Over the past few years, some "off brand" instrument manufacturers have flooded the market with very poor-quality musical instruments (Instrument Shaped Objects, or "ISO's"). They make them easily available to parents and students through online vendors such as E-Bay and Amazon, or through big box stores such as BJ's and Costco. Demonstrating a clear example of the phrase "you get what you pay for," these instruments are affordable and accessible yet extremely detrimental to the young musicians' musical growth. In other words, "cheap" describes not only their price but also their quality. The low cost of these instruments is attributed to low-quality materials and craftsmanship - they do not produce a good sound or play well in tune due to the manufacturer cutting corners in the production process. Some music repair shops will refuse to service them, as replacement parts are not available and the materials used to build the instruments cannot withstand normal repair procedures without further breakdown.
Clearly, these issues put the music student at a severe disadvantage and the initial savings prove extremely costly over time. In order to avoid this problem for your child, please consult with their teacher before purchasing an instrument. The West Essex Band Staff is more than happy to help you determine which instrument might best suit your child, and will gladly recommend brand names and instrument models that are reputable and reliable.
We look forward to working together so that your young musician gets the most out of his or her experience in the West Essex Band Program!