Questions To Ask Yourself before Starting A Band Program At Your School

I just started a band program at my school this school year. These were the questions that parents and administrators had for me, so I thought I would put them here and possibly help other teachers on the same boat. If you have other good questions to add, please write them in the comments below!
Note: the italics represent my answer for that particular question. Your answers may be totally different, and that is okay!

Please enjoy,


  • Which grade level will participate in band? 
    • Why?
    • Note: students start band in grade 5 in my school. I set it up that way because I liked the students' ages and their maturity level. Students in grade 4 were coordinated and understood a higher level of English. 

  • Which instruments do I want in my program?
    • Note: the instruments available in my program are Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Cornet, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba. 

  • Who will buy the instruments? The school? The student?
    • Note: If students will borrow a school instrument, do not let them take the instrument home until after they have signed and completed a contract in which they assume liability for the instrument. Need a copy? Here's mine: Instrument Checkout Contract

  • How many instruments do I need?
    • Note: I needed a class set because band is compulsory in my school. 

  • Where will instruments be stored?
    • Note: we keep the instruments on the back room's shelves that gets A/C. Okinawa is very humid and instruments would get damaged without A/C.

  • How will instruments get repaired?
    • Note: we have partnered with a local music store. We have agreed to send our students to them to buy supplies if they service our instruments at a discounted rate.

  • What curriculum will I use?
    • Note: We use Accent On Achievement and we write our own arrangements for performances.

  • How much will curriculum cost?
    • Will students buy their own or will the school supply this?
    • Note: our curriculum costs 900JPY or about $8. In my school students do not need to buy the book, but may if they want to.

  • How will this program affect the current curriculum in place?
    • Note: our students do band for half a year and the Japanese-mandated content the other half of the year. 

  • How much will participation in band cost students and their families?
    • If a family is concerned about cost, recommend instruments that require low maintenance. 
    • Note: A saxophone can be a pricey instrument over time because of the cost of reeds. Brass instruments are usually more affordable (students only need buy their own valve oil and cleaning kit).

  • What is the long-term plan for the band program?
    • Note: students at our school will play band from grade 5 until grade 9

  • Will students continue to play the instrument in other schools throughout their educational journey?
    • Note: this is optional for our students, depending on which school they attend after grade 9.

  • Who are your feeder schools and which schools do you feed into?
    • Note: network with teachers in these schools. Exchange e-mails and ask them to tell you about their program.

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