Your child is joining band but isn't sure which one... And neither are you.
Check out this video to see and hear the different instruments.  

 Luther's band program instructs the following instruments

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Bassoon
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium / Baritone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
Now you need an instrument.
There are so many choices -- it can be overwhelming and tough to know where to start! Here are a few options...


Music Store Rental

Rent from Luther


  • Rental fees are applied toward the purchase of the instrument.
  • Usually, the instrument is paid in full in about two years.
  • A maintenance and repair plan is usually built in so that if anything happens to the instrument, you are covered.
  • Flutes, clarinets, oboes, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and mallet/percussion kits are relatively inexpensive to rent-to-purchase
  • French horns, baritone/euphonium, tuba, bassoon are more expensive to own. Luther has some of these instruments available for rent.

  • There is a limited supply.
  • Not all instrument types are available - percussion rentals are not available through Luther.
  • Please contact Mr. Jonathan Witte (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to see if this is an option for your child!

  • Craig's List/Ebay/Amazon-type-places
    • Buyer beware! If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. It may need repair or be an older instrument that no longer works. If the price is cheaper than others like it, don't buy it.
  • Walmart/Target/Big Box Retail Stores
    • Don't buy instruments here! They are cheap knock-offs that may look shiny and be inexpensive, but they are not quality instruments. They often don't play in tune or won't last long. Also, if they need repair you are stuck -- most instrument repair shops cannot get parts for these instruments.
  • Student/Intermediate/Professional
    • Most instrument manufacturers have several lines of instruments. The level you want for a beginner is the "Student" line. Once your child grows and experiences a love for playing and improves their skills, you can step up to a higher level instrument.



Musical Terms

  • Accelerado - gradually increase the tempo
  • Accent - attack the note louder
  • Accidental - a sign indicating the normal pitch is to be raised or lowered
  • Accompaniment - secondary musical material, supports more important material
  • Adagio - slower than andante
  • Al Fine - to the end
  • Alla Breve - same as Cut Time
  • Allegretto - moderately fast
  • Allegro - quick and lively
  • Andante - moderately slow
  • Animato - lively
  • Arpeggio - notes of a chord played one at a time
  • A Tempo - indication to return to the original tempo
  • Bar Line - vertical line through a staff to separate measures
  • Cantabile - in a singing style
  • Chord - combination of three or more tones
  • Coda - closing section
  • Common Time - four beats to a measure
  • Con - with
  • Countermelody - a less important melody that can be played along with the main melody
  • Crescendo - gradually play louder
  • Cut Time - a time signature indicating two counts in each measure, with the half note getting one beat
  • D.C. al Coda - go back to the beginning and play until the coda sign - then skip to the Coda
  • D.C. al Fine - go back to the beginning and play until the Fine
  • D.S. al Coda - go back to the sign and play until the coda sign - then skip to the Coda
  • D.S. al Fine - go back to the sign and play until the Fine
  • Decrescendo - gradually play softer
  • Diminuendo - gradually play softer
  • Divisi - part of the section plays the top notes, the others play the bottom notes
  • Dolce - sweetly
  • Dynamics - loudness or softness of the music
  • Enharmonics - notes that are written differently but sound and are played the same
  • Ensemble - group of performers
  • Fermata - hold the note or rest longer than its usual value
  • Fine - the end
  • Flat - lowers the pitch of a note by ½ step
  • Form - structure or organization of a piece of music
  • Forte - loud
  • Fortissimo - very loud
  • Grazioso - gracefully
  • Harmony - two or more different notes played at the same time
  • Improvisation - making new music while playing
  • Interval - distance between two notes
  • Introduction - section of music that precedes the first theme
  • Key - tonal center of a composition
  • Key Signature -– sharps or flats at the beginning of the staff indicating what key the piece is in
  • Largo - very slow
  • Ledger Line - a line added above or below the staff for higher and lower notes
  • Legato - smooth and connected
  • Maestoso - majestically
  • Measure - space between two bar lines, also known as a bar
  • Melody - succession of tones forming a musical line
  • Metronome - a device used to help with counting
  • Mezzo Forte - medium loud
  • Mezzo Piano - medium soft
  • Moderato - moderate speed
  • Modulation - change of keys
  • Molto - very
  • Moto - motion
  • Natural - cancels a flat or a sharp
  • Phrase - a musical thought or sentence
  • Piano - soft
  • Pianissimo - very soft
  • Pick-up notes - a note or notes that come before the first full measure
  • Pitch - the highness or lowness of a tone
  • Poco - little
  • Rallentando - decreasing in speed
  • Ritardando - gradually slow down the tempo
  • Scale - a collection of pitches going from lowest to highest, or highest to lowest
  • Sempre - always
  • Sharp - raises the pitch of a note by ½ step
  • Simile - continue playing in the same manner
  • Slur - a curved line that connects two or more notes of different pitches
  • Soli - the whole section plays
  • Solo - one person plays
  • Sostenuto - sustained
  • Staccato - a dot placed above or below a note meaning to play the notes with more separation
  • Staff - lines and spaces on which music is written
  • Tempo - the speed of music; how fast or slow it is played
  • Tenuto - a line placed above or below a note meaning to play the notes with little or no space between them
  • Theme - the main musical idea in a piece of music
  • Tie - a curved line that connects two notes of the same pitch
  • Time Signature - the top number tells the number of counts in each measure, the bottom number tells what kind of note gets one beat
  • Tutti - everyone plays
  • Unison - everyone plays the same notes
  • Variation - a repeated music idea which has been slightly changed in some way from the original

Music Links

Free computer metronome
Music writing software (only $10!)
Print your own staff paper
Jazz Education and Musicianship
The Arts Network
Find out about your favorite composers
Blue Star Cadets
The La Crosse Area Youth Symphony