Middle School Band Instruments – What Can You Play?

middle school band instruments

Many instruments are available to play in a middle school band. These include several of the musical instruments from the three main sections of a band: woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

In most cases, middle school band instruments are used in expanding the sound and look of the ensemble to a convectional band concert.

The number of musical instruments will depend on the size, music tradition, and goals of the middle school.

Some of the middle school band instruments available to be played range from the typical elementary school instruments to others like tubas, oboes, euphoniums, piccolos, other saxophones apart from alto and tenor, bassoon, among others.

That will depend on which grade the student is in and in the middle school itself.

This article describes some of the most common instruments that are typically present in a middle school band dividing them between 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade band instruments.

The learner who is studying these instruments must be keen on identifying one instrument that they think they can shine in playing it.

6th-grade Band Instruments

The 6th-grade band is made up of most beginners. They will learn the instruments and be playing in several months.

If you want to get serious about music, this will be a great opportunity to be committed and focused on learning a particular instrument.

It involves teaching them how to play various instruments assigned to them in preparation for a contest or concert.

During this time, the student is required to choose the instrument that they wish to play. The selection process should be taken very seriously because you will have to play it entirely since shifting from another instrument is very hard.

The 6th-grade band usually performs two concerts per year.

Instruments in this band include:

  • flutes
  • oboe
  • clarinets
  • French horn
  • trumpets
  • trombones
  • tuba
  • euphoniums
  • percussion instruments
A 6th-Grade Band Performing

7th-grade Band Instruments

The 7th-grade band is naturally an extension of the 6th-grade band.

The 7th-grade band students are taught more detailed information on playing the instruments they chose, thus building on their skills.

Such band students can also participate with some easy marching band instruments, and by becoming banner carriers and honor guide members.

The students also meet every other day and perform two concerts a year, just like the 6th-grade band.

7th-grade band instruments can include:

  • flute
  • clarinet
  • oboe
  • bass clarinet
  • bassoon
  • alto sax, Bari sax, tenor sax
  • trumpet
  • baritone
  • tuba
  • trombone
  • French horn
  • percussion instruments.
A 7th-grade Band Performing in their Spring Concert (Clagget Middle School)

8th-grade Band Instruments

The 8th-grade band involves teaching the students how to engage in music utilizing performative, creative, and responsive skills. The students in this year perform with greater artistry and more flexibility.

They are normally made up of more advanced players that are learning advanced repertoire, often playing multiple instruments or doubling on various instruments. Some schools have combined 7th/8th-grade bands for the senior year based on talent level.

The instruments in this grade include:

8th-grade Band School Performing (Hopkinton Public Schools)

In a nutshell, it is important to understand more about middle school instruments and apply the learned skills in playing them because it increases your chances of learning the concept successfully.

And most importantly you will develop a good music background and important knowledge and practice methods while performing one or multiple middle school instruments.

Such commitment and learning can serve as a base for college or university study and other levels of musical activities.


What Instruments Can Be Played in a Middle School Band?

6th-grade: flutes, oboe, clarinets, French horn, trumpets, trombones, tuba, euphoniums, and percussion.
7th-grade: flute, clarinet, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, alto sax, Bari sax, tenor sax, trumpet, baritone, trombone, French horn, percussion, and tuba.
8th-grade: violin, tuba, flute, euphonium, trombone, clarinet, double French horn, bassoon, single French horn, saxophone, and trumpet.

What Is the Easiest Instrument to Play in a Middle School Band?

Some of the percussion instruments can be considered one of the easiest middle school instruments to play. They are normally much easier to master because it does not involve turning the pitch and tune.

What is the Best Instrument to Play in Middle School?

That will vary greatly upon the student and how serious they are about learning an instrument. Musical students should try out a variety of instruments to see what fits them best.
To have the most fun, students should choose an instrument that they are passionate about.