For music educators - By music educators
This discussion will focus on director preferences regarding the testing, over time, of various brands of instruments designed for beginners (Please, no references to intermediate models here, just entry level instruments).
Like many of you, I need to choose brands each year for my students. Many are coming through the doors and some are pretty good and some the repair people will not even touch. Let's add the positive reviews and perhaps some recommendation of models to avoid. Some of the time tested instruments that have really worked for me with regard to durability, sound and reliability include:
Flutes: Jupiter, Yamaha, Gemeinhart, Buffet
Clarinets: Buffet, Yamaha, Jupiter, Selmer, Noblet, and Bundy
Alto Saxes: Jupiter, Yamaha, Keilwerth
Tenor Saxes: Jupiter, Yamaha, Keilwerth, Antigua Winds
Bari Saxes: Yamaha, Jupiter
Oboes: Yamaha, Jupiter, Loree
Bassoons: Yamaha, Jupiter
Bass Clarinets: Buffet, Yamaha, Jupiter
Trumpets: Jupiter, Besson, Bach, Yamaha, BAC (Kansas City)
French Horns: Conn, Holton, Yamaha
Trombones: Jupiter, King, Yamaha
Baritones: Jupiter, Yamaha,
Tubas: Jupiter, Yamaha, Conn, King
Sousaphones: Yamaha, Conn
All model numbers are entry level. These instruments are not without problems, but these are some of the brand names that have stood the test of time. I'm sure there are some others and I will update as newer brands present themselves, however for this morning, these brands have served my programs well over the last 26 years.
Please let me know what is working for your programs.
I found Yamaha student clarinets to be about the best. I recently bought a student Selmer which has played perfectly for 2 years (although I've never liked the feel of a Selmer's keys).