular instrument will be greatly increased when these guidelines are observed.


FLUTE

1. Arms are long enough to hold the flute to the mouth and still cover keys correctly.

2. Upper lip characteristics are conducive to proper embouchure. (A short lip or a bead of skin in the center of the upper lip tends to make it difficult to form a good embouchure.)

3. Closed teeth meet evenly.

4. A clear tone is easily produced on the head joint.

5. Eye-hand coordination is good.

6. Reading skills are above average.

7. Work habits are strong and achievement is high.


CLARINET & SAXOPHONE

1. Hands are large enough to reach all the keys (and fingertips are large enough to cover the tone holes on clarinet).

2. Thumbs are not double-jointed.

3. Student's orthodontist approves of him or her playing clarinet or saxophone.

4. Eye-hand coordination is good.

5. Reading skills are above average.


TRUMPET AND FRENCH HORN

1. Lips are thin to medium. (Thick lips tend to be better suited for trombone, baritone, and tuba.)

2. Front teeth are straight and even. Closed teeth meet evenly. (If an overbite exists, it poses less of a problem on French horn than on trumpet.)

3. Student is able to sing a common folk song.

4. French horn only: Sense of pitch is exceptional.

5. Level of confidence is high.

6. Work habits are strong and achievement is high.

7. Parental support is strong.


TROMBONE AND BARITONE

1. Stature is adequate to handle the size of the instrument.

2. Arms are long enough to reach lower positions on the trombone.

3. Lips are medium to thick. (Thin lips tend to be better suited for trumpet and French horn.)

4. Student is able to sing a common folk song.

5. Trombone only: Sense of pitch is exceptional.


PERCUSSION

1. Physical coordination is exceptional. Student is able to "march" quarter notes while clapping eighth notes.

2. Student maintains a steady tempo while echo clapping four measure phrases.

3. Student has previous keyboard experience (desirable, but not necessary).

4. Commitment to becoming a complete percussionist is unwavering.

5. Student is self-controlled.

6. Dependability and sense of responsibility are strong.

7. Parental support is strong.