Band & Orchestra Resources
For woodwind instruments (Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon) Reed Quality is a major factor in the play-ability of the instrument. There are many reed makers (Brands) and multiple levels of product from each maker.
Selecting a Reed Strength: Reeds are categorized with a "Strength" Value. Most makers use a numbering scale from 1 - 4 (or 5), others use a "Soft | Medium | Hard" scale. For beginners and intermediate level players, I (and most educators) recommend a softer reed, that requires less control and pressure to play. For most reeds, this will be a 2.0 or 2.5, Soft or Medium for others.
To help you, I have identified and linked some of my most trusted makers and their 2.5 / Medium levels for your students instrument.