When Is It Time to Step Up Your Instrument?

Whether your child is enrolled in private music lessons or is involved in band or orchestra at school, chances are they’re playing a beginner-level instrument. It’s not uncommon for budding musicians to rent or buy a beginner instrument to play before they step up to a higher-quality instrument. After all, the last thing any parent wants is to invest thousands of dollars into a new guitar or violin only to have their child change their minds two months down the line.

If you’re unsure about whether or not it’s time to step up your child’s instrument, here are some questions to ask yourself that should help you decide.

How Long Has Your Child Been Playing?

If your child has been playing their instrument for a year and seems dedicated to continuing to learn, great! It sounds like they’re ready for an upgrade. If your child has never touched an instrument before, or seems to be wishy-washy with their interest in music, you might want to stick with that beginner instrument for a little bit longer. If you can’t gauge if the time is right on your own, talk to their teacher. Their music teacher works with kids day in and day out, and can definitely provide some guidance on whether or not your child is ready to take it up a notch with an improved instrument.

Is it Necessary?

If your child’s playing seems hindered by the quality of their instrument (or if your child’s music teacher has told you as much), it’s time that they transition to a step-up instrument. Beginner instruments are great because they’re an affordable way for new musicians to become comfortable with a particular instrument, but they aren’t meant to be a long-term solution. Observe how your child interacts with their instrument. If the instrument seems too small or your child struggles with it, talk to them. In many cases, they’ll be able to tell you when they’re ready for a larger instrument.

Are You Currently Renting?

If you’re currently renting (and have been renting for awhile), purchasing a step-up instrument can actually save you money in the long-run. That’s not to say that renting doesn’t have its own advantages–if you’re interested in a particular model as a potential step-up instrument but want to try it out first, consider renting for a bit before you buy.

Learn More about Rentals with Music & Arts.

Have You Saved Enough?

If you haven’t saved enough for a professional-level instrument, a step-up instrument is a good choice. Most step-up instruments are made from quality materials with craftsmanship to match, so it is a great option until you’ve saved enough to surprise your child with a professional instrument. Some parents opt to skip the step-up instrument in favor of moving straight to a professional model, which isn’t always the best investment. Think of it this way: you can always sell your step-up instrument and use those funds to purchase a professional model, but it can be more difficult to do the opposite.

Have You Talked to Their Teacher?

Again, your child’s music teacher is an invaluable source of information. They’ll know more about instruments than you (likely) ever will, and they interact with a lot of different children throughout the course of their day. A good teacher should be able to determine if your child is ready for a step-up instrument. They know what to look for to know if your child is being held back by the limitations of their current model. When in doubt, carve out some time to talk to them! They’ll be ecstatic that you’re talking such a proactive approach to your child’s progress.

Shop for Step-Up Instruments at Music & Arts

If you decided the time is right for an upgrade, we’re glad to hear it! We have one of the largest product offerings in the world, including a variety of step-up instruments. From cellos and violins to trumpets and guitars, we truly have it all! Find your local store today and pay us a visit, or browse our site and see what we have to offer online. Reach out with any questions, we’re always happy to help!

Music & Arts

MUSIC & ARTS IS A NATIONAL MUSIC RETAILER WITH RESOURCES FOR PARENTS, STUDENTS, EDUCATORS AND MUSICIANS. WITH OVER 250+ STORES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE LARGEST PRIVATE LESSON PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES, MUSIC & ARTS IS AN AUTHORITY ON MUSIC EDUCATION AND A RESOURCE FOR NEW AND EXPERIENCED MUSICIANS ALIKE.

2 Comments
  1. Good Day,
    I tried to contact you previously. Unfortunately, I have not received a reply to date.
    I am in the process of buying an upgraded trumpet, and I would like to able to compare it to a new purchase. My present trumpet is a Conn International Bb flat trumpet, which I have owned for many years. ( Purchased new in South Africa in 1990.) I would really appreciate if you could inform me of the following:

    Where was it manufactured, and in which year What is the level/standard of my trumpet. An estimate/approximation of the price category. Any other relevant information.
    Details:
    Conn International . Model and serial numbers: 201BY 8404.
    Also engraved on the 2nd Valve Casing is ML 21942.

    Under the Conn Logo, in a ring, is an engraving of North and South America.
    The trumpet has a copper and silver colored lead-pipe.
    The case is hard and sturdy and lined.

    The trumpet is in very good condition, with no scratches, dents or wear to surface. Not played, but regularly maintained and serviced since purchased.

    Could your organisation please try to supply me with the above information.

    Thanks,
    Edwin Michael

  2. Just wondering if any of the money that I paid in rent applies to a step-up instrument or a professional model instrumen?

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