Students Playing Instruments at Jazz Fest 2019

Instrument Purchase Planning

Learn about instrumentation balance and purchasing for your school or organization.

Do you need more instruments for your instrumental music room? Often the job of instrumental music educator has many facets, one of which is to make certain that every student has a working, high-quality instrument on which to learn. Securing a fleet of instruments can be a challenge. Most superintendents and school boards do not know the importance of balanced instrumentation or understand the depreciation schedule of musical instruments. It is often left up to the music educator to design a clear, financially-solid picture of the instrumental program you want to build for your students and the long-term costs that may be associated with your plan. Most school boards are composed of people who want strong instrumental music programs but may lack the knowledge of how to properly support your goals and aspirations.

The Conn-Selmer Division of Education is here to help guide you on your journey and seeks to provide you the tools necessary to ensure every child has access to a quality instrumental music experience.

Tips on Preparing a Proposal for Your Principal, Superintendent, and Board of Education for Instrumental Equipment Acquisition

  1. Begin by making a record of each instrument in your inventory. Use the Band Instrument Record to keep track of instrument value, outfit accessories, repair schedule and depreciation record. This record will allow you to identify the value of each instrument by a) identifying the quality level of an instrument, whether new or used, and b) determine when an instrument needs to be overhauled or replaced.
  2. Next, complete the Depreciation Schedule, using the Instrument Lifespan and Guide to Instrument Depreciation. This will tell you, at a glance, when instruments need to be replaced. Depreciation for each instrument will be figured using the Instrument Lifespan, taking the percentage from the Depreciation Chart multiplied by the remaining value of that instrument and subtracting that from the current cost of the instrument.
  3. Next, complete the Inventory Record that summarizes each instrument's remaining value and life. This can be a summary report to backup any request for instrument purchases.
  4. Complete the Student Enrollment sheet. With this sheet, you can quickly determine what additional instruments you will need as students matriculate into middle, junior, and senior high school. Remember to factor in the planned growth of your program through improved recruiting and retention activities.
  5. From the Inventory Record that you have prepared, make a list of the instruments that should be replaced in the next five years. Also, add instruments the students will require in future years. Keep in mind the probable growth of your department in estimating cost of repairs, music supplies, and equipment. Use the instrumentation guide showing suggested instrumentation of various sizes of bands to help choose the proper instruments to obtain.
  6. Plan your budget. Consider utilizing the Conn-Selmer School Lease/Purchase Program so that you can get the instruments you need now but purchase them over a three, four, or five year period. You can also use our Wish List Tool or simply contact us and one of our Educational Support Managers will get back to you within 24 hours.
  7. Write up a complete five-year plan in a clear, concise manner. The first sheet should be an explanation. Do this in your own words. For some ideas, see the Sample Administration Request. Present this to your music coordinator or principal. You may be asked to present the plan to the superintendent, or to the school board. Have a copy for each member of the board. Refer to the sample Explanation Sheet and make changes to fit the five-year plan.

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