Buying an instrument is a big step and can be confusing. The Lawrence School District has a limited amount of Flutes, Clarinets, trumpets and trombones for students in need to use for 6th graders in beginning band. The larger instruments, French Horn, Baritone, Tuba and Bass Clarinet are instruments that the school district has for your student to use throughout middle school and high school. The instrument your student will start on will be sufficient throughout their school experience. I will never suggest that you must buy a new instrument (vs. a used instrument) or that you must purchase an intermediate (or step-up) instrument. With that in mind, I’d like to make the following distinctions:

    Student-line / Beginner Instrument
    These instruments are designed for the beginning band student. They are built with smaller bore sizes to accommodate the beginner and use less expensive materials. These are good instruments for your beginning student to start out on!

    Step-up / Intermediate Instrument

    These instruments are made with better quality materials and better quality control. In some cases, woodwinds for example, these instruments have more keys, are made out of wood instead of plastic and have a bigger bore. These instruments tend to be a little more expensive and are intended for students who have already started in band and want to “step-up” to a higher quality instrument.


    • Meyer Music – Overland Park
      MeyerMusic.com (913) 491-6636
      Meyer Music comes to all of the Lawrence schools once a week to drop off any supplies you might need and to pick up and repair/adjust instruments.



    • Wind Instrument Connections – 840-4547 windinstrumentconnection.com
      Paul Morgenroth is the West MS band director and a certified instrument technician. He has a fluctuating inventory of high quality used beginner and step up instruments for sale. His instruments are in great
      playing condition!


    Caveat emptor! (buyer beware!)
    If you are going to search the internet for instruments there are thousands of instruments for sale. Most are fine, however, there are a number of instruments that have been made overseas, imported to the US and there are NO replacement parts available should it need repair. Below is a list of QUALITY NAME BRANDS to help you search for a good used instrument.

    If you are buying a used instrument (on-line, pawn shop, garage sale), please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. scott.robinson@usd497.org

    Just like purchasing a used vehicle, you need to do a little research before buying. The list of brand names below will assist you in choosing a good quality instrument for your student. Unless the seller states that a used instrument has recently been to a repair shop, a used instrument MIGHT need a little tweaking from the repair shop to put it into good working condition. The Band Music stores listed above will look at your instrument for free and let you know if any adjustments need to be made.

    Names of QUALITY band instruments, if in doubt, just ask!

    Flute: Gemeinhardt, Armstrong, Yamaha, Artley, Trevor James
    Clarinet: Buffet, Selmer, Artley, Armstrong, Yamaha
    Saxophone: Selmer, Yamaha, Jupiter
    Trumpet: Holton, Bach, Yamaha, Besson, Jupiter, Conn-Selmer, Benge, Getzen, King
    Trombone: Conn, King, Holton, Getzen, Yamaha, Jupiter

    Percussion students actually learn two instruments! They will need to be able to practice bells and snare drum. They will need a stick bag, drum sticks, size ___ preferable & type ___yarn mallets, and a practice snare drum pad. Contact Mr. Watgen (cwatgen@usd497.org) for what beginning percussionist need specifically to purchase. 

    Scott Robinson
    Billy Mills Middle School Band Director
    330-4415 w