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Music Department Handbook

Instruments & Supplies



Musicians are encouraged to purchase or rent their own instrument. However, please be sure to purchase a quality instrument from a reputable dealer. See the Appendices for more information!


Students who choose not to purchase or rent their own instrument may pay a fee to use an instrument from Newport News Public Schools. If not enough instruments are available, students using an NNPS instrument may need to share an instrument, in which case, they will not be allowed to take an instrument home to practice. Because of this, students are highly encouraged to get their own instrument.


IMPORTANT: The great news is that OUR PROGRAM IS GROWING. However, this will result in limits on the number of instruments available to our students. It is strongly recommended that if your child has their heart set on a specific instrument, that you rent an instrument from a retailer rather than NNPS (if possible).


Larger Instruments. A limited number of students will be assigned to play the larger instruments, such as baritone horn, tuba, cello, and bass. If enough instruments are available, students will be assigned an instrument to keep at home.


Cellos and Basses. Beginners will need to bring their cello or bass into school, from time to time, to get it tuned. Intermediate and advanced students will be trained to tune their instruments. Cellos may be brought every so often

on the bus. Arrangements will need to be made to get basses tuned.


Rental & Replacement Items

Rental Information. A rental agreement form must be completed and signed before an instrument may be assigned to you. Payment is due in full before a students may take possession of an instrument. If you cannot make the payment in-full up front, contact your director to create a payment plan. NO STUDENT WILL BE TURNED AWAY DUE TO THEIR INABILITY TO PAY! Checks can be made to Passage Middle School. Payments should be submitted to their Performing Arts Teacher, NOT their homeroom teacher. Please see Section IV for the fees for renting a NNPS instrument.


Replacement Strings and Reeds. Strings and reeds become worn, broken, and frayed after a lot of use. When this happens, they will need to be replaced. Small quantities of strings and reeds will be kept on hand to be purchased from the appropriate director. However, we encourage you to please visit Music & Arts to purchase extra strings and reeds.


Music and Arts Center in Yorktown at Kiln Creek Shopping Center
209 Village Ave., Ste. I, Yorktown, VA 23693
(757) 988-3970 |


Students Moving Away

Throughout the school year, many students will move to Passage Middle School, and some will move away. While we are always sad to lose a student from the Performing Arts Program, we do understand that families moving away is a part of running a school.


If you are renting an instrument from Newport News Public Schools, you must return the instrument before your director will release your music grades. It is your responsibility to return your instrument. If you move away without returning it, you will be responsible for shipping it to us at your expense with the appropriate insurance placed on the shipment (between $150.00 and $3000.00). Please plan appropriately if you move away from Passage Middle School.


Tuning, Repair, & Instrument Care

NNPS Instruments. NNPS and School Owned Instruments are the property of Passage Middle School and Newport News Public Schools. If you are renting an instrument from Passage Middle School or NNPS, you may NOT bring your instrument to the repair shop to submit for repair. While there are some rare instances that it is appropriate to bring your instrument into Music and Arts in Kiln Creek (i.e. repairing a broken string), it is NOT appropriate to submit the instrument for repair. All damages should be reported to your respective director.


Student Owned Instruments: Mr. Bell, Mr. Rawles and Mr. Snider are all qualified to tune instruments, assess damages, and make minor repairs. If your instrument is damaged, please bring it to your respective director BEFORE submitting it to a repair shop.

Generally, your director can make minor repairs saving musicians and parents time and money.


By signing the Membership Agreement Form, you consent to Michael Bell and Edgar Rawles, Band Directors and Christopher Snider, Orchestra Director, to  tuning and making repairs your child’s instrument.



For more information about each of the supplies required for your music class, please see the Supplies page.


The following supplies are required for class everyday:


Next Section:  Fees, Payments,

Trips, & Fundraisers

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