Parent Info

Tentative 2018-2019 Handbook


Required Materials:

  • Instrument and bow in excellent playing condition
    • All students should rent an instrument until they are ready for a full-size instrument. It is recommended that once a student has grown into a full-size instrument, they purchase an intermediate or advanced level instrument.
  • Rosin and cleaning cloth
  • Rock Stop (cellos and basses)
  • Shoulder Sponge (3/4 or smaller violins; 13″ or smaller violas)
  • Shoulder Rest (Full-Size violins or 14″+ violas)

What to look for when choosing an instrument for rental or purchase:

  • Size: String instruments come in various sizes. Students must be measured for the proper size instrument. You should not purchase an instrument that is less than “full-sized” as your child will grow out of it. If you rent an instrument, you will be able to trade instrument sizes as your child grows without an additional fee. A student should not play on an instrument too large for them; this will cause physical injuries, as well as difficulty learning the instrument.
  • Color: Though colored instruments are fun, they are typically made of plastic or are coated with excess layers of paint/lacquer that diminishes the tone of the instrument. Stick with instruments that are made of natural wood, and are stained/lacquered naturally. Rock stops, shoulder rests, bows and bow hair come in different colors, and are a great way to add individuality to the instrument.
  • Bows made of fiberglass or carbon fiber are recommended for middle school students. Do not be lured in by the “wood bows,” as they can warp and/or break easier than the “cheaper” carbon fiber bows.
  • On-Line Purchases: If purchasing an instrument on-line, stick with websites that offer a refund and/or exchange policy if you are not happy with the quality of the instrument. Please see the recommended on-line retailer list before purchasing an instrument.
  • As always, please be sure to contact your teacher before making any purchases, no matter how small they are. A quality instrument (including bow, rock stop and shoulder rest) is essential for a students musical growth.

6 Tips for finding an instrument
9 More tips for finding an instrument

BSMS Instrument Rentals:

BSMS currently has some instruments to rent during the school year for a $25 fee. Priority will be given to students on free/reduced lunch; it is highly recommended that students begin to rent/own their own instrument in middle school.

Practice tips and tricks:

Questions to ask to help your child practice more efficiently.

Orchestra Practice Journal

Private Lesson Verification