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Should I rent or purchase an instrument for my student?


Should I rent or purchase an instrument for my student?


Renting vs. Buying

Part of the challenge of a student getting started in band for the first time is making the decision to rent or purchase your first instrument. There are definite pros and cons to both as a musician, but many folks haven't played since middle school or at all. I know that when I find myself getting into unfamiliar waters, the first thing I want to do is get as much information as possible when making the decision. Finding sources can be tricky though, so here's my run down of the two options as I see many parents looking at it.

Renting: Flexibility

Renting is without a doubt the most flexible solution for young beginners and their families. With renting, there are repair and maintenance options that we have to keep the instrument in full play condition and readiness for students, the ability to swap the instrument for others, special discounts when your student decides they have the right instrument, and great instruments with low monthly costs. The key with renting is it's inherent flexibility though, with the option to return it if the student should ever decide they want to follow another passion. Here is a basic run down of all the benefits with renting:

  • Loaner instruments available to students with the maintenance agreement if the instrument needs repairs or maintenance.
  • Rent to own, allowing you to eventually own the instrument if you wish.
  • Special discounts: while renting, you will have access to purchase options exclusive to our rental customers.
  • Returning: While we hope everyone can find their voice through music, we know it's not always the case, and you can return it at any time!
  • Security: Our rental fleet is maintained to the highest standards by our fantastic army of instruments techs!
  • Quality: when you rent an instrument through us, because of our commitment to the field you will be renting an instrument that will help a developing player get comfortable with a brand new instrument.

With that many benefits, it seems cut and dry, doesn't it? Still, it doesn't hurt to look at the alternative.

Purchasing: Stability

Purchasing an instrument is a little bit more of a comittment. In the long term, it can be less expensive than renting but you have fewer options regarding some of the flexibility. Here's a quick run down of why I see folks buy an instrument:

  • Student is going to be playing for at least two years
    • If the student will play for more than two years, purchasing is a little more cost effective, however there are not exchange options available.
  • School recommends owning
    • Although not terribly common (actually, I'm comfortable saying that it's extremely rare), schools occasionally recommend buying the instrument.
  • Acute Sudent Interest:
    • This is similar to the first reason, but still different. If the student was "born to play the saxophone" and takes to it like a duck to water and begins planning to play in college right off from the start, then it might be time to look at purchasing.

I'm still confused

Hey, these are still two big options, and one blog on a website is not necessarily going to answer all of your questions. That's where we come in. At Music and Arts we are very excited to be serving the Loudoun County area with everything from music lessons to instrument rentals! We've helped a lot of folks make this decision in the past, and would be very happy to answer your questions!