Flute: Renting vs. Purchasing for Beginners

If your child has expressed an interest in learning a new instrument, you’ve undoubtedly had to decide whether or not it’s best to rent or buy the instrument. For children who are interested in learning how to play the flute, this consideration is especially important because a quality flute can be on the expensive side. Most parents opt to rent the instrument for a while, while they wait to see how committed their child really is to learning and playing the instrument. Although renting a beginner instrument is usually the best way to go, there does come a point when it no longer makes financial sense to continue to rent and you have to make a decision about purchasing your child their very own flute. How do you know when that time comes? We’ve written this guide to help you find out.

When Does Buying Make Sense?

Obviously, if your child has been playing the flute for years and has demonstrated a real interest and genuine commitment to the instrument, you should start to think about purchasing them a brand new instrument. A child’s first instrument is a very special occasion, and it provides parents with a great opportunity to teach children an important lesson about responsibility. If you believe your child has the skill and determination to stick with playing the flute, then it makes perfect sense to purchase a brand new flute. Before doing so, it’s important to consult with your child’s music teacher about which flute they think would be the best choice. Because the music teacher has the best grasp of your child’s skill level, they’ll be able to tell you when it’s the right time and how to get the most for your money.

If, on the other hand, your child is brand new to the instrument, or you think that purchasing a new instrument will be a good opportunity to teach a lesson about commitment and responsibility before they’ve really demonstrated a genuine interest, it’s probably best for you to look into rental options for the time being. Fortunately, there are many different rental options for beginners which can help you save money while still nurturing your child’s interest in music.

When Does Renting Make Sense?

If your child is brand new to playing the flute, then you should be interested in renting the instrument. Often times, children will lose interest in an instrument before learning or playing enough to justify the purchase of a brand new instrument, as they can be expensive depending on the model. Sometimes, children need to try and learn a few different instruments before they settle on the one they really love playing. For this reason, renting is almost always a good idea.

However, it’s important to note that, while renting is generally a good idea at first, if you’re not taking advantage of a rent-to-own program, the cost of renting an instrument over time can end up being more expensive than if you’d bought a new one outright. Rental instruments often come with insurance and fees on top of the monthly cost of the rental. Although they certainly seem more reasonable than paying full price in the short term, they can quickly add up. If you’re not taking advantage of a rent-to-own program, then you should make sure to pay attention to the total cost of your rental. When the time comes, and if your child is still interested in learning and playing the flute, it’s best to look into buying. Renting is an excellent option for beginning flute players, but shouldn’t be a long-term choice.

What Are Rent-To-Own Programs?

Rent-to-own programs are just what they sound like. Many music stores will offer a program where the money you pay towards your child’s rental earns credit that can be used to purchase that instrument or a different one. This option is especially helpful if you want to buy a different kind of flute than the one your child had previously been learning on. Because rental instruments are often subject to substandard care, it’s best to really evaluate the quality of your instrument before you decide to buy it. Otherwise, if the option’s available, you’d be wise to apply your credit towards a new instrument whether it’s the same model or different. You may end up paying the difference, but you’ll be glad that you did. When your child is first starting out with an instrument, be sure to check out the different music stores in your area or ask your child’s music teacher if they’re aware of local stores than offer rent-to-own programs.

Is the Sound Quality of Rentals Different?

A big concern for parents when they’re considering renting an instrument is whether or not they’ll be getting a decent quality instrument. Because children new to music obviously don’t have the greatest skill level, it can be difficult to determine just by sound if you’re getting a quality instrument for your money. While it’s true that rentals often have had multiple previous owners, and they may not have taken the best care of the instrument, you shouldn’t settle for a poor instrument just to save money. Since neither you nor your child will be able to determine the quality of a flute right away, consult with your child’s music teacher. They will know what to look for and can tell you whether or not the instrument is suitable for your child’s needs. If they say that it’s not, the music store should allow you to replace or repair it. Before you sign off on a rental, learn about the Most Common Problems with Used Flutes so you can do your best to avoid a problem instrument.

Whether you’re renting an instrument or you’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll find only the highest quality musical instruments and accessories at Music & Arts.

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