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Instrument Recommendations

Instrument Rental or Purchase

As an MISD staff, we cannot recommend music vendors.  Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters ( has compiled a list of music vendors where you can purchase/rent instruments, accessories and the music book.

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 Party

If 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.    

Instrument Recommendations

A critical component to your child's success as a musician is the quality of their instrument.  Unfortunately, all brands are not created equal.  We encourage you not to compromise your child's opportunity for success with a lesser quality instrument.  We have experienced many instances of a student trying to play an instrument of poor quality or in a state of ill-repair that will not play, and the student thinks that there is something wrong with them!  The investment in a quality instrument kept in a good state of repair will ensure that this does not happen.  

Before purchasing or renting an instrument, please read through the recommended brands, accessories required, and suggestions (such as mouthpieces). 


Instrument specific recommendations:

Required Music Book

Your child's director will let you know the correct music book for your grade. They can be found at most music vendors or on-line or are sometimes available on Facebooks's FREE MI or Buy Nothing groups. Note they are instrument specific - so make sure to get the specific one for your child's instrument.

5th Grade or 6th Grade Beginning Instruments:

Essential Elements 2000, Book 1, (Lautzenheizer, et al)

6th Grade

Essential Elements 2000, Book 2, (Lautzenheizer, et al)

7th Grade

Essential Techniques for Band, Book 3, (Lautzenheizer, et al)

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