The saxophone is a member of the woodwind family even though it is made almost entirely of metal. The sound is produced by a vibrating single reed which is the same sound producing method as a clarinet. The clarinet and saxophone are similar in many ways. Many beginning students may not have a willingness to pay the higher price of a saxophone. Others may not have hands large enough to fit around the saxophone keys. Those students may start with a clarinet and switch to the saxophone at a later date.