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5 Reasons to Rent an Instrument for Your Child

girl playing music instrument

There are several reasons to rent an instrument instead of purchasing one. If you have an elementary school-age child who's joining a band or orchestra, here's why you may want to rent an instrument for them.

When children learn instruments in school, there are several reasons to rent an instrument for them instead of purchasing one. If you have an elementary school-age child who's joining a band or orchestra, here's why you may want to rent an instrument for them.

Providing Families With an Affordable Option

First, and most obvious, renting instruments is an affordable alternative to purchasing them outright. Rather than paying hundreds (or thousands) of dollars upfront, families can make small monthly payments and still give their children instruments. Exact rental costs vary, but they're often less than most cell phone plans. For example, renting a violin typically runs between $15 and $30 per month. That's much less than even cheap cell phone plans, which often are $50 per month or more (and sometimes much more).

Letting Students Try Out Band and Orchestra

Second, renting an instrument gives students an opportunity to try out band and orchestra without making a major investment. Students often join band or orchestra at a specific grade level, and they often don't know if they'll like it when they start. Inevitably, many students will decide they don't want to play an instrument and quit. Renting lets students stop playing without feeling guilty about the money invested, and it lets parents encourage students without worrying about their return on investment.

Giving Students Options for Instruments

Third, renting not only gives students an opportunity to try band or orchestra, but it also lets them try playing different instruments that are used in each group.
When families must purchase an instrument outright, their child is usually locked into that instrument. Even wealthy families will often be reluctant to purchase a violin for their child to try if they've already bought a trumpet.
With renting, families can easily switch from one instrument to another as a student's interests change. All that's involved is typically some paperwork and maybe a minor change in the monthly cost (monthly costs vary slightly).
Students shouldn't be switching instruments monthly because it takes at least a few months to learn the rudimentary skills needed to play any instrument. Over the course of a child's elementary education, though, it's possible to try several instruments when renting.

Getting Students Better Instruments

Fourth, even students who ultimately stick with the instrument they first try can still benefit from renting.
Families are, of course, free to purchase an instrument at any point in time for their child. When they do, they frequently are willing to invest more in the instrument because their child has shown sustained interest in it. By spending more on an instrument, families are able to get their child a higher quality instrument.
The quality of instrument that a child plays doesn't matter much during elementary school. Inexpensive, beginner instruments are perfect solutions for students who are just learning and can't yet tune their instrument.
Once a child becomes older and more skilled, however, the quality of the instrument they play can make a big difference. Higher-quality instruments frequently produce deeper and richer tones. When students are participating in all-district, all-county and all-state competitions — or auditioning for college — the richer tone can give them an advantage.

Offering Students Multiple Instruments

Finally, renting is a financially viable solution for students who end up playing multiple instruments. For example, a saxophone player might play the alto saxophone during band, the tenor saxophone for a single orchestra concert and the soprano saxophone for jazz band. They might even occasionally do a number on the flute for jazz band. The fingerings for all of these instruments are similar, so it's easy to transition between them.
In such a situation, few families could afford to purchase three or four instruments outright. Instead, a family might purchase an alto saxophone and rent the others as necessary, thus greatly reducing the total out-of-pocket expense. If you have a child who's starting band or orchestra, contact us at Musicians' Repair & Sales to learn more about renting an instrument.