Beginning Band
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Beginning Band

This opportunity is for homeschool students in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky who are interested in learning to play a band instrument and participating in a symphonic band setting. Students will progress through standard beginning band repertoire as they develop music reading skills, instrumental proficiency, and enjoy getting to play an instrument in a group setting. Eventually we hope that participation in this ensemble will eventually lead to an upper-level ensemble for advanced homeschool instrumentalists who continue to progress on their instruments.

Homeschool Band

The band will rehearse on Thursdays, beginning January 26 and continuing to April 20 (12-week session), from 11:30 to 12:30 in Rm. 152  of the Music/Mass Communications Building on the Campus of Austin Peay State University. The cost is $35.00 for the first child, and $25.00 for each additional sibling. Participants in the Homeschool Beginning Band will be strongly encouraged to take weekly private lessons on their instruments to ensure adequate development. Visit this page for a list of organizations that offer private lessons in the Clarksville area. We hope you will join us in this new and exciting opportunity. 


The Beginning band is directed by APSU Music Education Graduate Assistant Zach Cheever. Mr. Cheever is a 2016 graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University with an undergraduate degree in theory and composition. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Music Education. He has extensive experience as a french horn player, singer, conductor, composer and arranger.

Additional instruction is provided by APSU undergraduate music education majors. Pictured above are Mackenzie Kelly working with percussion and Cora Mayes working with clarinets.

Now Accepting Registration for the Spring. Click Here to register. A minimum enrollment of 10 students is required for this ensemble so help us spread the word. 

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Additional Information

APSU will provide music (covered by your registration fee) but cannot provide instruments. Percussion instruments will be available for participants to use during rehearsal, but these instruments may not leave our building. Instruments are available from a variety of local resources for purchase or rental. See below for more information about obtaining an instrument for your child.

A note to the students and parents: For most students, learning to play an instrument does not bring instant gratification or immediate rewards. Students may experience frustration in their first lessons as they begin to develop necessary musical, technical, and coordination skills. We do not say this to dissuade you; just to let you know that progress comes to those who are diligent, patient, and who enjoy the learning process.

Also, in a typical public or private school beginning band, children attend rehearsals five days a week, and are also expected to practice on their own in the evenings (like homework for band). We understand that your schedules as homeschool educators will not permit this kind of rehearsal schedule, so we will only rehearse once each week. However, we will provide lessons and suggestions to encourage your children to develop regular practice habits that will enable them to develop at a quicker pace. We also encourage you to consider private lessons for your child as they begin their instrumental training. For more information about private lessons, visit….

What instruments will be accepted?

While symphonic bands usually include a wide range of instruments, our ensemble will purposefully limit the selection of instruments to flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. These instruments are more suitable for beginners and limiting the variety of instruments in the ensemble will enable more direct instruction for each student. If your child decides to continue on an instrument, he or she may also enjoy the oboe, bassoon, tenor saxophone, French horn, euphonium, or tuba

Where can I buy or rent instruments in the Middle-Tennessee area?

Click here to view our list of local music retailers and suppliers.

What brand or type of instrument do I need to get?

Musical instruments come in a wide range of quality from beginner to professional-grade. Sometimes, cheaper instruments are built with such poor quality that they are difficult to play, even for experienced musicians. This is especially frustrating for beginning students who think that the fault is their own rather than the quality of the instrument. Professional-grade instruments on the other hand, apart from being incredibly expensive, sometimes have extra keys, customized features, or other settings that are too complex for a beginner. Therefore it is important to get a good quality, beginner-level instrument that is in top condition, without spending excessive amounts of money on an advanced-level instrument.

If you already have an instrument, we encourage you to have its quality and condition evaluated by a professional before you hand it over to your son or daughter. Usually, an instrument that has been sitting in your attic for 20 years may not be the best instrument for a beginner. Valves freeze, springs break, wood cracks, pads fall off, and keys leak. All of these conditions of the instrument make it difficult for the student to produce a sound or play in tune, and can easily discourage a beginner.

For good quality, beginner-level instruments, we suggest the brands and model numbers below. (Note: This list is included as a resource, not as an endorsement or promotion of any brand, product, supplier, or company)











What else will I need to purchase?

Make sure your instrument comes with a hard case in good condition. Sometimes, instruments come with a soft-shelled case that will not protect the instrument too well. On the case, check the hinges, latches, and handles. Clarinet and saxophone players will need a regular supply of reeds, available at most local music stores.