Tappan Band Instrument Information 2019-2020

Categories6th Grade7th Grade8th GradeAll BandsGeneral Information


Tappan Middle School Bands 2019-2020

Contact Information:

For a quick response to any questions you may have, please email us:

Ms. Lauren Stout, Band Director


Mr. Craig Beery, Co-Band Director and Fifth Grade Instrumental



(734) 994-2011 ext. 35419

Obtaining your own instrument

Purchasing an instrument is a big investment, therefore Tappan directors recommend that you do not purchase an instrument without play testing it in person first. Please ask a director or a private teacher for a list of reputable retailers if you would like assistance in purchasing an instrument.

Rent to Own:

An advantage to renting includes investing over time for the purchase of a higher quality instrument, or a trade-in if your student changes instruments. Finding out the conditions of the rental agreements will help you comparison shop: what is the quality of the instrument; how much of the rental fee goes toward the purchase of an instrument; what is their repair and insurance policy; and what materials and equipment are included in the rental.

Buying Used

There are fundamental quality specifications on an instrument that should be checked over by a professional before the purchase of any instrument.

1. Learn the price of a new student instrument before you shop for used.

2. Buying used from a music store is practical if they offer a warranty.

3. Do not purchase an instrument from the internet. This is not the place to find good quality and value in instruments. There is great risk for poor quality, as there are no safe-guards for pricing and manufacture. Always play test an instrument in person before purchase.

4. If you buy from a private party or friend, consider borrowing the instrument or leaving a deposit, then bring it to a music teacher or a music store to be inspected.

Obtaining a Tappan Instrument

At Tappan’s registration, all students and parents will have the opportunity to meet with Ms. Stout to discuss instruments and begin paperwork if necessary. Tappan owns a collection of instruments that we are able to give out based on availability and instrument type. Families with any financial need or students receiving free or reduced lunch will be given an instrument to rent through Tappan at no cost. We are able to provide specialty instruments such as tubas, euphoniums, french horns, oboes, piccolos, bassoons, bass clarinets, and bari/tenor saxes for students. However, if you are able to rent the above instruments, we encourage you to do so. If you are renting through Tappan, you are responsible for all materials loaned to you and covering the cost of any damages that may occur. You will be asked to sign a Guarantee Form which will be used to assess damage at the end of the year. 

Switch Instruments by Permission Only

Certain Instruments are not offered to 5th graders due to size, difficulty, etc., but will greatly enhance the middle school band sound. Early in the 6th grade year, students may have the opportunity to progress naturally to related instruments. For example, baritone to tuba, or flute to oboe. These changes are within an instrument family and can be successful and natural with an appropriate plan. Instrument changes across families are not usually recommended. This is very challenging and will need the help of a private tutor, and taking the AAPS Summer Music beginning instrument class.

Band Supplies 

The following materials are necessary for the best possible experience in band. Please have available the first week of class.

Every student needs the following every day in band:

  • Instrument
  • Good fitting, sturdy case with enough room for equipment
  • Pencil
  • Name Tag with name, grade & school that affixes to the outside of the case
  • Brass: Valve oil, polishing cloth, slide grease
  • Woodwinds: Reeds (at least three good reeds in your case at all times), water for double reeds
  • Percussion: Stick bag with drumsticks, yarn mallets, and hard mallets with student’s name on each individual mallet). Please see attached sheet for specific percussion requirements. 


Please contact Ms. Stout at stoutl@aaps.k12.mi.us if you have questions regarding percussion equipment.

STICKS AND MALLETS (the following equipment is required for 6th-8th grade unless otherwise noted, the brands are our recommendations)

  • Stick bag: Store brand Zippered stick bag usually made of black cordura nylon. 
  • Snare drum sticks: Vic Firth SD-1 
  • Inexpensive, orchestral quality maple stick Timpani mallets (8th grade only): We recommend Vic Firth GEN6 Persimmon or Vic Firth T-3 Maple. Protect them with a baggie twisted over the heads or they will de-felt just from rubbing in the stick bag. 
  • Cymbal/Marimba: Encore TM2 Yarn covered rattan handle mallets. 
  • Xylophone/Bell mallets: Encore 200R multi-purpose for woodblock and other instruments or Malletech OR42R Malletech skews a little harder, not for woodblock. 
    •  Luggage Tag (provided by Tappan if needed). Absolutely required on stick bag–they all look alike! 
    • Sandwich Bags (two) Used to cover timp sticks; always have a spare. 
    • Practice Pad: Remo 8” prac. pad Pad is usually included with the bell kit. If not, you need this.

INSTRUMENTS (the following instruments are required for 6th-8th grade unless otherwise noted, the brands are our recommendations))

  • Bell Kit Pearl PK900, Practice keyboard (PL900C has snare drum), stand, case, (these models advised Pearl PL900C, and drum practice pad. Ships with toy sticks not suitable for if purchasing new) or Vic Firth V8705 class. 
  • Please note that percussion kits are for at home practice only and do not travel to/from school. If there is a financial need, you may speak to Ms. Stout about renting a percussion kit from Tappan.

OPTIONAL – for the advanced percussionist (recommended 8th grade only)

  • Drumset sticks: Vic Firth SD-4 All-maple stick sized for drumset playing..
  • Plastic tips do not produce an appropriate cymbal sound. Brushes (wire strand): VIC-WB These have telescoping handles and steel bristles. 
  • Vibraphone mallets: Malletech DF-16 Vibe sticks are cord-wound and harder than marimba sticks. 
  • Marching Snare stick: Vic Firth Corpsmaster Hardimon (white) Snare Drum or Drumset. Consult with private teacher for advice on purchasing a drum or drumset.


ALL Sticks/mallets must be labeled with the student’s last name. Write small, with a good permanent marker near the HEAD of each stick, where it will not rub off from hand contact. Cover with clear nail polish or package tape if rub-off is a problem. If your student chooses not to label their personal equipment, it is highly likely it will be lost during the school year.

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