(Why piano first?)
Below are listed the woodwind instruments KMI offers for private study. Winds have the added advantage of being part of either a symphonic orchestra or a band, but usually in smaller numbers for the orchestra. As the KMI faculty grow, we will be able to offer more wind instruments. In High School, the marching band is often the most prestigious performing ensemble. All these instruments are also capable of performing as featured solists, but the added ability of participating in a large group performance creates many opportunities and substantial fulfillment for the student during the Middle School and High School years. In addition, there are infinite possible combinations for these instruments as chamber music (smaller groups), such as trios, quartets, wind quintet (wood winds plus french horn), etc. (For an understanding of a student's pathways to other musical activities such as orchestra, band or choir, see ELEMENTARY DEVELOPMENT. See STRING ENSEMBLES descriptions of available prestigious orchestras wind players may also join.)
[If you are a wood wind instrument teacher, see RECRUITMENT for information on becoming a faculty member at KMI.]
FLUTE: The flute is the woodwind equivalent of the violin - it is the most popular, it is the "soprano" (highest) instrument and it is an important soloist for the band or orchestra. Before learning to finger the flute, the beginning flute student must first produce a viable sound using just the mouthpiece. This can take MANY weeks. Then the student must have finger dexterity and strength to hold down the keys hard enough to produce viable pitches. Depending on the size of the child, usually any student age 9 or older can begin flute lessons, but we strongly encourage the study of piano first to give a good foundation. Because the flute is the most popular of the woodwind instruments, the competition to gain entrance into bands and orchestras, as well as music schools is fierce. Often over 100 applicants audition for only 1 or 2 positions! Strongly encourage your child to consider another woodwind instrument simply to allow for less competition and more opportunities in life. CLEF: flute music is written ONLY in the treble clef.
SAXOPHONE: The saxophone comes in several sizes which represent different ranges of notes (high, middle, low). Most students begin their study with Alto Saxophone, to learn fingering and technique, and then can switch or branch out to other saxophones with minimal difficulty. The fingerings are the same, and the many saxophonists can play all three interchangeably: Soprano, Alto and Tenor. Due to its size, the Bass Saxophone requires more practice to master. The saxophone is an important instrument in the stage and marching band, but is rarely used in the standard orchestra. Depending on the size of the child, usually any student age 9 or older can begin saxophone lessons, but we strongly encourage the study of piano first to give a good foundation. CLEF: saxophone music is written ONLY in the treble clef.
NOT YET OFFERED: Oboe, clarinet and basson.
(Once you have choosen an instrument, see GETTING AN INSTRUMENT for information about renting or buying.)