Fantastic Instruments for School Bands

When choosing an instrument for your child to learn at school, it’s important to consider a range of factors including your child’s personality and interests, and their patience levels. 

Your child’s school will likely have a list of instruments that their music teacher is experienced in and knows how to teach. This list will generally be extensive and have plenty of options for your child to choose from.

If your child has shown an interest in learning an instrument they will likely have a preference, so it’s important to include them in the decision process.

Any of us can suffer from a lack of patience at the best of times, but children are most susceptible. When it comes to choosing a musical instrument, patience level is a massive deciding factor since some instruments are naturally more difficult to learn than others.

We have put together a list to help you and your child decide which instrument is best for them.


Flutes are highly popular school instruments as they are fun to play and relatively small. They are the perfect choice for students who have more patience, love to learn new skills, and will commit to practising regularly.

They are ideal for students around 10 years of age and up, as they require fine motor skills and quick finger work to play. 

As flutes are one of the smallest band instruments, they are ideal for children to transport to and from lessons easily without having to store them in the classroom or music room.

It is also important to note that your child will still be able to play the flute fairly easily with braces, which is an important consideration for children who are in or will soon be going to high school. This is because the way their lips are placed on the flute doesn’t cause the braces to dig in. 


Much like the flute, clarinets are easy to transport and store as they can be split into multiple pieces to fit into a smaller case. While it can be tricky to learn how to put it back together in the first place, they will quickly learn and start to assemble it with ease. 

Clarinets have recently grown in popularity for students, this is likely due to their ease of transport, versatility and ability to produce nice sounds. 

Playing the clarinet is not an easy skill to master, but once they do, they’ll be able to transition to other instruments.

Clarinets are a great place to start if your child is interested in pursuing many woodwind or brass instruments. The clarinet provides a great way to learn the basic techniques and mouth positions and then transition to other instruments such as a saxophone or flute.


Saxophones are popular with kids due to the jazz vibes and portrayal in modern media through popular cartoon characters such as Lisa Simpson and Dorothea Williams in Disney’s Soul. 

Saxophones are also one of the easier instruments to master, as the techniques are simple to learn. 

The saxophone is one of the heavier and larger brass instruments in many bands, making it suited more towards older learners. However, many young players will begin with the alto saxophone due to their smaller size making them more manageable and then progress to a full size sax as they grow up.  


Despite only having three keys, the trumpet is on the slightly more difficult end of the spectrum. The techniques and multitasking to manipulate the valves while tightening and loosening their lips to play the correct notes can take a little extra practice to master. 

Trumpets are popular in jazz groups, concert bands and marching bands, making them a highly versatile instrument, so your child can be involved in a range of performances. 

If your child has braces or is likely to get braces after they start learning the trumpet you may hear some complaints during the adjustment process. This is because the necessary lip position can cause the braces to dig in a bit but after a while they should find a technique that works for them and doesn’t hurt too much. 


The drums are one of the most popular instruments for children and are commonly taught in schools. This is because drums are fun to play and it doesn’t take too long to master the basic techniques. Drums are also a great way for your child to develop their coordination skills and get some exercise. 

Drums play an important role in the percussion section of concert bands and marching bands, so if your child is looking to perform this is a great instrument for them to try.

Many schools will have a drum set in the music room for children to use during lessons. During this time they may get chances to learn to play all the different percussion instruments if they choose and the drum kit as a whole. 

However, for performances such as in a marching band they or their teacher will likely select one drum for them to focus on, as drum kits are quite obviously not the easiest instrument to transport or carry.

During performances your child will likely play a drum specifically designed for carrying and marching, such as the:

  • Snare drum
  • Tenor drum
  • Bass drum
  • Cymbals
  • Bells

While your child’s school may have drums that your child can use for the lessons, it is encouraged that you also get your child a drum kit that they can use for practising at home on the weekends.

Honorary Mentions

These instruments are just a few of the best, we also want to leave a few honorary mentions for you to consider. These are instruments that maybe aren’t quite as common or a little more difficult to learn. 

  • Guitars - they are special as they are one of the most popular instruments to learn, but are not often in bands, so are not commonly taught in schools.  
  • String instruments (violins, cellos, harps etc.) - these are all extremely popular, and are an important part of an orchestra, however they are large so can be hard to cart to and from school. 
  • Piano or keyboard - we want to give these a special mention because while they’re a great beginner instrument they’re not overly common in bands as they can be hard to transport.

For more help deciding which instrument is best for your child you can visit our website or talk to our friendly team in our store in Nambour.