Care of instruments is the individual responsibility of every student.  All instruments should be clean and in good repair for all rehearsals and performances.  Please refer to the Required Materials section of this handbook for a list of cleaning supplies.

Here are a few general guidelines to care for your instrument...

  • When not in use, please keep instruments in their case and in their proper storage area.

  • If your instrument needs repair, please contact your director for more information.

  • Instruments should go to the repair shop at least once a year for a professional cleaning and general maintenance. This will assure that the instrument is in proper playing condition for many years to come. Negligence in this area could damage an instrument beyond repair or jeopardize the overall value of an instrument.


Although most students are required to provide their own instruments, larger instruments, harmony instruments, and percussion equipment, are provided by the Howard County Public Schools System.  Students have a responsibility to keep their instrument and equipment in proper playing condition and clean, whether they are personal property or the property of Ellicott Mills Middle School.

Ellicott Mills Middle School has an inventory of instruments in excellent working condition.  These instruments are made available based on student need, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Instruments will be distributed in excellent working condition, having been professionally cleaned and repaired before they are distributed.  It then becomes the responsibility of the individual to maintain the instrument until it is returned.  A Music Equipment - Student Loan Agreement will be used to assure both parties of their responsibilities.  At the end of the year, all instruments will be inventoried and taken for repairs and professional cleaning.  All students must comply with the following guidelines.

  • You are responsible for the proper care and protection of the instrument at all times.

  • You are responsible for any repair and/or replacement from damage, accidental or due to negligence or abuse.

  • Failure to return the loaned instrument or pay the cleaning/repair cost may result in withholding of grades, or being charged the full replacement cost of the instrument.

  • The instrument must be returned immediately at any time requested by the director or school administration.

  • Instruments will be checked on a regular basis to ensure proper care and protective measures are being taken by the student. If the instrument is not being maintained properly, the student may lose the opportunity to borrow an instrument.

  • Due to the limited number of school-owned instruments available, a student's use of a particular instrument may preclude another musician from using it. Therefore, it is imperative that the student agrees to be a positive contributor to the ensemble by practicing, being present at all rehearsals and performances, maintaining proper demeanor, and playing at his/her highest level.

  • Unless instructed by the director, the student will perform on this instrument for the entire school year.

  • In order to ensure the positive musical contributions of students using school-owned instruments, private instruction is Strongly Encouraged!


It is the responsibility of each musician to take his/her instrument home from school each day to ensure safety and to allow for a daily practice routine.  During the school day, students have two options to store their instruments.

  1. locked in the school locker

  2. stored in an instrument cubicle in the rehearsal room (Cubicles do not have doors/locks)

An identification tag must be clearly placed on the student's instrument case/percussion bag.  Each tag should include the following information.

  • Student Name

  • Ellicott Mills MS

  • Phone #

  • Email Address