Instruments of the Band

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In 2021-2022, Celina Junior High Beginning Band offers the following instruments:

Flute 

Flute is a very popular selection each year, but only a small portion of those wishing to play flute will be selected.

Physical Characteristics:  Flute players should have a slight “frown” to the upper lip with NO tear drop shape in the middle.  Flute tones are produced by being able to focus an extremely small airstream to an exact location on the tone hole.  The tear-drop-shaped lip will make it difficult to direct the air so precisely.  Flute players should also have agile fingers for moving this multi-keyed instrument through a fast musical passage.  Students with extreme overbites (receded jaw) should avoid choosing flute as this makes it difficult to produce quality sounds.

Other Considerations:  Students with double-jointed fingers should avoid selecting flute as double-jointedness can cause lack of agility in the fingers.

 

10% of students will be selected for FLUTE.
FLUTE PERSONALITY:  Conscientious

 
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Clarinet

The clarinet uses a “single reed” and a mouthpiece to produce the sound. Willingness to purchase or rent a director-recommended clarinet is a MUST as the quality of the instrument directly determines the success of the student. Unfortunately, there are some clarinets on the market whose poor design and craftsmanship will make it next to impossible for your student to succeed. We can help you avoid that pitfall.

 

Physical Characteristics: One necessity of clarinet tone production is the ability to make the chin flat. Orthodontia is okay, but if a student has an extremely rounded bottom row of teeth, the mouthpiece will be hard to place in the proper position for tone production.

 

Other Considerations: Instruction in clarinet can be meticulous. Students who are able to focus on and perform a detailed series of instructions could do well on clarinet. Students who have difficulty remembering a series of instructions should avoid playing clarinet. Clarinet players are also responsible for maintaining a working stock of 4-6 quality reeds.

 

20% of students will be selected for CLARINET 
CLARINET PERSONALITY: Focused

 
Saxophone

The Saxophone gives the impression of being both a brass AND woodwind instrument, however it is indeed considered a woodwind instrument.

In our band, we start on the Alto Saxophone (which uses a single reed like the clarinet). It is a very popular instrument like flute and only a few students will be chosen to play it.

 

Physical Characteristics: Since the balance of the saxophone is maintained by the use of a neck strap, it is extremely important that students be able to sit up completely straight when asked.  Students should also good finger dexterity.

Other Considerations: Saxophone players are responsible for maintaining a working stock of 4-6 quality reeds.  Alto Saxophone students will have the opportunity after their first year of instruction to audition for Tenor Sax or Baritone Sax (based on their proven musical and behavioral abilities while in Alto Saxophone class).

8% of students will be selected for SAXOPHONE
SAXOPHONE PERSONALITY:  Mellow

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Trumpet

The Trumpet is the smallest member of the brass family. The sound on Trumpet is produced by buzzing into a small mouthpiece. Students who choose and are selected to play Trumpet will have the opportunity to play the highest parts and are leaders in our band.

 

Physical Characteristics: While orthodontia is somewhat troublesome at first to a Trumpet player, it is not impossible to make good sounds with braces. A slight overbite is okay, but an underbite can severely hinder progress on Trumpet. Trumpet players come in all shapes and sizes.

Other Considerations: Trumpet parts usually have the melody (recognizable) part, therefore students who choose and are selected for Trumpet should exhibit a confident demeanor, strong personality, and demonstrate a high level of self-motivation.

 

12% of students will be selected for TRUMPET 
TRUMPET PERSONALITY:  Confident

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French Horn

The French Horn is the also a member of the brass family. Its sound is produced by buzzing into a small mouthpiece similar to a Trumpet. Students with good musical ears should consider French Horn.  If you like to sing, French Horn may be a good choice for you!

Physical Characteristics:  A slight overbite is okay, but an underbite can severely hinder progress on French Horn. Because the bell of the French Horn rests on the knee of the player while playing facing behind the player, it is imperative that a student sitting straight up when asked to do so. The French Horn’s keys are manipulated with the LEFT hand.

