Recommended Accessories for All Instruments

ACCESSORIES FOR ALL STUDENTS:

  • Chromatic tuner:  This is used to help students know if they are playing the correct notes, and if they are playing the notes in tune.  The Korg CA-30 runs around $25-30 and is reliable.  The Sabine MT-9000 is a little more expensive, but has a built-in metronome as well.  There are also many free or inexpensive tuner apps that work well. 
  • Metronome: Often I will ask students to prepare a passage of music to a certain speed.  The metronome lets them know how close they are, and can serve as a practice aid in developing rhythmic accuracy.  The Seiko DM-20 is small enough to fit in most instrument cases (about the size of a credit card only thicker) and works very well.  Like with the tuners, there are also many free or inexpensive metronome apps.  
  • Any professional recording of a soloist on your student’s instrument is a wonderful accessory to have at home for listening and imitation. If you'd like suggestions of artists to purchase, please contact Mr. Norris.  Many artists share their talents on Youtube for free.   
  • Other Books:  In addition to the required band book (see Band Books page), there are many music books available at various music stores that will provide your student with music for his/her instrument that s/he finds more interesting than the standard band books.  These include books of Beatles music, movie themes, Disney, etc...  Be sure to ask the salesperson for guidance so you don't buy music that's too difficult for your student.   
  • Musician's Earplugs:  If you haven't noticed, bands, especially marching & pep bands, can be loud!  Especially for percussionists in the marching band, quality hearing protection is a must if you would like to still hear the music when you're older!  Foam "construction" earplugs cut different frequencies at different amounts, so they distort the music.  Musician's earplugs are specially designed to cut the number of decibels equally across all frequency levels (usually 15, 20, or 25 decibels), so the music still sounds like the music, just a bit quieter and safer.  Universal-fit plugs can be had for as little as $20-25.  Students can also be fit by an audiologist for custom-molded earplugs for around $200-250.  These are often more comfortable for longer durations (Mr. Norris wears them when he's teaching).  These are not usually necessary for beginners, but as students are playing for longer periods of time (more than 1 hour per day, it's worth considering)
  • Flip Folder:  Students who participate in pep band are strongly encouraged to purchase a flip folder to hold their pep band music.  It will protect the music from loss or damage, and keep it in order for quicker access to each piece.