Brass Stocking Stuffers
For most of these items, I have provided a link to a site called Woodwind Brasswind (wwbw), which is a reliable source to buy instrument supplies and music from. However, you can also find all of these items in your local music stores, at Menchey Music, and even on Amazon! New: Menchey Music recently opened their online shop
, where you can find supplies, music, and fun accessories at the click of a button!
As everyone is aware, instruments are incredibly expensive. So, it makes sense that we should take good care of them! It is possible to purchase cleaning kits that come with a bunch of supplies, but you might not need everything that comes with it. If you do decide to purchase an entire care kit, make sure it at least has the following items in it:
- Valve/Rotor/Slide Oil - The number one thing every brass player needs! Not only does it help the valves/slide move, but it also protects them from saliva! Trumpets, Baritones, and Tubas need Valve Oil; Trombones need Slide Oil; French Horns need Rotor Oil AND Valve Oil.
- Polishing Cloth - Polishes the outside of the instrument, protecting it from oils and keeping it shiny!
- Mouthpiece Brush - Keeps the inside of the mouthpiece clean and free of gunk.
- Tuning Slide Grease - Helps keep the tuning slides from getting stuck. Please note that this is different than Slide Oil!!! They are not interchangable.
- Snake - A small brush on a long wire that helps clean the inside of the instrument. Note: You will need different sizes depending on which instrument your child plays!
- Instrument Stand - Perfect for holding the instrument in a safe spot while the student takes a break from practicing! Great for use at home, as well as at school and in concerts.
- Mouthpiece Pouch - Protects the mouthpiece when it needs to be transported out of its case (such as when your child brings only their mouthpiece to school). While I HIGHLY recommend that students use one to bring mouthpieces back and forth to school, I also recommend that all brass students have one, just in case they ever need to transport their mouthpiece outside of their case.
One of the reasons most kids sign up to play an instrument is to play music they enjoy. So why not purchase some music they're interested in? If you go to any of your local music stores, you'll find countless music books, including ones with songs that are easy enough for even the most beginner student! They make these books for movies (including Disney), Pop songs, TV shows... There's a book for everyone! For this, I recommend physically traveling to the store to purchase the books so that you can preview the song first and make sure it is at a level that your child will be able to play.
During the school year, I only see the students once a cycle. That means some weeks go by that I do not see the students for a lesson at all, especially if the student is absent or has difficulties remembering their lesson. There is a lot of time between lessons, and every child could benefit from more instruction time on their instrument. If you are financially able, a trial of private lessons (maybe 3-5 lessons) is a GREAT gift for any musician! Not only do lessons open the student up to more than double the instructional time that they usually receive, but it also introduces them to more music that they might enjoy!