Fifth Grade Instrumental Music Program

  • 5th Grade Instrumental Music Program flyer (full of everything 5th grade music) - Information available by clicking here.
    5th Grade Band Program - Information available here
    5th Grade Orchestra Program - Information available here


    MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT                                         

    Music Department                                                                                                        

    Beginning Elementary Instrumental Program                                                                                                                                                      

    2018/2019 year


    Dear soon-to-be 5th grade Parents:


    This spring many of you enrolled your student in the Beginning Instrument program offered through the Mercer Island School District. The following is important information for you to review regarding the program if your child is planning on participating.




    A critical component to your child's success as a musician is the quality of his/her instrument.  Unfortunately, all brands are not created equal!  Below is a list of instrument brands we have found to be of consistently high quality.  We encourage you not to compromise your child's opportunity for success.


                Recommended instruments brands

    Flute:                Yamaha, Gemeinhardt, Selmer, Emerson, Armstrong, Olds, Jupiter

    Clarinet:             Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer, Vito, Jupiter, Bundy, Olds, Leblanc

                            Clarinet mouthpieces:  Yamaha 4C or VanDoren mouthpieces

    Trumpet:           Yamaha, Bach, Holton, King, Bundy, Conn, Besson, Jupiter, Olds, Blessing, Getzen

    Saxes:               Yamaha, Selmer, Yanigasawa, Conn, Vito, Keilwerth, Jupiter, Olds, P. Mauriat

    Horn:                 Yamaha, Holton, Conn,

    Trombone:         Getzen 351 (or 300-400 series), King 605 or 606, Bach TB200, Yamaha YSL 354 (made in Japan only, not made in China) Bundy, Conn, Holton, Jupiter, Olds, Besson, Blessing

    Baritone:            Yamaha, King, Besson, Bach, Holton, King, Bundy, Conn, Jupiter, Olds, Blessing, Getzen


    No such list could be all-inclusive, and MISD music staff members welcome students and parents to contact them about brands or makers not listed.


    We are fortunate to have several excellent vendors in our area, all of whom provide quality instruments and repair services.  Any of these vendors can provide students with instruments from our district’s recommended list.  It is important that students and their parents select instrument from the recommended list.  Beginning student level instruments vary widely in terms of quality.  We want all of our students to have every opportunity for their best success playing their instrument.  An instrument of poor quality can be frustrating and difficult to play.  Students have trouble playing well, and don’t realize that it’s not their fault, it’s because of the instrument!  The list of instrument brands and models included on the booster email have proven to be dependable and suitable for student success.


    MUSIC INSTRUMENT RENTAL LINKS and INFORMATION -  As an MISD music staff we cannot recommend music vendors.  But we can ask our Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters (MISBB) to provide our families with some resources from which to choose their instrument options.  Our MISBB will send out, via email, information to help with the purchase of instruments and equipment.


    Rental Purchase Plans: Most area music stores have rental/purchase plans which allow rental payments to apply toward purchase of the instrument.  It is recommended that a used instrument be checked by an instrumental teacher.  These prices are based on a per month charge.


    Please read your rental agreement thoroughly


    Craigslist, Ebay, The Attic, Want-Ads, Private PartyIf you purchase an instrument through the want-ads or through a friend or relative, please have it safety checked by a member of our staff as to condition and size.  REMEMBER:  An instrument that is not in good playing condition or is the wrong size may be impossible to play.    


    The School District:  Very few instruments are available through the Mercer Island School District - mostly string basses and baritone horns.  If an instrument is available, it can be used for a rental fee of $100.00/year.



                 (You may choose to purchase these through local music stores or online through the contact list that we will provide via email)

                Books: 5th grade band students will use:

                                        Essential Elements 2000 Book 1 (also sometime just labeled Essential Elements, Book 1

                                        (Lautzenheizer, Higgins, et al)      


                INSTRUMENT ACCESSORIES:   Students will need the following accessories with their instruments:


    Clarinets:           One box of #2 1/2 Bb clarinet reeds, a plastic reed keeper, cleaning swab, cork grease, mouthpiece brush, and consider getting a Neo-Tech neck strap -especially if your child is small.  (The neck strap is optional). Please ask your vendor to supply a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece.

    Brass:               Valve oil for cornets and trumpets, mouthpiece brush, slide cream and a small spray bottle for trombones.  No slide oil please!  Trombones and Baritones please ask for either a 6 ½ AL or 5GS mouthpiece

                            Flutes:              Small 5x7” mirror, and cleaning swab


    III.        FIRST LESSON:


    The first 5th grade music lesson for all instruments is going to be held in the evening at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School  This evening lesson will allow us to group like instruments and give your youngster a fast, sure start.  It will give you an opportunity to observe the early steps so you will be able to help your child at home.  We STRONGLY urge parents to attend these evening lessons with their children.


                The evening lesson schedule will be:


    LESSON #1  - Wednesday, September 12th, 2018                           


                                        MIHS (see attached map)

                                        6:30 to 7:30 p.m.            Trombones (Rm 503), Baritones (Rm 503), Trumpets  (Rm 505)

                                        7:45 to 8:45 p.m.            Flutes (Rm 503), Clarinets Rm (505)



                                        4:30 to 5:15 p.m.            Bass (Rm 502)

                                        5:30 to 6:15 p.m.            Cellos (Rm 502)

                                        6:30 to 7:15 p.m.            Violins & Violas (Rm 502)





    Band/Orchestra classes meet from 8:15 to 9:00 a.m. beginning the week of September 17th, 2018 (depending on the days of the week for your child)


    Students will receive two group lessons per week.  You will be advised as to these specific days and place during the evening classes





    Lastly, since 5th grade music practice is NOT at your student’s home school, your student must have MD orders to carry his/her emergency medication to all music practices.  This includes inhalers, EPI pens, glucagon and diabetic snacks.  The music teacher and/or school nurse at practice site will administer in an emergency.




     The Mercer Island School District 5th Grade Instrumental Music Staff:


                                                                David Bentley        


                                                                Parker Bixby         


                                                                Carol Krell            


                                                                Vicki White-Miltun