Other Considerations: Because of the difficult nature of French Horn notes, students should exhibit GREAT ability to match pitches by humming or singing. Perhaps this is a good instrument choice for students who have participated in piano lessons or choir groups. Students with a history of academic or behavioral problems will NOT be selected for French Horn.

 

Celina ISD provides French Horns for students; no purchase is necessary.

10% of students will be selected for FRENCH HORN 
FRENCH HORN PERSONALITY:  Academic

 
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Trombone

Like the French horn, trombone players should have good “musical ears”. The trombone is played like the other brass instruments (buzzing into a cup-shaped mouthpiece), but uses a slide instead of valves. The slide is not marked or notched and players rely on their memory and hearing to tell if they are in the EXACT proper location. Students with good musical ears (such as students with previous choir instruction) should consider Trombone.

Physical Characteristics: While some might think that trombone players must have long arms, the truth is there are numerous accommodations that make it possible for students of all shapes and sizes to play. A slight overbite is acceptable, while an extreme underbite would hinder success. Trombone players should have slightly fuller lips than average.

Other Considerations: Great trombone playing takes good concentration and study. Many quiet academicians have excelled at trombone.

12% of students will be selected for TROMBONE
TROMBONE PERSONALITY:  Analytical

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Euphonium

The Euphonium (you-PHONE-knee-yum) is sometimes known as the baritone. It is a member of the brass family and looks like a small version of a tuba. Its sound is similar to that of a trombone, but it uses valves like a trumpet instead of a slide (like trombone).  It has melodious and mellow sound that is a soloist's instrument.

Physical Characteristics: Euphonium players should have moderately full lips, but not too full. A SLIGHT overbite is okay, but an underbite would hinder a good sound. The euphonium requires a medium-sized hand span to reach the valves and students should have an above average lung capacity.

Other Considerations: Students with an above average amount of orthodontia will find the mouthpiece of the Euphonium a bit more comfortable than trumpet or French horn.

Celina ISD provides Euphoniums for students; no purchase in neccessary.

10% of students will be selected for EUPHONIUM 
EUPHONIUM PERSONALITY:  Artistic

 
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Tuba

While many believe the Tuba is the largest instrument in the band and would be hard to physically manage, the Tubas we use for beginners are ¾ size and easy to handle.  When possible, students have one Tuba at home and one at school for easy transport.

Physical Characteristics: Tuba players need to have full lips and a large lung capacity. While the size of the student doesn’t matter TOO much, a long torso (upper body) helps a student reach the mouthpiece of the tuba while resting the bottom of the tuba on the edge of their chair or across the thighs.

Other Considerations: The tuba provides the musical foundation for the band and requires players that are self-motivated achievers. Students with a history of academic trouble should not consider tuba as we rely heavily on the ability of the tuba players to be consistently UIL eligible.

 

Celina ISD provides tubas for students; no purchase is necessary.

6% of students will be selected for TUBA 

TUBA PERSONALITY:  Unique

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Percussion

Just because you are always tapping on things does not mean you are a natural percussionist (drummer). In fact, the percussion section is the most select, hand-picked section of the band. Only students with the highest grades, lowest discipline problems, backgrounds in piano lessons, and extremely high gross and fine motor skills will be considered for percussion. 

Physical Characteristics: Students should exhibit a great deal of coordination in gross and fine motor skills.

Other Considerations: When selecting Percussion, keep in mind that Percussionists study dozens if not hundreds of instruments.  The study of Percussion includes bells, triangle, tambourine, maracas, claves, chimes, timpani (kettledrums), xylophone, sleigh bells, steel drums, crash cymbals and the bass drum, just to name a few.

ONLY 10-12 students will be selected for PERCUSSION
PERCUSSION PERSONALITY:  Coordinated

 
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