Beginning Band


Mrs. Kelsey Thompson ( is Bear Creek's band director. She teaches band students beginning in grades 5 and 6, continuing through Middle School, and directs Upper School's Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Pep Band. 

Beginning Band Night

Mark your calendar for Beginning Band Night on Tuesday, September 3, 2024, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., when professional musicians will meet with students in groups by instrument to teach them the basic care and handling and help students with their first notes. Parents are encouraged to attend. Students should bring their instruments to this event.

Choose an Instrument

Grade 5 students may choose to play one of these four instruments. Click an instrument to see a U.S. Navy Band member demonstrate how the instrument looks and sounds. Then watch the videos below to see Mrs. Thompson demonstrate each instrument and point out things to consider when making your choice.


Click the flute to hear how it sounds



Click the clarinet to hear how it sounds



Click the trumpet to hear how it sounds



Click the trombone to hear how it sounds


Students who have previous piano experience may choose to play percussion at the director's discretion.

Considerations When Choosing a Band Instrument

Other Instruments in the Band

As students become more proficient and their skills increase, they may pick up additional instruments such as oboe, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, euphonium, tuba, etc. Watch this video for more information about these instruments.

Obtain An Instrument and Supplies

Please acquire your child's instrument by the first day of school.

Many local music stores offer reasonable rates/prices to rent or purchase an instrument. Renting can be very cost effective and is a good choice for many students. Most stores allow some or all of the rental fees to apply to the purchase.

If you would like to buy an instrument, and you are looking at an auction site like Craigslist or Ebay, please ask Mrs. Thompson about the instrument you are considering. Many instruments look nice online, but the brand is untrustworthy, or the instrument will need major repairs after purchase. Also, avoid purchasing instruments from stores that sell other things. Music stores sell reputable musical instruments, Costco and Fred Meyer do not. 

Local Music Stores 

Kennelly Keys Music
Bellevue, Lynnwood, Everett, Seattle

Metropolitan Music
Kirkland, Seattle

Moore Brothers Music

Music & Arts
Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Bothell

Book and Online Resources 

Grade 5 classes use music provided by the band director.

Grade 6 band classes use Essential Elements for Band, Book 1, which is available from most music stores and online. Please make sure to purchase the correct book corresponding to your child’s instrument. The books are instrument specific. Inside the front cover, you will find an online access code, unique to that book which will allow your child to access the online resources.


If you have made it this far, check out this video about why you will love playing in the band!