I Started playing trumpet about five months ago with a private teacher. I am renting a Getzen Bb student trumpet that seems pretty good, and my teacher says I've got great sound and that I'm progressing quickly. I am a sophomore in high school, and have never played an instrument prior to this except marimba in a marimba band, which really requires no musical knowledge other than how to bang some mallets in time with everyone else. I would really like to be in my high school band, but from what I've heard, most people that are in band were in a band in AT LEAST middle school, and have been playing their instruments for a couple years at least. Considering the fact that I've never been in a band, and am only beginning in learning to read music/playing trumpet, it seems like it may simply be too late for me to join a band. I have talked to band members and they agree that my situation is a tad difficult. Is it too late for me to join band? I'd be joining next year - it's too late for me to switch classes, or else I'd get an F factored into my GPA, which obviously no-one wants - so I'd have time to improve my technical skill. The problem more lies in the experience of playing with a band, and being able to cooperate and play with a group. Plus, my music reading may not be up to scratch by then. I REALLY enjoy playing the trumpet - As of right now, I can hit about one note above the staff clearly and regularly, and can occasionally go higher but not with any precision. I have a pretty good tone and tend to be able to find the center of the note fairly well, my problem is mostly in airflow. I haven't really built up strong lungs just yet, despite my avid playing. Also, as a female trumpeter, it's a bit more difficult for me to actually play long sentences without faltering, and I frequently can't play anything that tends to have a faster tempo and more jumbled notes. Also, I'm pretty slow at the reading of the music itself. I would really like to join band, but my situation seems rather difficult. p.s. - also, should I invest in a practice mute? I have been driving my parents crazy with my practice, and I hate having to play only when they're not home. I know it muffles the tone a lot, but should I get one as a beginner? Thanks!