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When my kids decided they wanted to be in band at school, I went to Pawn Shops and looked around to see what they had. I did not know if my kids would stick with it, and I did not want to put a lot of money into an instrument in case they did not take it but one year.
Both of my kids stuck with it from middle school through high school! We never had any problems with the instruments. You just clean the mouth piece good. Someone at a music store can tell you how or the music teacher at school can. We had both a clarinet and saxophone.
By Teresa from Durham, NC
You can make percussion instruments out of almost anything (a la the show "Stomp"). A big gallon plastic bucket upside down is a drum, a ridged plastic bottle can be scraped for a gyro, keys can jingle, and you can make a tambourine with paper plates! Hit cans and bottles.
A drum circle is great fun for the kids or adults. Try it at your next party!
By pamphyila from L.A., CA
If you live near a university or college with a music program, keep an eye out for their piano sales. Many programs will have an annual piano sale, and often school districts have them, too.
By Kirsten from Logan, UT
Any of your kids studying a clarinet or another woodwind with a cork? I just found out that you can use lip balm instead of cork grease - cheaper, easier to get and smells better too.
By pamphyila from Los Angeles