Should I Rent or Buy 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 buy 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 an Instrument: Flexibility

Parent's Buying Guide: School Band Instruments Are you a parent looking to learn more about school band instruments?
Read the Parents Buying Guide to School Band Instruments!

Renting an instrument 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 exchange the instrument at no cost, special discounts on purchasing when your student decides they have the right instrument, and educator-approved instruments with at monthly rates. 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.
  • Apply equity to purchase, allowing you to eventually own an 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.

Buying an Instrument: Stability

Should I Rent or Buy an Instrument for my Student Buying an instrument can be a great way to invest long-term but is it right for you?
Read more articles about Renting here!

Buying an instrument is a little bit more of a commitment. 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 no 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 nation 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!

Find a store near you

Music & Arts

Music & Arts is a family owned and operated music resource for parents, students, educators and musicians. With over 140 stores in 23 states 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. My nephew really wants to join the band at his school, and they weren’t sure if they should rent or buy his instrument. I really like that there are actually special discounts to renting! Plus, if he decides to learn something else, they won’t have to worry about the instrument they have.

  2. My son came to me the other day saying that next semester they would like to join the school band. I am happy that he wants to join the band, but I don’t know if I should buy him an instrument or rent one. That is good to know that renting an instrument would be a very flexible solution for a beginner. That would be cool to be able to exchange instruments so he can try out different ones and see what he likes. Thank you for the information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.