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Renting Vs. Buying Band And Orchestra Equipment

Jul 17, 2014

So the day has come when your child realizes that listening to music just isn’t enough; he or she wants to PLAY music.

Whether it’s a violin, trumpet, tuba, flute or piano that catches a child’s fancy, parents face several dilemmas along their kid’s path to musical greatness (or at least the next band concert).The first hurdle is getting a band or orchestra instrument into the child’s hands, and doing so without breaking the bank. Your two options are renting a musical instrument or buying a musical instrument.

Each approach has advantages, as well as drawbacks. Either way, cost should never, ever be the only consideration. For a beginning musician, ease of play is of the utmost importance. An instrument that is difficult to manage, not set up properly, or just low quality will discourage even the most eager learner from continuing on with music. These considerations should be valued as highly as price when determining whether to go the instrument rental or purchase route.

The Pros and Cons of Renting Band or Orchestra Instruments

Musical instrument rental can seem like an obvious choice, for several valid reasons. Renting band equipment or orchestra equipment offers more flexibility, especially if a budding musician should change their mind about their choice of instrument or interest altogether. Once in a child’s hands that clarinet may pale in comparison to a tuba, or vice versa.

Instrument rental agreements are generally month-to-month contracts, which allows you to return the instrument if your child chooses not to continue playing or changes to another instrument. Renting instruments gives young musicians flexibility to change their minds and try new instruments until they find what best fits. It also means parents aren’t stuck with the task of selling a purchased instrument or letting it collect dust in the basement.

Instrument rental also eases maintenance and repair concerns. Band and orchestra instruments require occasional repair and maintenance, so having a rental plan that includes maintenance and a knowledgeable staff available to answer questions and fix issues is an added bonus.

In the long run, renting might cost a little more than purchasing a band or orchestra instrument outright, depending on how long the child stays with that instrument. However, renting orchestra instruments can save hassle and frustration should you need flexibility as your child begins music and finds the perfect fit.

The Pros and Cons of Buying Band or Orchestra Instruments

Purchasing band equipment and orchestra instruments can be pricey, particularly if you’re questioning how long your child will stick with it. But there are advantages to keep in mind when making the decision to buy or rent an instrument. Purchasing does require a greater commitment up front on parents’ part, but this commitment can also extend to children as well. Investing in their musical interest demonstrates that you are serious about their talent, and also encourages them to make the most of that investment.

Buying an instrument may cost less over time. Instead of starting off with a monthly rental payment that could multiply to the base cost of purchasing outright, some parents prefer to pay one price and be done with it. Buying band or orchestra equipment can be a good choice for those with children committed to developing their skills.

Buying a musical instrument also has its disadvantages, especially for parents who are new to band and orchestra. There are many ways to purchase an instrument. Your local music store being one. Buying an instrument online is certainly a case of “buyers beware” as it’s difficult to really know the condition, sound, and quality of an instrument before purchasing online. While many find deals on new and used instruments, many times all that glitters is not gold. It is important when shopping the Internet to stick to major band names found on your schools recommended list, along with potential recommendations from the band or orchestra teacher at the school. There is a large number of instruments of lower or poor quality found on the Internet that look similar to quality brands. It’s not until you try and play them that you will feel, hear and see the difference. This is where feedback from the music teacher can be very helpful. It is disappointing to see someone purchase something they feel is a great value, only to find out later that it isn’t a very good instrument.

Parents have many factors to consider when it comes to getting a musical instrument into their child’s hands. Renting equipment can provide a low-stress way of trying out an instrument and then affordably continuing to learn. On the other side, buying an instrument can encourage a commitment, but also cause problems down the road. Assessing your child’s level of commitment and interest can help lead to the right choice.

The Help You Need to Decide

Still unsure if rental or buying is right for your up-and-coming musician? Stop by any of our three convenient locations to get professional help selecting the right instrument and financial commitment. Our trained staff is always here to help!