One of the best ways to help a band director to ensure his new students’ success in band, and to ensure they stay in band, is to do careful and detailed mouthpiece testing, or “play testing,” as some retailers call it. If you take your time to do this, you will begin to build relationships with the beginning students and their parents, and help your band program a take a huge step forward at the same time.
Please understand, what parents want, what friends play, even what kids “want” (i.e. without ever even holding an instrument) are not always the best choices. Please take the time to do a real testing/fitting. If you are unsure how to do this, your local school music dealer should be able to help. If a child is unsure about band (or strings) and every practice session is uncomfortable, then we may well lose a child who could have been a wonderful asset to our ensemble if the proper instrument had been chosen.