The first step in music education is choosing an instrument. Music & Arts offers a wide selection that will help prepare your child to join the band or orchestra. Listen to the sound clips provided and choose the instrument that you or your child is most excited about!


The flute is a reedless woodwind instrument that's made from silver or gold, and is about two feet long. It looks like a narrow tube with a row of holes covered by keys on the top. The player blows air across the small hole in the mouthpiece to produce a sound that is either soft and mellow, or high and piercing.

The clarinet has the largest pitch range of any woodwind instrument (which means it can play the lowest notes and the highest notes). You'll find them in concert bands, jazz bands, and occasionally in rock and pop groups.

The saxophone is in the woodwind family. It is made of brass, and is played with a single-reed mouthpiece. Saxophonists can play a bunch of different types of music including classical, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, early rock and roll, and even pop music.

The trumpet is in the brass family. It is made out of brass tubing bent several times into an oblong shape. It's played by blowing air through closed lips, which makes a "buzzing" sound. Trumpet players can be in groups such as rock bands, orchestras and jazz bands.

The trombone is in the brass family. It produces a unique sound by the player buzzing their lips while blowing air through a cup-shaped mouthpiece. To produce higher or lower pitches, the player adjusts the slide by extending or retracting. The trombone is used for classical music and jazz.

A percussion player will probably play everything in the percussion section at some point, which includes: the snare drum, bass drum, bells, triangles and cymbals. Depending on your school, you may start with bells, the snare drum or both.


The violin is the soprano voice (highest pitch) in the string family. It is held under the chin, resting on the shoulder. It is used in classical music, but some performers have started playing it in modern, pop music, too.

The viola is a bowed string instrument. It looks a lot like the violin, but the viola's rich tones are lower and deeper than the violin's. Viola players can be part of string quintets (ensemble of five string instrument players), string orchestras and symphony orchestras.

The cello is the tenor voice (low pitch) in the string family. It comes in different sizes, and is held between the player's knees. It produces a tone that is the closest to the human voice. It is used as a solo instrument, and as a member of an orchestra's string section.

String Bass
The string bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument. It is an important part of symphony orchestra's string sections because it plays low notes the other instruments can't. It's also used in blues and rock.