Back to School Guide: Should you Rent or Buy an Instrument for your Child?

Your child comes home and tells you he/she wants to play an instrument in school, but you don’t know anything about the best brands for student instruments. Do you rent or buy? Where would you rent or buy — especially when your child’s school tells you that they do not have any to lend out for the year?

When my son’s school offered violin lessons in 2nd grade I was all for it.  Then I had to decide whether to rent or buy a violin. I called some stores that rent out instruments and the price was too much for my taste, so renting was out.  Since I have 3 children, I figured it would be a good investment to purchase a new violin so all three of them could get use out of it, and my search began. I looked on ebay and found a brand new violin at a great price. Now two years after violin lessons, my son wants to take Tenor Saxophone lessons for the band in school, so I turned again to the list of stores that rent and again I found it not worth the money to rent. I made a few phone calls and spoke to some people who sell instruments; with that information I started looking on ebay again.  There were many different types of saxophones that looked really nice, but when I researched the brand names of these pretty instruments, I saw that many got poor reviews, were poorly made and were not worth the money they were asking.  When I narrowed the search to the top 4 name brands; after many hours of searching,  I did find a used Tenor Saxophone in great shape that came with extra reeds and unused mouthpieces. I found success and an affordable auction that I won. I am waiting for the delivery of my son’s saxophone and am happy with the purchase.  Now I don’t have to worry about paying rental fees, or damage insurance fees, or any other costs that go along with renting an instrument from a store. I just feel more comfortable owning the instrument instead of renting. However, I do know many people that rent their child’s instruments and they have not had any problems or complaints with the stores that offer this service.

TIP: When using ebay or any other site, please be thorough with your search, do some homework on the top couple of name brands so the list of choices is cut down and easier to choose from. Contact the seller with any questions you might have about the instrument before you place a bid for the item. Be careful and make sure the brand you are buying is legitimate because there are some scams out there.  I have found success using ebay; maybe you will too if you are in the market to buy.

If you do decide to rent, remember musical instruments rentals are based on availability and may be rented from any reliable music store. Call ahead to see if the the instrument you are searching for is in stock and see if the store is willing to put one on hold for you. Each store has different policies regarding rentals. Deposit is fully refunded at the end of rental periods providing no major damage has occurred to the instrument. Some stores offer Damage Insurance for an extra fee.  All instruments are guaranteed to be in excellent working condition.  For your convenience, listed below are 7 music stores which may be contacted regarding the rental of instruments for the school year.

Catalano Music
1007 Jericho Tpke.
New Hyde Park, NY

Laconia Music Center
410 Jericho Tpke.
New Hyde Park, NY

Lewis  Music
278 Jericho Tpke.
Mineola, NY

Poppa’s Music
168 Jericho Tpke.
Mineola, NY
516-747-5033 ext. 3

Ronald Huggler
58 Charleston Dr.
Amityville, NY

Sam Ash
401 Old Country Rd.
Carle Place, NY

Tony Somma
79 Searingtown Rd.
Searingtown, NY

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