Should I Rent or Buy an Instrument for My Student?

Should I Rent or Buy an Instrument for My Student?

If you have a child in the fifth or sixth grade, they likely have band as a school learning option. When kids take the time to learn how to play an instrument, it teaches them discipline, creativity, and teamwork.

When you play in a band, it is a lot like being in a choir. It would help if you listened to yourself and others while paying attention to the conductor.

The sticker shock on some instruments can take your breath away, especially if you have a student who isn’t 100% committed to the band.

When should you rent an instrument for them to play, and are there times when you should buy one instead?

When It Makes Sense to Rent an Instrument

Before you even commit to renting an instrument, you should check with your school to see what options are already available. 

Most public districts have a few instruments of all types for your child to play. 

This option is typically available for percussionists, tubas, baritones, euphoniums, trombones, and some saxophones.

If a school instrument isn’t available, you’ll want to gauge your child’s interests in learning how to play. Most rental contracts are for a year, which means you’re making a significant commitment to the learning process.

When you think that band might be a one-and-done year, it might be better to rent. You can often lease a used instrument for under $20 per month, which means you’re paying about one-third of the cost of a new product.

When Should I Buy an Instrument for My Child?

You have two issues to consider with this point.

  • How engages is your child in the local band?
  • What is the cost of a rental when spread out over 12 months?

Although you don’t want to buy the cheapest instrument possible off of Amazon, you can find some brands with an excellent reputation at a reasonable price. 

If you think your child will stay with their instrument, it makes more sense to buy it when they can be responsible for it.

It also makes sense to buy the instrument when the rental costs are about the same as a one-time purchasing expense.

Let’s say that you have a child who is learning how to play the baritone. Your local facility will charge $40 per month for you to rent a used Jupiter instrument, which means you’ll pay $480 for one year.

If you can find a used Jupiter baritone for $650 to $850, it might make sense to buy the instrument outright.

Not only will you save money after the second year of playing guaranteed, but it also creates a commitment for your child. The instrument is now theirs to use, which means it becomes part of who they are.

These choices aren’t always easy, especially when you don’t have a school instrument to use. When you evaluate your financial needs’ pros and cons, an answer should be there waiting for you.

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