Instrument's FAQ's

  • Do I have to know anything about music to join the band or orchestra?
    No Experience is Needed! Your general music classes have done so much to train you already!. Everything you need to know to play an instrument will be taught in your music lessons. Any previous training in music is a plus but not necessary for success. Learning any instrument takes practice, and by taking small steps in class every day and practicing daily at home, you will be amazed by your progress at the end of the year!

    Can I still be in athletics, choir, orchestra & other school groups?
    YES. We encourage our band students to participate in athletics & other school activities. Many of our band students are very successful athletes, terrific singers, as well as ACADEMIC leaders of our school!

    Who will be in the band and orchestra?
    Your friends and fellow classmates will join you in what will be some of the most exciting and fun times of your school experience.  The more friends, the most fun!  With over 6,000 band students in Cherry Hill, and still growing, the band is the largest single organization.  Many of our students are the school leaders and among the most successful students in Cherry Hill.

    What fun things will we do in band and orchestra?
    The best reward is learning to play an  instrument and make music!  You will experience many parties, trips, concerts, contests & performances throughout the years that all other students miss out on!  There are many other proven benefits on the brain and learning when learning an instrument. Being dedicated to learning your instrument will help you grow in other ways as well!

    Asthma?  Braces?  Is it possible?
    ABSOLUTELY!  Braces end up making you a better player in the long run and some of the music teachers have asthma. We have many students that have braces and/or asthma.  Playing a wind instrument can actually be beneficial for those with asthma as it helps strengthen the lungs.

    I'm left-handed...can I still play in the Band or Orchestra?
    All instruments are held a certain way. Some have the left hand doing more and some have the right hand doing more. Both hands will be involved.

    I don't know what instrument I should play. Will someone help me?
    Take the time to review each instrument on our Sign Up page. Which instrument sounds the most fun? Which instrument sounds like you? That's the one to choose!

    How much time do I need to practice?
    Students are expected to practice an average of fifteen minutes almost daily; this is the musician's homework, just like you will have homework in every other academic class. Practicing your instrument regularly is as important as using the batting cages, doing laps in the pool on different strokes, using a driving range for your golf swing or practicing your times tables. Steady practice is vital to enjoying the instrument as well as improving on it.

    How many performances will I be involved in?
    Our Elementary School program has a Winter Concert and a Spring Concert. As you get older, in Middle School and High School, there are many more performances in school like jazz bands, small group ensembles, the Pit Orchestra for the High School Musicals, as well as festivals at Hershey Park, Six Flags, and more! Dedicated students will have opportunities to play in extra performances outside of school as well if they meet requirements. 

    How much money will this cost?
    Fortunately, not much; the main cost is your instrument. Most families rent a quality instrument on a rental/purchase plan at a low monthly cost. Details are in the rental section of our website.  Beginners also need our lesson book purchased when you rent your instrument.  Clarinets and Saxophones need a supply of reeds at home for the instrument to make a sound.  Violin and Viola students need a shoulder rest. Cello students need a Rock Stop to stabilize the instrument when playing.  We also recommend that families have a music stand for comfortable practice at home.

    I want to join Band or Orchestra! How do I get an instrument?
    Check out all of the instruments by rolling over "Sign Up" at the top of the page and selecting "Pick and Instrument". Check out all of the options by listening to the different recordings on each instrument. Click on the "Sign Me UP" button and that will direct  you to the option to select your school to register. There are more directions there on how to rent your instrument. Instruments will be delivered to school before the first day of class. 

    We strongly encourage you to rent a quality instrument through our recommended and approved companies as they offer the brands and models we prefer the children use in the program. Bargain hunters are finding inexpensive instruments on the Internet, in discount stores, and in some catalogs. Sadly, these instruments are not bargains. While the price may look right, the “real” cost of this instrument may be in costly repairs, poor durability, poor tone, or worst of all, a student who is not able to succeed in their lessons because the instrument does not work easily. 

    String instruments come in all sizes to fit the student. Be sure to follow the instructions on measuring your child so you get the right size for them. A mis sized instrument can be very difficult to manage. The rental program allows you to switch your instrument for the appropriate size up as they grow. If you buy a string instrument, you are stuck with that size. If you buy one that is too big, it will be extremely difficult to control and begin with and your child will be frustrated and not enjoy the instrument. As your child grows, when the instrument gets too small, they cannot place their fingers in the correct place on the instrument and using the bow becomes awkward.

    What do I do if we already own an instrument?
    If you are using an instrument from someone else, please bring it to your teacher to check. We will test it out and tell you if it is ready to use or point you in the direction of a reputable repair shop. We advise not to have your child choose that instrument just because it's there. The best instrument choice for your child is the one they are most interested in playing. 

    Can I start learning my instrument over the summer?
    We have a Summer Lesson Program for our beginners. These lessons are a great way to get a head start! You can find this information at the bottom of the Sign Up / Registration page.  We can also recommend some private teachers if you are interested.